Educators mourn death of educational assistant in Moose Jaw who contracted COVID-19

·1 min read
An educational assistant has died after contracting COVID-19 according to the union of public employees and teacher's federation.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)
An educational assistant has died after contracting COVID-19 according to the union of public employees and teacher's federation. (Evan Mitsui/CBC - image credit)

Educators in Saskatchewan are mourning the loss of an educational assistant in Moose Jaw who died after contracting COVID-19.

"My understanding is she was 36 years old, had a young family, and it's just a completely tragic loss," Patrick Maze, president of the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, told Saskatoon Morning.

Neither Maze nor the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) shared the name of the educational assistant. The union said she worked at King George School, which is a part of the Prairie South School Division.

Maze said the woman was working with a student who required special supports and wasn't always able to wear a face mask.

It was a tragic and unnecessary loss, Maze said.

He's calling on Saskatoon-area school divisions to move to online learning to protect their teachers and stop any others from being lost.

"Special needs students have a right to education, but employees have a right to a safe workspace as well," Maze said. "My heart goes out to the family."

In a statement to CBC News, the director of education for the Prairie South School Division, Tony Baldwin, said he does not have any information to share at this time.

CUPE issued a statement Friday morning about the death, saying the union was "deeply saddened."

"Our thoughts are with her family, friends and co-workers during this difficult time."

The union said COVID-19 has taken an incredible toll on communities and urged people to follow all public health orders.