Media statement: ONA Saddened by the COVID-19 Death of a Registered Nurse

May 12, 2020

LONDON, May 12, 2020 – The Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) is deeply saddened to report that ONA member Brian Beattie, RN, has died of COVID-19. He worked at Kensington Village, a long-term care home in London.

“I am devastated at the loss of Brian, who was a dedicated RN,” says ONA President Vicki McKenna, RN. “ONA sends our deepest condolences to Brian’s family, friends and his colleagues.”

“This is a tragedy for all of us. Brian was a well-liked and respected registered nurse. He was the definition of dedication, and he considered his colleagues and residents to be his ‘other family.’ He loved the work he did, and he also advocated for his colleagues to have personal protective equipment to keep both them and the residents safe. He will be deeply missed by his colleagues and the residents he cared for.

“This is Nursing Week, a time in which we traditionally celebrate the profession,” McKenna says. “Instead, we are mourning the loss of a caring and skilled registered nurse.”

ONA is providing support to his colleagues and staff. The Ministry of Labour has been called regarding the death and ONA will be working with them throughout the investigation.

“While there will be much discussion about Ontario’s pandemic preparedness and protection of nurses and health-care workers, this is not the time for speculation,” says McKenna. “ONA will not comment further at this time.”

ONA is the union representing more than 68,000 registered nurses and health-care professionals, as well as more than 18,000 nursing student affiliates, providing care in hospitals, long-term care facilities, public health, the community, clinics and industry.