Another resident of a long-term care home in Bobcaygeon, Ont. has died as a result of COVID-19 as the death toll for the facility climbs to 23.

The news comes a day after Pinecrest Nursing Home confirmed an additional two COVID-19 deaths at the residence.

“Our staff continue to ensure quality care and a safe environment for all residents,” administrator Mary Carr said in a statement issued Sunday morning. “All staff are wearing full personal protective equipment at all times while on the premises.”

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus at the 65-bed facility began on March 18 and also claimed the life of Jean Pollock, the wife of an infected resident who visited daily, but did not live at the residence.

On Friday, the provincial government issued a temporary order under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act to assist long-term care facilities in their response to COVID-19. According to the order, retirement homes and other long-term care facilities will have more flexibility to recruit and reassign staff to address the impact of the virus. Facilities will also be able to focus more resources toward implementing protocols and procedures put in place to protect residents.

‘It baffles me and terrifies me’: Pinecrest resident’s son speaks out

Derrick Jensen’s 87-year-old mother Kathleen Luckasavitch is a resident at Pinecrest and said that watching the situation unfold from afar is both baffling and terrifying.

“She’s been isolated in her room for a about a month now, I don’t think she really grasps the severity of it because she hasn’t been out of the room to see who’s missing,” Jensen said.

Jensen last saw his mother, who suffers from lung problems and mild delirium at times, before the facility was closed to visitors and residents were isolated to their rooms. However, Jensen says that after those measures were put in place, another resident was moved into her semi-private room.

“Something just didn’t happen the way it was supposed to,” Jensen said.

In recent days, Jensen says that more measures have been put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the residence, including outsourcing meal preparation and cleaning staff, to which he thanks the provincial government.

Despite that, Jensen says he worries about how his mother will react after learning about how bad the situation at Pinecrest really is.

“That’s going to be a shocker for her when she sees that half the people are gone.”

“We kind of downplay things as to not upset her. She knows, but the severity of this thing hasn’t sunk in. When this ends, she’ll ask ‘where did everybody go?’”