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Toronto child under 9 dies with COVID-19, but not as a result of the virus

Last Updated Jun 23, 2020 at 3:39 pm EDT

A Toronto Public Health sign is seen at Dundas and Victoria St. in Toronto on Monday, August 21, 2017. Toronto's top public health official believes the time has come to decriminalize all drugs for personal use and will be asking the city's board of health this week to push the federal government for action on the issue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston

A Toronto child under the age of nine years old has become the first child to die with COVID-19, but not as a result of the novel coronavirus.

Toronto Public Health confirmed the child has tested positive for the virus, but not from it.

Ontario’s Chief Coroner Dr. Dirk Huyer has confirmed they are also investigating the death of the child. He says they are “looking at all aspects of the circumstances of death.”

Health Minister Christine Elliott was asked Tuesday why the death is being counted in the official provincial numbers.

“In some cases, there are situations where there are other pre-existing conditions that may actually be the cause of the loss, rather than COVID. COVID is there, but may not have been the cause of death.”

Dr. Huyer said it’s important for those who may have been around the child to be notified of the positive test and that is why it’s included in the Ontario numbers.

“When there is an infection found, it’s important that anybody who may have intersected with that child, whether that child was specifically infected and died or didn’t die from COVID, the fact that it’s found, we need to ensure that everyone else knows and that’s why it’s reported,” said Dr. Huyer.

“We don’t know exactly the role at this point, but it’s important that it gets notified and therefore would lead to public reporting after that,” he added.


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