KITCHENER -- Huron Perth Public Health says it's been notified of the death of a COVID-19 patient.

The person was a man in his 60s, who had tested positive earlier this month and was hospitalized at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance's Stratford General Hospital site.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of this man’s passing and extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends. We ask everyone to recognize the seriousness of this virus and how important it is to limit its spread," says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth, in a news release.

This is the first COVID-19 death reported in Huron Perth Public Health's boundaries.

Public health says the man's close contacts have been in self-isolation since he was hospitalized.

The health unit reported seven new cases of COVID-19 over the weekend, bringing the total in that region to nine.

According to the news release, one of these was in Perth County at Hillside Manor, a long-term care home near Sebringville.

"This past weekend has reinforced that we are now seeing local spread across both Huron and Perth counties, a similar pattern to what has been showing up across Ontario," says Dr. Klassen.

"Please continue to practice physical distancing, limit contact with others and only go out to buy supplies when it is necessary. What we do right now will affect how the local situation develops over the coming days and weeks."

The other new cases include four in Huron County and two more in Perth County.

One of the people who tested positive for the virus in Huron County has been hospitalized at London Health Sciences Centre.