Health officials unable to confirm London, Ont., teen died from COVID-19

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says it won’t be able to confirm whether Yassin Dabeh died from COVID-19, after the 19-year-old was reported to be the region’s youngest death related to the virus over the weekend.

In a media briefing hosted by the MLHU on Monday, medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie fielded a number questions regarding the cause of the 19-year-old’s death.

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“I think we’re all going to have to be satisfied with the limited information that we currently have,” Mackie told reporters.

“I know there are questions of whether this is somebody who died of COVID or with COVID; unfortunately we won’t get answers to that.”

Mackie noted that the lack of confirmation is not a matter of MLHU withholding information, but rather due to the fact that there won’t be a medical investigation into the death.

“This is in part because the family’s chosen to proceed with the burial and there won’t be an autopsy for that reason,” Mackie said.

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Few other details were available surrounding Dabeh’s death, but Mackie said the 19-year-old did check in at a hospital at some point.

“We know the individual’s identity, who they are in close contact with, we know that it’s somebody who had symptoms and then days later presented to emergency room. Beyond that, we don’t have a lot of information,” he said.

Mackie added that both he and associate medical officer of health Dr. Alex Summers spoke with the coroner on Sunday.

“We won’t be getting additional information and an autopsy will not be performed.”

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Dabeh’s death was reported on Saturday. He was contract cleaner at Middlesex Terrace, a long-term care home in Delaware.

As of Monday, Middlesex Terrace has been under an active COVID-19 outbreak since Dec. 23, according to MLHU.

Dabeh was a Syrian refugee, arriving to Canada with his family in 2016.

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