New Brunswick's first COVID-19 death linked to nursing home outbreak
A laboratory technical assistant at LifeLabs, handles a specimen to be tested for COVID-19 after scanning its barcode upon receipt at the company's lab, in Surrey, B.C., on March 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, June 4, 2020 10:51AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 4, 2020 2:57PM EDT
FREDERICTON - The first person in New Brunswick to die from COVID-19 is being remembered as a hard-working man whose top concern was taking care of his family.
Daniel Ouellette, 84, died Thursday morning after contracting the novel coronavirus in the long-term care home where he lived.
Michel Ouellette said his father had Alzheimer's disease and had been living in the Manoir de la Vallee in Atholville, N.B., before being taken to hospital by ambulance on Sunday, unconscious and having trouble breathing.
“He went downhill since then. This morning he left us,” Ouellette said in an interview.
“He was the No. 1 father that everyone would want in their life. He took care of his family for all his life,” he said.
The residence in Atholville had been linked to eight COVID-19 cases among staff and residents as of Thursday.
They are part of a cluster that has emerged in northern New Brunswick that has infected 15 people in the province and one across the border in Quebec. The outbreak is believed to have begun after a doctor travelled to Quebec and did not self-isolate upon return to New Brunswick.
Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard said Wednesday that five residents and three employees at the Manoir de la Vallee have tested positive..
Bruce Macfarlane, a public health spokesman, confirmed there had been a COVID-19 related death in the province and said the premier and chief medical officer of health would comment later Thursday.
Ouellette said his father worked at a variety of manual labour jobs during his career, including for the parks and recreation department in Campbellton, for a paving company and for a construction company.
He had five children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Ouellette said his father was always happy, joking and lively.
“Even at 84, when they had music at the Manoir de la Vallee, he was dancing with everyone,” Ouellette said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2020.