North American stock markets, including the Toronto Stock Exchange, were shut down for about 15 minutes on Monday as panic selling settled in in the wake the spreading COVID-19 virus around the world. There are now 71 confirmed and presumptive cases, across Canada. (Richard Drew/The Associated Press)

Canada records its first death from the COVID-19 virus

Health officials in British Columbia say a man has died of the COVID-19 virus.

The death at the Lynn Valley long-term care centre in North Vancouver is believed to be the first COVID-19 death in Canada.

Officials say the person believed to be the first person to die in Canada of the COVID-19 virus died at this North Vancouver care centre. (Deborah Goble/CBC)

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix announced on the weekend that two elderly residents of the facility had been diagnosed with the virus.

Henry said Monday the diagnoses followed an earlier diagnosis of a worker at the care home, making the cases especially concerning as examples of community transmission.

Henry and Dix described the situation at the care centre as an “outbreak.”

Currently, there are 71 presumptive and confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Canada–22 more than were reported Friday–as the spreading virus affects more and more Canadians–from patients, to athletes, to business people, to stock market punters and brokers.

As the number of cases grows, Canadian manufacturers, already dealing with the after-effects of recent railway blockades, are preparing for possible widespread disruptions as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, especially industries that use Chinese suppliers.

As well, the Toronto Stock Exchange was among the North American markets where trading was halted briefly on Monday as circuit breakers designed to slow down panic selling kicked in within minutes of opening.

Rebecca Johnston, left, celebrated in April after scoring for Canada in its 6-1 victory over host Finland at the 2019 women’s world hockey championship in Espoo. This year’s championship, scheduled to start at the end of this month in Nova Scotia, was cancelled Saturday because of the spreading COVID-19 virus. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto/Lehtikuva via Associated Press)

And two sporting events–the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation women’s world hockey championships scheduled to begin at the end of March and the Arctic Winter Games, set to begin March 15 in Whitehorse, Yukon–were cancelled over the weekend.

Meanwhile, Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann said Monday the provincial government is evaluating whether to allow the world figure skating championships to take place next week in Montreal.

McCann said cancelling the competition has not been ruled out, and a decision will be made as quickly as possible.

As well, Global Affairs is sending a plane to Oakland, California to bring home Canadian passengers who have been aboard a cruise ship where cases of novel coronavirus have occurred.

The Grand Princess has been off the coast of California for days while passengers were tested for COVID-19.

Carrying multiple people who have tested positive for COVID-19, the Grand Princess maintains a holding pattern about 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco, Sunday, March 8, 2020. The cruise ship is scheduled to dock at the Port of Oakland on Monday. (Noah Berger/AP Photo)

Twenty-one people tested positive, but there was no word if that included any of the 237 Canadians on the ship.

The ship was scheduled to dock in Oakland, California on Monday.

Canadian passengers will be flown to CFB Trenton, Ontario where they will be assessed and quarantined for two weeks.

The World Health Organization says more than 100 countries have now reported lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Over 100,000 people have been infected.

With files from CBC (Alex Migdal, Paige Parsons, Janyce McGregor, Monty Mosher, Steve Silva, Danielle d’Entremont), RCI (Marc Montgomery)

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