The Pelham Voice reports that a Pelham councillor died of COVID after attending a meeting that was also attended by Councillor Ron Kore, who was exhibiting respiratory symptoms at the meeting and has subsequently been tested positive for the virus. Meanwhile employees of the Sobeys supermarket in Fonthill say Kore, who is the store franchisee, continued to come into work while exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory illness.
The Voice reports that Kore’s respiratory symptoms were clear as far back as March 23, when he attended a Pelham Town Council meeting inside Town Hall. The Voice has learned that some staff present in the room were alarmed that Kore would attend the meeting while ill, yet they did not speak out at the time.
At the meeting, which lasted nearly four hours, Kore was one of three councillors in attendance, along with Councillor Marianne Stewart and Councillor Mike Ciolfi. Councillors Wink, Hildebrandt, and Haun attended by teleconference. Kore and Ciolfi sat approximately eight feet apart on the same side of the room. Within days, Ciolfi developed increasingly debilitating symptoms of illness, at one point so severe that he was virtually unable to speak. Ciolfi tested positive for COVID-19 during the week of April 6. He died overnight Sunday, April 12. A cause of death has not been announced.
Kore has not responded to multiple requests for comment.
Sobeys corporate staff arrived at the store Wednesday, and the store was shut down last night for deep cleaning. A Sobeys representative said Kore was at home in self-isolation following testing positive for COVID. According to the Voice, one long-time employee said that they were experiencing significant stress. “I’m even wondering if I should be tested. Could I have used the same phone as Ron? Could I be carrier? So many questions on something that could have been avoided had our boss done his due diligence and stayed home the minute he got sick.” The source and the other staff speaking to the Voice asserted that Kore dismissed his illness as a minor cold.