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MPP recovering from COVID-19 believes she contracted virus at Queen's Park

Last Updated Apr 5, 2021 at 1:35 pm EDT

The statue of Sir John A. MacDonald at Queen's Park in Toronto in Aug. 9, 2018. CITYNEWS/Craig Wadman

The Beaches-East York MPP says Queen's Park is the only place she went for the two weeks prior to testing positive

The New Democrat said she's had one dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

A provincial politician from Toronto currently recovering from COVID-19 thinks she picked up the virus at Queen’s Park.

Beaches-East York MPP Dr. Rima Berns-McGown told 680 NEWS the Ontario legislature is the only place she went for the two weeks prior to testing positive, where she was inside without a mask.

The New Democrat said she’s had one dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine but the virus has still “slammed her into the boards,” although she added “the vaccine did its job” by keeping her out of the hospital.

“Nobody should go to work knowing that there is a good chance of getting sick and passing it on to their families,” Berns-McGown said a thread of tweets on Monday morning.

“We need to listen to ICU doctors like Dr. Michael Warner whose sickest patients are essential workers and their families. We need to pivot and to vaccinate essential workers, teachers — included — and we need to do it fast.”

Dr. Warner, who is head of critical care at Michael Garron Hospital, said he has a patient in his early 30s in his ICU right now who works in the financial services industry and wasn’t allowed to work from home.

He said the man was completely healthy before getting infected at work.

“He shared an office with a co-worker. This co-worker did not adhere to public health restrictions, did not wear his mask consistently, and gave him a variant of COVID-19,” he said.

“My patient required intubation. My patient got a blood clot. My patient was eventually extubated but had COVID Encephalopathy, a brain dysfunction of COVID-19.”

Berns-McGown said her family doctor told her that the essential workers she treats are infecting their entire families.

The MPP is calling on the Ford government to pivot and vaccinate essential workers, including teachers as well as mandate paid sick days and time off to get the shot.

She said those moves are the key to ending the frustrating cycle of lockdowns.