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Newmarket man, 57, dies in Saputo Dairy COVID-19 outbreak

Two other York Region residents have died, a 76-year-old Georgina man and a 74-year-old Richmond Hill man
2020-05-09 Saputo
A Newmarket man employed at Saputo Dairy Products in Vaughan, where a COVID-19 outbreak has been declared, died May 5.

A 57-year-old Newmarket man died in his home of COVID-19 after being infected in his workplace at Saputo Dairy Products Canada in Vaughan.

The man passed away Tuesday, May 5 after first experiencing symptoms April 24, according to York Region spokesperson Patrick Casey. He was not confirmed positive for COVID-19 until after his death, on May 7.

Twenty-three other employees — six of whom are York Region residents — have tested positive in the outbreak at Saputo facility at 101 Royal Group Cres. 

There is no risk to the general public as the Canadian Food and Inspection Agency designated facility is not open to the public and does not produce food at the location, Casey said.

A statement on the Saputo website states, "During this time, our thoughts are with all those affected by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) around the world. Like any family, we are in this together and we are here for you.

"For us, that means continuing to safely produce the essential products that our communities rely on with the utmost of care. On the ground, we have implemented the strict precautionary measures from local and global experts to help keep our people safe. We want to express our gratitude to every Saputo employee for their ongoing passion and dedication during these unprecedented times."

Increasing outbreaks at workplaces are the "new front" emerging in York Region's battle against COVID-19, according to medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji.

"We are seeing an increasing number of these cases, and this is how the new wave against a front starts," he said in a video update yesterday. "You first see cases, and slowly, slowly, you see a few people dying, and we are starting to see that pattern."

Outbreaks are also occurring at:

  • Nature’s Emporium at 2535 Major Mackenzie Dr. West in Vaughan, where two York Region residents, one of whom is critically ill in ICU, have tested positive for COVID-19. Close contacts of confirmed cases are being followed up by York Region public health, which says there is no risk to the public.
  • FreshPoint Canada at 1400 Creditstone Rd, Unit A, in Vaughan, where there are eight confirmed cases, including three York Region residents. Close contacts of confirmed cases are being followed up by public health, which says there is no risk to the public.

York Region public health is also reporting two additional deaths today, now totalling 131. A 76-year-old Georgina man passed away Thursday, May 7 at River Glen Nursing Home, after testing positive April 29. He is the second resident to die at the home on High Street in Sutton. 

A 74-year-old Richmond Hill man passed away Friday, May 8 at North York General Hospital of a community-acquired case of COVID-19.

Of 1,830 confirmed cases in York Region, 645 have been acquired as a result of an outbreak at one of 49 facilities.

In Newmarket, institutional outbreaks have caused 142 cases and 12 of its 15 COVID-19 related deaths.

While a total of 815 residents, patients and health care workers have tested positive as a result of outbreaks in York Region, outbreaks at 14 facilities have now been closed, including at New Leaf The Elms, The Pines and Sycamore in East Gwillimbury.

An additional health-care worker has COVID-19 at Southlake Regional Health Centre, which is the only hospital in York Region with an outbreak, now totalling five patients and three health-care workers.

Resolved cases in the region are at 898, or 49 per cent. In Newmarket, 25 per cent of cases are resolved.

The number of hospitalized patients in York Region is 73, with 15 cases critically ill in ICU. In Newmarket, seven residents are hospitalized, with one in ICU.

Ninety health-care workers have tested positive for COVID-19, of which 64 cases, or 69 per cent, have been resolved.

Of 1,830 cases (+33 today) in York Region:

  • 761 are confirmed in Vaughan (+ 16 today), 50 deaths, 439 resolved;
  • 405 in Markham (+6 today), 43 deaths, 195 resolved;
  • 190 in Richmond Hill (+ 3 today), 6 deaths, 124 resolved;
  • 175 in Newmarket (+ 1 today), 15 deaths, 43 resolved; 
  • 90 in Aurora (+1 today), 12 deaths, 35 resolved;
  • 81 in Georgina, 2 deaths, 10 resolved;
  • 42 in East Gwillimbury; 1 death; 9 resolved;
  • 40 in Whitchurch-Stouffville (+1 today), 24 resolved;
  • 23 in King (+1 today), 2 deaths, 18 resolved.

As of 3 p.m. May 9, Southlake Regional Health Centre has four COVID-19 patients, all on ventilators, in ICU. Nineteen COVID-19 patients are in inpatient units. The number of inpatients under investigation for COVID-19 is 20. Total deaths has increased by one to 11.