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2nd healthcare worker dies of coronavirus at Ottawa-area long term care home

Patient transport attendants disinfect a stretcher after working at the Madonna Care Community in Ottawa, a long-term care facility experiencing an outbreak of COVID-19, on Sunday, May 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

A second personal support worker (PSW) has died of COVID-19 at an Ottawa-area long-term care home, Ottawa Public Health said Friday.

The PSW worked at Madonna Care Home in Orleans.

“I would like to begin by expressing my condolences to the family and friends of the personal support worker who recently passed away from the Madonna Care Home,” said Ottawa public health’s Dr. Vera Etches in a statement Friday. “Our thoughts are with you.”

Earlier in May, an employee died of coronavirus.

Sienna Living’s president and CEO said they were devastated to hear of the death of a second employee.

“We were all devastated to learn of the loss of a member of our team at the Madonna Care Community. She was a caring, dedicated PSW who will be sadly missed by her colleagues, residents, and families at Madonna,” said Lois Cormack, president, and CEO in a blog post. “This is an exceptionally difficult time to hear this devastating news and is a tremendous loss for the Madonna team who have been through so much during the pandemic.”

Ontario’s official opposition also issued a statement expressing their condolences to the family.

“I want to express my sorrow at the loss of this worker, and send my heartfelt condolences to their family, friends, and loved ones,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “This worker will be remembered by a grieving province, and they will be deeply missed.”   

The Canadian Union of Public Employees, which represents workers at the facility, has called for more measures to support healthcare workers.

“This is another devastating loss for CUPE Local 2199, where two members have now passed away due to COVID-19,” the union said on their website. “In the wake of this terrible news, we recommit to fighting for better protections and standards for all workers in long-term care.”

With files from the Canadian Press