Alberta sees first frontline worker death to COVID over holidays

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)

Jeannette Rocher

Jeannette Rocher

After an internship with the CBC, Jeannette embarked on her journalism career by moving overseas to take a job on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. While overseas she covered stories in Fiji, Guam and Japan including the 2011 tsunami that hit Japan and its surrounding islands. She covered a mass shooting, an Earth quake, the disappearance of two little girls, murder cases and other huge court cases. In 2013 she moved to Alberta where she covered the devastating floods of High River and Medicine Hat for CTV News. She then went on to produce and host Go! Southern Alberta for Shaw TV.

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