BARRIE -- A 70-year-old woman from Grey Bruce has passed away from COVID-19 complications becoming the second person to die from the virus in the region.

Health officials say the woman had been in isolation in the hospital and passed away Wednesday afternoon.

"I offer my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of the woman who passed away," said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ian Arra said in a release.

"Unfortunately, the news of this second death only highlights the need for everyone to take this virus very seriously. It requires our collective actions to stem the spread of this virus. Please, stay at home and stay safe."

The woman's death comes nearly one month after the region reported its first COVID fatality, a man in his 60s who passed away on January 30, who had also been in isolation in the hospital.

As of Wednesday, the health unit has reported a total of 697 cases of the virus; 15 are active.