New Brunswick

Saint John nursing home reports third death amid 25 active cases of COVID

Families with loved ones at the Shannex Parkland in Saint John have been informed of a third death at the Lily Court nursing home unit. 

Some families say they’re worried the spread of infection is out of control. 

Officials at Shannex Parkland Saint John have told families of residents there has been a third death at the facility. (Google Maps)

Families with loved ones at the Shannex Parkland in Saint John have been informed of a third death at the Lily Court nursing home unit. 

A memo from Shannex staff circulated late last night after families had been notified earlier Tuesday that two COVID-positive residents at Lily Court had died. 

Wednesday afternoon, a new memo was issued to notify families that the third deceased individual had tested positive for COVID-19 on their latest test, results that were confirmed by Public Health. 

The home is now reporting 25 active cases at Tucker Hall, including 14 residents and 11 employees

One of the new cases was found in Portland Court. The other was found in Lily Court. 

Families consider pulling loved ones out

Louise Mackin is worried the nursing home is not able to control the spread of infection.

Her 92-year-old mother resides in Portland Court.

Louise's 92-year-old mother, Mary Gillen, on her most recent birthday at Shannex Parkland. (submitted by Louise Mackin)

"My biggest fear now is we've had three deaths within a 24-hour period. All of those deaths are on Lily Court and pretty well, I think every resident there is infected.

And the scariest part is this outbreak went from one resident infected on January 4 to 13, 14, maybe even upwards of 20, including staff, within four days."

"And the question people are asking is, is this a different strain? Is this the strain that came out of the U.K.? This one seems to be presenting differently. It seems to be highly contagious, and it seems to be infecting the residents harsher than the last strain."

Mackin said she has contemplated pulling her mother out of the home. 

Louise Mackin and her husband, Kevin Mackin. She's concerned about her mother as COVID-19 cases continue to increase at the Shannex Parkland facility. (Submitted by Louise Mackin)

"There's so many emotions going through all of us, all of the family members, as to what to do."

Robert Gale said the same thought has crossed his mind. He said his sister suggested picking up their 80-year-old mother, Marina, and taking her to a hotel to isolate. 

Gale said he doesn't know if that would really be possible or practical. He says the biggest challenge is his mother's advanced dementia. 


Rachel Cave is a CBC reporter based in Saint John, New Brunswick.


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