La Loche COVID-19 victim’s family warns others to take the disease seriously

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Suzanne Sylvestre’s grandfather waved at her over FaceTime from his long-term care home in La Loche, Sask. She blew him a kiss and he caught it and held it to his heart.

Joseph Pierre Sylvestre’s care home was already in lockdown on Easter Sunday; that last time they spoke. Four days later on April 16, he tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was immediately moved to a North Battleford hospital.

Ten days later, the 83-year-old died from COVID-19 complications.

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Community Interviews with Moose FM

Joseph Pierre Sylvestre was the first casualty of the novel coronavirus in the far north of the province — now dealing with an outbreak that has been traced back to an oil sands camp in northern Alberta.

“COVID-19 is serious and we have to bring the word out there to our northern people,” Suzanne Sylvestre said in a video posted April 27 and taken in a sparsely populated parking lot of the Eternal Memories funeral home in North Battleford.

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“If you guys don’t want this to happen, standing in line going to see your loved ones,


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