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Alberta sees first frontline worker death to COVID over holidays

January 5, 2021

A healthcare aide at Bethany Riverview continuing-care facility in Calgary became the province’s first healthcare worker to die of COVID-19.

According to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (which represents workers at Bethany Riverview), 61-year-old Joe Marie (Jing) Corral passed away on December, 28th after being infected with the virus at his work - which was in outbreak status.

"I had an opportunity to speak with his daughter," says AUPE Vice President Bobby-Joe Borodey, "she had indicated in that conversation that her father was healthy, so at this point we're not aware of anything pre-existing.

"A loss is tragic at any time of the year but of course you throw into the fact that it happened over the holidays and we are in the midst of a pandemic," she says.

"Members who work in healthcare, members who work on the front line, they know that COVID is real - that the pandemic is real," adds Borodey, "and this passing just brings that to the forefront or shines a light on the fact that they deal with this daily every time they go to work, and when you're working in the midst of a pandemic it's really dangerous".

Corral leaves behind a son in Edmonton and a daughter in Burnaby, B.C.

(Aired Tues. Jan 5/21)