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Calgary woman dies from COVID-19 not knowing she had the virus

Last Updated Apr 17, 2020 at 3:12 pm MDT

File photo ot McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre. (PHOTO: CityNews)

CALGARY – A 91-year-old woman died in a Calgary care home never knowing she had contracted COVID-19.

Rita Owen’s son says he and her care team didn’t tell her about the diagnosis so as not to worry her.

She died on April 3rd at the McKenzie Towne Continuing Care Centre, which has seen a major outbreak.

Michael Owen says his mother was a social butterfly who loved to gossip with friends over tea and play slots at the casino.

He says they went out for pancakes, ate Swiss Chalet and watched a Blue Jays game during his last visit in March. She was recuperating from a broken hip at the time, but was starting to bounce back.

Owen says he doesn’t fault the staff at the care home, many of whom have tested positive for COVID-19 themselves.

He says he wants an investigation into what can be done better in the future if there were to be another sudden staffing shortage.

Owen says it should be up to the Alberta government to provide emergency help.