COVID-19 Chronology

On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.

Throughout the pandemic - and even before it was official - the WRH team has gone above and beyond to prevent the spread of infection and keep patients, staff and the community safe.

JANUARY 22, 2020 - WRH COVID-19 website launched to keep the public informed after the coronavirus is first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province.  VISIT SITE

MARCH 4, 2020 - WRH President and CEO, David Musyj hosts a town hall along with Dr. Wajid Ahmed, Medical Officer of Health, on internal and external COVID-19 preparations.

MARCH 7, 2020 - COVID-19 secure access website launched for staff. Includes regularly updated information about the hospital's COVID-19 Pandemic Plan and current situation. 

MARCH 11, 2020 - World Health Organization declares a global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic.

MARCH 13, 2020 - President and CEO David Musyj and VP Karen Riddell provide an update to WRH staff on the efforts to protect the public, patients, and staff from the potential transmission of COVID-19.  VIEW SPEAKING NOTES

MARCH 14, 2020 - Visitor restrictions are introduced in an effort to protect the public, patients, and our staff from the potential transmission of the COVID-19 virus. READ MORE

MARCH 15, 2020 - Minister of Health asks Ontario Hospitals to take a planned approach to ramping down elective surgeries.  READ MORE

MARCH 15, 2020 - WRH staff encouraged to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. READ MORE

MARCH 16, 2020 - Assessment Centre opens at WRH Ouellette Campus with 200 patients in the first two days and more than 90 of them are tested/swabbed.  READ MORE

MARCH 17, 2020 - Entrances are limited at both campuses and active screening of all individuals entering WRH facilities begins.  READ MORE

MARCH 17, 2020 - The first WRH inpatient was swabbed and later tested positive for COVID-19. 

MARCH 19, 2020 - In accordance with a Ministry of Health directive to Ontario hospitals, WRH and Erie Shores HealthCare begin a staged "ramping down" of non-urgent, elective/scheduled care and procedures, as well as ambulatory clinics.  READ MORE

MARCH 19, 2020 - Bedside Manor and hospital gym facilities close at both locations. 

MARCH 20, 2020 - First positive cares of COVID-19 identified in Windsor-Essex. 

MARCH 20, 2020 - Visitor restrictions are introduced as part of an ongoing effort to restrict the potential spread of COVID-19.  READ MORE

MARCH 20, 2020 - Health Science libraries at both campuses close until further notice.

MARCH 20, 2020 - Ronald McDonald House closes to new visitors.

MARCH 23, 2020 - Cashier offices close at both campuses. Payments still accepted by phone, mail, or online.

MARCH 23, 2020 - Fracture clinic moves to a new, temporary location at the ARC Clinic at Tecumseh Rd. and Walker Rd.

MARCH 24, 2020 - Area nurses whose licenses have lapsed, or are registered in other Canadian provinces outside of Ontario or American jurisdictions, are encouraged to register for an expedited process to practice in local hospitals.  READ MORE

MARCH 26, 2020 - The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in a hospitalized patient in Windsor-Essex announced.  READ MORE

MARCH 29, 2020 - To allow people, who want to isolate themselves from family members, the opportunity to secure temporary accommodations is offered thanks to the generous support of Farhi Holdings Inc. and the WFCU.

MARCH 31, 2020 - Facilities manager, John Faber highlights the work his team has been doing to adapting patient spaces into negative air pressure rooms to prevent the spread of infection. In total, they created some 40 additional isolation areas at both campuses and went from 27 negative pressure rooms to 58 in total using the isolation rooms.

MARCH 31, 2020 - In response to the increasing demand for information, WRH begins posting daily online updates including the number of current patients in the hospital with COVID-19.  READ MORE

APRIL 2, 2020 - WRH and St. Clair College reach an agreement to transform the school's SportsPlex into a field hospital for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.  READ MORE

APRIL 6, 2020 - WRH introduces a process to help families connect to loved ones through FaceTime while they are in the hospital.  READ MORE

APRIL 8, 2020 - As a number of probable and positive COVID-19 patients in the hospital and to further reduce the opportunity for transmission of the virus, further visitor restrictions are introduced.  READ MORE

APRIL 18, 2020 - WRH opens the field hospital with the first patients arriving from Heron Terrace.  READ MORE

APRIL 20, 2020 - WRH Staff asked to consider volunteering to support operations at Long Term Care facilities by working in the homes while remaining WRH employees.

APRIL 22, 2020 - Province mandates mass testing in all long-term-care homes. A team with representatives from EMS, WRH, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Erie Shores HealthCare, and Public Health are performing approximately 700 swabs a day in these settings.

MAY 2, 2020 - Medical and municipal leaders discuss the next steps in the COVID-19 recovery during a Facebook Live Townhall.

MAY 7, 2020 - Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care releases A MEASURED APPROACH TO PLANNING FOR SURGERIES AND PROCEDURES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. Following this, each hospital began developing plans for a gradual and incremental implementation of carefully thought-out resumption of scheduled cases.  READ MORE

MAY 22, 2020 - WRH begins universal masking for staff. All staff, volunteers, and affiliates are now required to wear masks in public areas of the hospital or workspaces where others could be present.

MAY 24, 2020 - Premier encourages ALL Ontarians whether they are symptomatic or asymptomatic, to get tested if they wish.

MAY 26, 2020 - Windsor Regional Hospital is expanding the number of hours that our COVID-19 Assessment Centre is open to accommodate high volumes of individuals seeking a swab test for COVID-19.  READ MORE

MAY 26, 2020 - Mass swabbing of hospital staff begins. Of the 1300+ employees swabbed about 0.2% test positive.  READ MORE

MAY 29, 2020 - Mobile screening app launched for staff. Staff can now get prescreened before arriving at work to save time and paper.

MAY 29, 2020 - In response to low ED volumes, residents reminded that local EDs remain safe places for acute care services and are encouraged to seek Urgent and Emergency Care when needed.  READ MORE

MAY 30, 2020 - Amended visitor policy in effect allowing patients to have ONE essential visitor visit once per day in one specified time slot with some exceptions which are identified below.  READ MORE

JUNE 1, 2020 - Gradual and incremental resumption of surgeries and other services postponed because of COVID-19 begins.  READ MORE

JUNE 2, 2020 - University Researchers offer free counseling to all staff.  READ MORE

JUNE 4, 2020 - Hours reduced at the Assessment Centre due to lower evening volumes of people seeking a swab test.  READ MORE

JUNE 6, 2020 - Multi-partner plan for mass testing thousands of migrant workers and other vulnerable settings announced following the death of a second migrant worker.  READ MORE

JUNE 13, 2020 - WRH announces that the final patients have left the "field hospital" at St. Clair College and returned safely to their home at Heron Terrace.  READ MORE

JUNE 16, 2020 - Public's patience requested when it comes to the rescheduling of hundreds of surgical procedures that were postponed when capacity restrictions were put in place in March.  READ MORE

JUNE 19, 2020 - The death of a patient in the ICU marks the 23 COVID-19 related death at WRH and the first time since March 26, 2020, that there have been no confirmed COVID-19 patients at WRH.  READ MORE

JUNE 22, 2020 - Testing was extended in a pilot form to an "On-Farm" trial to test agri-food workers at a local volunteer Greenhouse operations.  READ MORE

JUNE 27, 2020 - WRH contributes to the Miracle Day Campaign to help those in need during the pandemic.  READ MORE

JULY 9, 2020 - WRH adjusts its COVID-19 Assessment Centre Hours of Operation due to steady high volume.  READ MORE

JULY 27, 2020 - WRH has received approval from Ontario Health to open a second COVID-19 Assessment Centre to test individuals for the virus.  READ MORE

JULY 28, 2020 - WRH raises ‘Heroes Work Here’ banners outside of both campuses, the cancer centre and renal centre.  READ MORE

AUGUST 24 - 25, 2020 -  WRH opens a two-day drive-thru testing blitz at the St. Clair College SportsPlex.  READ MORE

AUGUST 25, 2020 -  Ontario Premier Doug Ford's visits Winds or and the trip left him with no doubts about the top priority for this region moving into the future - an acute care hospital.  READ MORE

AUGUST 25, 2020 - A successful first day for the COVID-19 drive-thru testing blitz outside of the St. Clair College SportsPlex as 400 people were swabbed.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 2, 2020 -  Windsor Regional Hospital, through the support and approval of Ontario Health, begins providing swab tests for COVID-19 inside the St. Clair College SportsPlex, providing our community with another option for testing for the virus.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 8, 2020 -  Windsor Regional Hospital Met Campus reconfigures its lobby and entrance to improve flow and staff into the hospital.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 21, 2020 -  Work begins on the new Assessment Centre at the Met Campus.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 -  Changes implemented to the entrance and lobby of the Ouellette Campus to improve patient and staff flow into the hospital.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 22, 2020 - The newly renovated Fracture Clinic opens at the Met Campus after it was relocated at the start of the pandemic.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 28,2020 - The province launches its largest flu immunization campaign in Ontario history.  READ MORE

SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 -  A new mural is unveiled at the corner of Tecumseh Road and Walker Road to pay tribute to frontline healthcare workers featuring WRH Dr. Eli Malus and nurse Jamie Osborn.  READ MORE

OCTOBER 4, 2020 - In compliance with new provincial legislation, WRH Assessment Centres stop taking walk- ins and move to an appointment-based system.  READ MORE

OCTOBER 19, 2020 -  In an effort to move visitors through the screening process quicker, WRH introduces online screening for visitors.  READ MORE

October 23, 2020 -  One-hour COVID-19 testing equipment is set up at the Ouellette Campus that allows testing for inpatients suspected of having COVID.  READ MORE

OCTOBER 24, 2020 -  WRH reduces COVID-19 Assessment Centre hours at the St. Clair SportsPlex due to reduced volumes.  READ MORE

OCTOBER 30, 2020 -  WRH closes the COVID-19 Assessment Centre at St. Clair SportsPlex and moves all testing to the Ouellette Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre.  READ MORE

NOVEMBER 8, 2020 -  Nursing students participating in clinical placements at WRH test positive for COVID-19.  READ MORE

NOVEMBER 12, 2020 -  WRH extends online screening tool to patients so they can screen before they arrive at the hospital.  READ MORE

NOVEMBER 18, 2020 -  WRH launches Coping with COVID, an interactive, live webcast where individuals can ask questions and get answers from experts in real time.  

November 27, 2020 -  Windsor-Essex County Health Unit announces an investigation into a potential cluster of cases at WRH Ouellette Campus and Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. Two days later the first outbreak is declared at WRH on the 7th Floor of the Ouellette Campus.  READ MORE

November 30, 2020 -  WRH converts an auditorium and former chapel into additional lunchrooms in an effort to create additional space for staff to eat and take a break safely.  READ MORE

December 1, 2020 -  WRH implements holiday gather guidelines amid growing spread of COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex.  READ MORE

December 2, 2020 -  With rapidly rising case rates of COVID-19 and two active outbreaks, WRH and other regional hospitals reinstitute a No Visitor Policy at all locations.  READ MORE

December 4, 2020 -  Three -80 degree Celsius freezers to accommodate the Pfizer vaccine and four -25 freezers to hold the Moderna vaccines arrive at WRH.  READ MORE

December 4, 2020 -  Leadership teams from all three regional hospitals, supported by the local health unit, issue a memo warning the community to remain vigilant in preventing the spread of the virus or risk overloading the system.  READ MEMO

December 8, 2020 - A second WRH COVID-19 Assessment Centre opens at the Met Campus.  READ MORE

December 14, 2020 -  With rising in-hospital COVID-19 admissions and a potentially critical shortage of available acute care beds, WRH once again postpones certain non-urgent surgeries for an indefinite period.  READ MORE

December 17, 2020 -  New rapid COVID-19 testing begins at WRH allowing staff to quickly assess whether in-patients are carrying the COVID-19 virus.  READ MORE

December 18, 2020 -  WRH announces it is working with the local health unit to plan the rollout of initial, limited vaccinations for COVID-19.  READ MORE

December 21, 2020 -  The First COVID-19 vaccinations shipments arrive in Windsor- Essex.  READ MORE

December 21, 2020 -  Tears flow as the first group of local individuals receive the vaccine.  READ MORE

WATCH: Krystal Meloche, a personal support worker at Seasons Belle River receives the first vaccine at the St. Clair College SportsPlex.

December 23, 2020 -  In an effort to answer questions and dispel myths about the COVID-19 Vaccine, a group of local doctors address the topic on a special Facebook Live conversation.  

January 4, 2021 - All non-urgent surgeries are postponed while the number of COVID-19 inpatients at WRH continues to rise at an alarming rate.  READ MORE

January 5, 2021 - A high volume of patients who are positive with COVID-19 and required admission to hospital force WRH to begin transferring some patients to other southwestern Ontario hospitals.  READ MORE

January 5, 2021 - WRH receives a second shipment of Pfizer vaccine, allowing for the vaccination of approximately 1500 people with two doses.

January 11, 2021 - The Met Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre moves to a seven days a week testing centre.

January 12, 2021 - WRH Receives Shipment Of Third Shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine For Windsor-Essex.

January 25, 2021 - WRH announces it has received provincial funding to establish a new position in response to COVID-19, similar to a SWAT team, to have a physician on-site 24/7 whose sole responsibility is responding to Code Blue calls.  READ MORE

January 25, 2021 - WRH announces that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) with the Family Services Employees Assistance Plan has witnessed a 20 percent increase in the number of frontline staff accessing its services in the past 11 months.

January 25, 2021 - Due to severe Pfizer vaccine supply issues, WRH is forced to stop ALL first doses AND delay second doses in accordance with new Government of Ontario directions.  READ MORE

February 1, 2021 - Hours for the Met Campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre are reduced amid consistently lower volumes of individuals seeking tests for the virus.

February 4, 2021 - Together with the University of Windsor, the hospital announces it is transforming the post-secondary institution’s Windsor Hall building, located at Pitt and Ferry streets, into a potential future vaccination site.  READ MORE

February 8, 2021 - The premiere date is announced for Dispatches From a Field Hospital, an upcoming documentary on the St. Clair College Sportsplex field hospital. It will air on TVO March 16th at 9 pm.

February 9, 2021 - Based on a recent reduction in rates of COVID-19 in the community and in hospital, WRH relaxes some of its visitor restrictions at both the Met and Ouellette Campuses and the Regional Cancer Centre.

February 16, 2021 - WRH announces it has become one of the sites leading the charge in Canada to test two well-known drugs in treating patients with COVID-19.  READ MORE

February 17, 2021 - WRH receives its fourth shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for Windsor-Essex.

March 1, 2021 - WRH announces a partnership with the Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) to identify and encourage the Indigenous community in Windsor-Essex to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones.  READ MORE

March 8, 2021 - WRH stops testing for international travel purposes at its COVID-19 Assessment Centres.  READ MORE

March 8, 2021 - The government mandates that the time period between a first dose and a second dose of the Pfizer vaccine be extended to 16 weeks. WRH implements the new direction effective March 10th.  READ MORE