COVID-19 killing people too fast for them to get help in time, Ontario coroner reveals

Elisabetta Bianchini
·2-min read

Dr. Dirk Huyer, coordinator of the provincial outbreak response and Chief Coroner for Ontario, revealed at a press conference on Thursday that approximately two people per day in the past two weeks have been dying from COVID-19 in the community, because their infection progressed too quickly to seek health care.

"We have been seeing a number of people dying in the community outside of the hospital, which is new, unfortunate and sad," Dr. Huyer said. "Many of these people are found deceased."

"These were people that weren’t necessarily appearing, based upon their symptoms, to be needing to go to hospital or an ambulance to be called. It’s not that people were ignoring symptoms, from what I’ve read. These are people who did have a stable condition and then deteriorated very quickly to their unfortunate death."

Dr. Huyer said the circumstances of these deaths are being reviewed but they have been in a range of ages from people in their 30s up to individuals in their 70s.

"Many have either had a test positive or are associated with people who were test positive, and that they have had symptoms,...not to the extent that were recognized as necessarily requiring hospitalization, and then they were found deceased later in the day or in the morning," he said.

"It's notable in the fact that this is a younger population, this is a population in the community, this is a population who are suffering serious consequences in the form of death in a quicker period of time [than] we saw in the past."

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This comes as the number of people in ICUs in Ontario continues to grow, totalling 806 people across the province, including 588 on a ventilator. There are currently 2,350 people in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19.