2nd worker at Orléans nursing home dies of COVID-19

A second employee at Madonna Care Community in Orléans has died after contracting COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health says.

Number of new cases continues to slowly inch up in Ottawa, according to latest OPH report

Two employees and 43 residents have died at Madonna Care Community, Ottawa Public Health officials say. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

A second employee at Madonna Care Community in Orléans has died after contracting COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health says.

The staff member was a female personal support worker in her 50s, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) said Friday. 

Dr. Vera Etches, the city's medical officer of health, said the employee contracted COVID-19 many weeks ago. The home confirmed she had been hospitalized since April 18 and died Thursday. 

Four staff members at nursing homes in Ottawa-Gatineau have died from the coronavirus so far. 

On Wednesday night, a worker at CHSLD Lionel-Émond in Gatineau died. A personal support worker at the Peter D. Clark long-term care centre in Ottawa died May 19, and another personal support worker at Madonna died in early May.

Madonna Care Community, a nursing home with 160 beds, has also reported 43 resident deaths linked to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 

Union outraged with home

CUPE, which represents workers at Madonna Care Community, said it is frustrated at the situation there.

Candace Rennick, a spokesperson for CUPE, said staff report N95 masks are not readily available at the home — equipment the union wants all home-care workers to have access to.

The Madonna Care Community, a long-term care home in Orléans, has seen dozens of residents and two staff members die from COVID-19, since the start of the pandemic. (Jacques Corriveau/CBC)

"People are run off their feet, working really hard," she said.

Rennick also wants the provincial government to look taking over management of the home.

"This is the only facility in the province where we've had more than one health-care worker death … so I think there's a problem that the government needs to be looking at."

Staff doing 'heroic work' says owner

Sienna Senior Living, the company that runs Madonna, said the worker who died was a valued staff member who leaves behind a family and will be missed.

"We know that our team is doing heroic work every day to care for and protect our residents," said Natalie Gokchenian, a spokesperson for Sienna Senior Living.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked closely with public health authorities and the government to implement all precautions, protocols and directives to protect our staff and residents. We have also ensured that we have adequate supplies of personal protective equipment available for all team members."

Number of new cases in Ottawa remains low 

The number of newly confirmed COVID-19 cases in Ottawa remained in the single digits Friday, as it has for most of the last week. Based on data gathered Thursday, Ottawa Public Health reported seven new cases and no new deaths.

So far, 1,937 people in Ottawa have tested positive for COVID-19 and 240 have died.

In the wider eastern Ontario and western Quebec region, which includes the cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, more than 3,000 people have tested positive for the virus and 324 people have died. The vast majority of cases, more than 2,300, are now classified as resolved.

with files from CBC's Natalia Goodwin

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