'Tragedy for all of us': Ontario nurse working in long-term care home dies of COVID-19
TORONTO -- A registered nurse who worked at a long-term care home in London, Ont. has died of COVID-19.
The Ontario Nurses Association said in a release Tuesday evening that registered nurse Brian Beattie has died.
“This is a tragedy for all of us,” ONA President Vicki McKenna said in a news release. “Brian was a well-liked and respected registered nurse. He was the definition of dedication, and he considered his colleagues and residents to be his 'other family.'”
Beattie worked at Kensington Village in London, a licensed home with around 126 beds that has been experiencing an outbreak of the virus. According to the home, Beattie had been off work and seeking treatment after testing positive for COVID-19.
A spokesperson with the ministry of health confirmed that Beattie is the first Ontario nurse to die of the virus.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of a nurse in London, Ontario,” Minister of Long-Term Care Merrilee Fullerton said in a statement to CP24. “It is heartbreaking to learn of this loss of life, especially a nurse on International Nurses Day. Words cannot express my sincere appreciation for all our healthcare heroes working tirelessly every day to stop COVID-19 and to keep us all safe.”
According to the ONA statement, Beattie “loved the work he did” and had advocated for his colleagues to have personal protective equipment.
In a statement, Kensington Village said that residents and staff are in mourning.
“This death is felt deeply by our residents and our care team, and we mourn together as a community,” the statement read.
The home said it has been grappling with an outbreak of the virus since April 3, with eight staff members testing positive. Seven of those staff members have completely recovered, the home said.
Five residents have passed away at the home and there are currently three active resident cases.
In their statement, Kensington Village said the safety of residents and staff has been their “number one priority.”
The facility said it has been isolating residents to their rooms, providing in-room tray service for all meals, and monitoring symptoms for all staff and residents at least twice daily.
“Our staff continue to have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to provide the highest quality care to our residents, and all staff are required to wear PPE at all times as directed by Public Health,” the statement read.
The ONA said the Ministry of Labour has been called in to investigate Beattie’s death.
"While there will be much discussion about Ontario's pandemic preparedness and protection of nurses and health-care workers, this is not the time for speculation," McKenna said in the release. "ONA will not comment further at this time."