Ottawa Citizen reporter Elizabeth Payne honoured by Ontario nurses for COVID-19 coverage

A story about the sorrow and trauma felt by staff at a long-term care home during early days of the COVID-19 pandemic has earned Ottawa Citizen reporter Elizabeth Payne honours from the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario.

The story — “I have cried every day: In the eye of the COVID-19 crisis at Almonte Country Haven” — was honoured in the RNAO’s print category, with the award to be presented at the association’s virtual annual general meeting on June 25.

Payne has led the Citizen’s coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic and was among the first journalists in Canada to report on an emerging “mystery virus” in Wuhan, China. In all, Payne’s byline has appeared on more than 300 COVID-19 stories.

Last year, Payne was among a Citizen team honoured by the Canadian Association of Journalists for their reporting on the Westboro bus crash. In 2019, Payne and the paper received the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Provincial Media Award for “coverage that promotes mental health issues provincially, reduces stigma associated with mental illness and broadens the public’s understanding of mental health and addictions issues.”

You can read more about Elizabeth, her work, and the award, here.