Windsor-Essex hits 'grim milestone' as COVID-19 death toll tops 500

·2 min read
Windsor-Essex has had 501 people die due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Currently, there are 49 people in hospital with the disease.  (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)
Windsor-Essex has had 501 people die due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. Currently, there are 49 people in hospital with the disease. (Chris Ensing/CBC - image credit)

Windsor-Essex has surpassed 500 COVID-19 deaths, according to recent data from the health unit.

In a news release Friday, the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) said four more people — two women in their 70s and two men in their 70s from the community — have died from the disease.

In total, 501 people in Windsor-Essex have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020.

In a statement Friday, Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said this is a "grim milestone" for the community.

"When the pandemic was first declared in March 2020, I don't think any of us expected to still be counting cases and marking these tragic losses of life almost two years later," Dilkens' statement reads.

"These numbers represents parents, children, wives, husbands, fathers, brothers and sisters who lost a battle nobody ever wanted to wage."

He encouraged people to get vaccinated, along with a booster shot, and continue to follow public health measures.

Community outbreaks rise

There are currently 49 people in hospital with the disease across the region. According to Windsor Regional Hospital's website, it has 44 of these patients and six are in the ICU.

The number of outbreaks in the community has significantly grown in recent days.

According to WECHU's website, there are 14 community outbreaks — 13 of which are in "congregate settings."

There are also 11 long-term care and retirement homes in outbreak.

Hotel Dieu Grace Healthcare is also still experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak.

The health unit is reporting 359 new cases Friday. Across the region, 2,644 are currently active.

Due to changes to testing eligibility and case and contact tracing, the health unit is cautioning that daily confirmed case counts will continue to be much lower than the actual number of people dealing with the illness in the community.

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