‘A bright light’: Ontario nurse dies of COVID-19

TORONTO — An Ontario nurse who spent the past 13 years working at an acute care setting in the Greater Toronto Area has died from COVID-19, according to her nursing association.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario (WeRPN) said they were “deeply saddened” to learn of the nurse’s death.

“This RPN [Registered Practical Nurse] was a passionate nurse who was dedicated to always going above and beyond to deliver the best care possible,” the statement read.

“She was described by colleagues as a bright light who left a lasting impression on all those she worked with.”

The association didn’t identify the nurse or where she worked in the GTA.

Dianne Martin, the CEO of WeRPN, told CTV News that she didn’t know the nurse personally, but her colleagues described her as a “wonderful compassionate nurse who took great care of her patients, but also who was so loving and protective of her own nursing team.”

Martin said the association isn’t aware of the circumstances around how the nurse contracted COVID-19.

“But it would be my hope that the organization that she worked for, as well as the provincial government, would make all of that information available to us so that we can know where we’re requiring improvements and what the risks are for nurses,” she said.

Martin said this is the second death of a nurse that the association is aware of during the pandemic. She said another nurse died by suicide.

“It has been a really very, very tough time for nurses,” she said.

The CEO pleaded with Canadians to stay home and take precautions to protect health-care workers on the frontlines.

“You can do so much to help prevent a tragedy like this,” she said. “It’s not over… we are still at risk.”

With files from CTV News’ Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip

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