KITCHENER -- A person in their 80s has died from COVID-19 in Guelph, the city's first fatality from the virus.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph announced the news on Thursday afternoon.

"I speak on behalf of all of us at WDG Public Health to convey our sincere sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased,” Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, is quoted in the release.

No further information will be provided out of respect for the person's family, the release says.

Dr. Mercer calls this "a tragic reminder" of how dangerous the virus can be.

Guelph Mayor Cam Guthrie addressed the person's death in a video posted to Twitter.

"I just want to first of all, on behalf of council and the city, to send our deepest sympathies and thoughts and prayers to the family involved," he says.

In the video, he stresses the importance that Guelph residents take the advice from public health officials seriously.

"If you wonder why I continue to make videos to say that we have to take physical distancing serious, that we have to make sure that we're only going out of the house for essentials, these are the reasons why."

As of Thursday morning, WDG Public Health was reporting 51 cases of COVID-19. Twenty-seven of those cases are in Guelph.

Of the 51 cases in the area, 11 were new cases confirmed in the 48 hours prior. Five cases had been resolved.

At the time of the update, three people were in intensive care units.