There have been three more COVID-19-related deaths in the Windsor-Essex region, the public health unit reported Friday.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) described those who died as two men and a woman in their 80s — all residents of long-term care or retirement homes.
Since the pandemic began, 607 people have died after contracting COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex.
WECHU has warned that the burden of COVID-19 in the region is rising.
"We're seeing on average between two and four deaths per week in the health district," Dr. Shanker Nesathurai, the acting medical officer of health for the region, said at a board of health meeting on Thursday.
On Friday, the public health unit also reported that 62 people with COVID-19 are in hospital throughout the region, including two in intensive care.
Across the province, intensive care unit admissions climbed to 214 patients Friday — the highest point in the sixth wave — though overall COVID-19 hospitalizations declined slightly to 1,591. The province also reported 26 more deaths.
Meanwhile, Ontario's chief medical officer of health has advised the government to extend its mask mandate for high-risk indoor settings.
Speaking during a health-care funding announcement in Uxbridge, Ont., on Friday, Health Minister Christine Elliott said Dr. Kieran Moore has formally made his recommendation that the mandate continue and that more details will be made available from his office later today.
The mandate for remaining indoor settings in the province, such as hospitals, long-term care homes, congregate living settings and public transit, was due to expire on April 27.
27 active outbreaks
In Windsor-Essex, there are 27 ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks: 11 in long-term care or retirement homes, seven on hospital wards, eight community outbreaks and one workplace outbreak.
WECHU also reported 149 new high-risk cases of COVID-19, and 409 are active overall. The health unit cautions that case figures may be incomplete due to reporting delay across the province.
As well, the case count is an underestimate because a limited population is eligible for a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in Ontario.