A man in his 30s has died from COVID-19 after a large outbreak was declared at a privately operated student residence in Peterborough, Ont. last month, marking the area’s youngest disease-related death.
Peterborough Public Health (PPH) says the fatality is the first connected to an outbreak at Severn Court, an off-campus student housing site primarily for Fleming College students.
The man was diagnosed with a COVID-19 variant of concern and hospitalized outside the region last week before he died yesterday, according to PPH.
“As the youngest person to die locally from COVID-19, it reminds us how serious this pandemic is, that youth are not immune from its worst outcomes, and that we all have a role to play in ending it to prevent future tragedies,” Medical Officer of Health Dr. Rosana Salvaterra said in a press release issued Tuesday.
There have been 59 cases associated with the outbreak at Severn Court and all the cases have screened positive for a variant of concern.
Only five active cases remain as most of the cases linked to the outbreak have been resolved.
“The number of high-risk contacts linked to the outbreak has declined considerably, indicating that the outbreak is stabilizing,” PPH said.
The outbreak, which was declared on Feb. 27, is the largest recorded in Peterborough since the pandemic began over a year ago.
Severn Court is home to about 200 students living in six separate buildings.
Based on initial investigations, several of the exposures happened during a private gathering on Feb. 20, according to PPH.
At the time, Peterborough was still under a stay-at-home order urging all residents to stay home except for essential reasons, including going to work, medical appointments, purchasing groceries and exercise.
Peterborough transitioned to the red control level of the province’s tiered, colour-coded COVID-19 response framework on Mar. 8. This means that social gatherings are limited to five people indoors and 25 outdoors as long as physical distancing can be maintained.