Windsor-Essex in need of extra morgue space as COVID-19 death toll climbs

·1 min read

Windsor Regional Hospital is using a temporary morgue outside one of its locations and officials say they also have a Windsor hockey arena available as a backup as the death toll mounts from COVID-19.

In total, Windsor Regional Hospital has 24 spaces in it's morgue, but as of Tuesday only four remained, according to hospital CEO David Musyj. With the limited remaining space, Musyj said the hospital using a temporary trailer outside the hospital's Met campus that has 36 additional spaces.

The trailer was one that it occasionally used last year and are now using again as the region is at the height of the second COVID-19 wave. So far, two people are in the temporary morgue.

In the last week, 41 people have died from COVID-19 and 102 others are in hospital.

Since the first COVID-19 wave, Musyj said it has worked with funeral homes to "safely expedite" the bodies out from the hospital morgue and are continuing to do so.

As for the hockey arena, Musyj said that in February of last year, it worked with the city to lease the space should it be needed, but he hopes they won't have to use it.

"I pray that we don't have to go there, but it's there, we're ready and we've taken the steps to be prepared," he said.