EDMONTON -- An Alberta health-care worker died after contracting COVID-19, Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Monday.

Sources told CTV News Joe Corral, a 61-year-old health-care aid at Bethany Riverview in Calgary, died on Dec. 28.

He's the first health-care worker to die of COVID-19 in Alberta since the pandemic began.

“I’m deeply saddened to hear that an Alberta health-care worker has passed away as a result of COVID-19,” he said.

“I want to extend my condolences to this person’s family, friends, loved ones and colleagues at this difficult time."

Corral leaves behind a son who lives in Edmonton and a daughter in Burnaby, British Columbia, the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) said.

“Our family is truly and eternally grateful for the support and love everyone has shown during this difficult time," a family spokesperson said in the AUPE release. "We cannot thank enough those whom have offered their condolences, resources and financial support.”

The family launched a GoFundMe to cover funeral and other costs.

With files from Brenna Rose