Health unit confirms first case of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has confirmed the region's first positive COVID-19 case. 

According to a media release issued on Friday evening, a man in his 60s who returned to Windsor after travelling on a Caribbean cruise has been diagnosed. 

The man returned from his trip on March 10, and developed symptoms on March 11. He was tested at the Windsor Regional Hospital assessment and testing centre on March 16.

The man has been self-isolating since he returned, according to the health unit, who added that he was a "close contact" of a family member who tested positive for COVID-19 outside of Windsor-Essex. 

The man is currently recovering at home with mild symptoms. 

"The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is continuing to investigate and monitor all individuals who are at risk of exposure," said Dr. Wajid Ahmed, medical officer of health with WECHU, in the same Friday media release.

"We continue to encourage residents to take appropriate preventative measures to ensure they stay healthy including regularly washing hands with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into tissue and handwashing, disinfecting and most importantly staying home if you are ill."

The news came hours after Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens declared a state of emergency in the city, also closing Devonshire Mall and Tecumseh Mall. 

Residents should contact WECHU if they have fever, cough or difficulty breathing and meet any of the following criteria:

  • You have travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before onset of illness.
  • Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
  • Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled to affected areas within the 14 days prior to their illness onset. 

The health unit recommends that all returning travellers self-isolate for 14 days, avoid work and monitor for symptoms. 

Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 can consult the COVID-19 self-assessment tool on the Ontario government website.