Markham resident dies for vulnerable adults after contracting COVID-19

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An Ontario facility that supports adults with intellectual or physical disabilities, where the majority of residents have contracted COVID-19, experienced its first death related to the epidemic.

The death was confirmed by Markham Stouffville Hospital in a statement on behalf of the family.

According to the family, Martin Frogley, a resident of Participation House, died Wednesday morning. The establishment confirmed that Frogley had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

“He passed peacefully listening to music he loved. He was a wonderful son, uncle and the best brother you could ask for, “said the family. “Thank you to all of the staff at Maison for participating in their exceptional care and to the staff at Markham Stouffville Hospital for making things comfortable for him in his final days.”

On Tuesday evening, 37 of the 42 residents of Participation House tested positive for COVID-19. Twelve staff members who worked at the facility were also diagnosed with the virus.

Three residents have been transferred to Markham Stouffville Hospital and another resident, who was removed from the facility last week, is also at the hospital treated for COVID-19.

Participation House has faced a staff shortage since the outbreak of the new coronavirus was declared at the facility on Thursday evening.

Executive Director Shelly Brillinger said their staff has been “slowly sinking” in the past few weeks. On a normal day, before the outbreak, Brillinger said the facility would employ eight personal support workers (PSW) and one nurse per shift.

Speaking on Monday, she said there was a change where only two PSWs and an additional nurse were available.

Markham Stouggville Hospital said it had assembled a “rapid response team” to support Participation House, including patient care and HR support to meet staffing needs. They also provide meals to residents as well as personal protective equipment.

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