Chatham-Kent woman becomes area's second COVID-19 death

A Chatham-Kent woman in her 50s is the region's second COVID-19 death, a spokesperson for the health unit confirmed Wednesday. Meanwhile the region's two hospitals are closed to non-essential visitors Wednesday after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

Chatham and Wallaceburg hospitals close to non-essential visitors

The Chatham-Kent woman died at Windsor Regional Hospital, says the Chatham-Kent health unit. (Tom Addison/CBC)

A Chatham-Kent woman in her 50s is the region's second COVID-19 death, a spokesperson for the health unit confirmed Wednesday. 

The woman died at Windsor Regional Hospital. 

"CK Public Health provides our condolences to the family and friends of this individual," said a spokesperson for the health unit.

The region's first death was at the beginning of April and was a woman in her 80s who was considered a travel-related case. 

As of Wednesday, Chatham Kent Public Health reported 299 cases for the region, with 220 recovered. Three people are in hospital and one workplace is in outbreak. 

The region entered Stage 3 of reopening July 17. 

Hospital cancels non-essential visitations 

Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, which runs the area's hospitals, has cancelled visiting hours for all non-essential visitors at its Chatham and Wallaceburg sites after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, a press release from the hospital stated Wednesday. 

The hospital release also said the decision was made to "ensure the safety of patients, staff, physicians and the wider community" especially "with the increase in positive cases locally."

Limited visitation is allowed for essential visitors, who are required to check in to the nurses' station for a screening. 

The hospital said visitors must wear a mask at all times in the hospital and will be required to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE). 

"There are no exceptions to this and individuals who do not follow PPE requirements will be asked to leave the facility," the statement said. 

Visitors allowed in the facility include those visiting a patient who:

  • Is actively dying.
  • Requires support (inpatient or outpatient).
  • Is 18 years old or younger.
  • Is an emergency department patient who is "at imminent risk of dying" or has cognitive or mobility issues.
  • Is a woman in labour or post-partum.
A close up of a person's arm, in a yellow sleeve with a blue latex glove, touching the chest of someone lying on a hospital bed.
Only essential visitors will be allowed to enter Chatham-Kent Health Alliance facilities. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

The hospital said exceptions are only considered "in rare and truly exceptional circumstances" and that family members looking for an exception to the visitation policy should contact the health alliance's patient relations department. 

The hospital said it also requests that only essential items be delivered to patients, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, toothbrushes and hygiene items. Non-essential items will not be accepted.