FREDERICTON — Public health officials in New Brunswick reported Tuesday that two seniors living in a retirement facility where a COVID-19 outbreak had been declared have died from the disease.
Health officials said the deaths earlier in the day involved one person in their 70s and one in their 80s, both residents of a Saint John, N.B., nursing home.
Premier Blaine Higgs and chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell offered their condolences to the families in a statement.
"I join New Brunswickers in offering my heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of these two people," said Russell, who was in Woodstock Tuesday and not available for an interview.
The president of Shannex, which operates the Parkland Saint John complex where the deceased lived also reached out to families and the public.
"I have had the opportunity to speak with the family, and there are no words that can ease the pain they are feeling,” Jason Shannon said in a statement posted on the company's website.
“We know, even in normal circumstances, the void this leaves, but it’s worse in a pandemic because they could not spend quality time with their loved one in their final days. This is very difficult for the family and it is difficult for our team members who delivered their care.”
He said other residents who have tested positive are being cared for. Health officials announced last week that they were dealing with 15 new cases of COVID-19 in the residence.
The province has reported a total of 11 deaths linked to the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.
New Brunswick reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, one of which is connected to an elementary school in New Maryland.
The Moncton, Saint John, Fredericton and Edmundston regions each have four new cases while one new case is in the Campbellton region.
The province now has 219 active reported cases of COVID-19.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 12, 2021
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press