Windsor

24-year-old migrant worker in critical condition with COVID-19

Several Essex County migrant workers have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

Six COVID-19 positive workers admitted to hospital after being checked on, says CEO

Windsor Regional Hospital CEO and president David Musyj said migrant workers were visited by Leamington hospital staff, and one man is in critical care following the check-in. (Amy Dodge/CBC)

Several Essex County migrant workers have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

The news comes days after the death of a 31-year-old farm worker from Mexico.

The Leamington hospital, Erie Shores HealthCare, went to hotels where COVID-19-positive workers are staying in self-isolation, to check on their condition. 

After a board meeting, Windsor Regional Hospital president and CEO David Musyj said he is staying abreast of the initiative, and said six workers have now been admitted to hospital.

"One of the six who wasn't visited by Erie Shores, but simultaneously came to Windsor Regional Hospital, is a 24-year-old, and he is not doing well. He's now in critical care."

Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed said Thursday he had not yet received the autopsy report on the 31-year-old who died Saturday. 

Migrant worker youngest death due to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex

The 31-year-old man had no underlying health issues, said Ahmed, and is the youngest person to die in our region from the disease. 

Steve Laurie is responsible for the facilitation of temporary foreign workers to Woodside Greenhouses Inc., the pepper farm in Kingsville, Ont. where the man worked. 

Laurie, who said the man's name is Bonifacio Eugenio-Romero, said he took the man to the hospital on May 21 for treatment and a COVID-19 test after he said he had a fever. 

By May 23, the test came back showing the man had COVID-19, said Laurie, and all migrant workers who the man worked closely with were put into a hotel. Laurie said the man was put into a room by himself.

On May 25, Laurie said the health unit tested the 22 other workers at the facility. Of those, two came back positive, two need to be retested and the remaining were negative.

By Saturday, Eugenio-Romero had trouble breathing and was taken to hospital by EMS, both the health unit and Laurie confirmed.

Laurie said 30 minutes later, the man died, leaving his co-workers upset and worried. 

"They're rattled," he said. "It's been a wake-up call for a lot of them."

Clarifications

  • Windsor Regional Hospital reached out to CBC to clarify the age of the migrant worker. He was initially reported to be 25 years old. This has now been changed to 24 years old.
    Jun 05, 2020 4:12 PM ET

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