BARRIE -- The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has confirmed Saturday afternoon that the man in his 70s, being treated at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre for COVID-19, has died.

The health unit was investigating his case after he was in contact with another man in his 70s, who died on March 11th at RVH.

Health officials say he travelled here from Alberta to visit the first man who was also receiving treatment at RVH.

The first man had underlying medical concerns. Late this week, the Ontario Coroner confirmed that the cause of death was from the COVID-19 virus.

In a release, Dr. Charles Gardner, SMDHU’s medical officer of health, says, “This is sad news, and we are offering our condolences to the family. It speaks to the need to be more aware of the seriousness of the current situation than ever and that we, as a community, as organizations and as individuals, need to work together to protect one another.”

Gardner adds, “I am urging everyone to follow social distancing recommendations and follow public health measures so that we can flatten the curve of this disease.”

RVH President and CEO Janice Skot says, “his death is a tragedy and underscores the seriousness of this pandemic.”

She adds, “I want to further assure our community that RVH remains well-prepared to care for COVID-19 patients, strictly following infection control protocols to keep our patients, healthcare workers and our community safe."