Sixth death reported at facility for vulnerable adults dealing with major COVID-19 outbreak
TORONTO -- A sixth resident at an Ontario facility that supports adults with developmental and physical disabilities has died following a major COVID-19 outbreak.
Nearly all of the residents at Participation House in Markham, Ont. have tested positive for the virus.
On Tuesday, the executive director of the facility confirmed that two more residents have died due to the virus.
“It is with profound sadness we announce the death of two more residents of Participation House Markham,” Shelley Brillinger said. “This brings the total number of deaths from Butternut Lane location to six.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with these families and with all the families who have lost loved ones in recent weeks.”
Brillinger said the families of the two residents have asked for privacy at this time.
Data provided by York Region Public Health shows that 40 of the 42 residents at Participation House have tested positive for COVID-19, including deceased patients. Thirty-eight of the staff have also been diagnosed with the virus.
Participation House has been plagued with a staffing shortage since earlier this month after some members tested positive and others walked off the job.
Speaking on CP24 earlier in the day, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti said that the situation at the facility has improved, but they are still facing significant challenges.
“Through the support of Markham Stouffville Hospital and some agencies coming forward they have certainly been able to increase their staffing but they do still face residents there that are dealing with COVID-19,” he said.
In her statement, Brillinger thanked the community of Markham for their support over the last month.
“We have had an outpouring of goodwill from local businesses, individuals and volunteers. It has meant a great deal during these challenging days making a huge difference in our ability to continue the fight.”
Three residents of Participation House who have died of COVID-19 have been identified by loved ones as 58-year-old Martin Frogley, 53-year-old Patricia “Patty” Baird and 70-year-old Raymond Johnston.