WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor-Essex County Health Unit officials say it is a heartbreaking day in the region. 

The health unit says a man in his 20s has died and the region is reporting its highest single-day total of new COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

There are 127 new cases of the virus on Wednesday.

The man who died was 27 years old with no known underlying health conditions. He was a member of the community.

“It’s heartbreaking and I can’t imagine what this family is going through, and it’s just the pandemic continues to take lives this past week. Every day I’m announcing a new death. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I don’t know, I don’t have any words to capture how I really feel,” says health unit CEO Theresa Marentette, who adds it hits home for her since she has a daughter the same age.

The health unit says the man had been in hospital. He was admitted on Dec. 4 and passed away on Tuesday.

Medical officer of health Dr. Wajid Ahmed says it was hard news to accept.

"My initial reaction, to be honest and blunt, I said to Theresa, 'let’s just close our offices and go home. There’s nothing. It seems like it’s just non-stop.'"

The death toll related to COVID-19 in Windsor-Essex is now 85. Fifty-six deaths are related to residents in retirement or long-term care homes and two are related to migrant workers.

Ahmed says the region could see even more deaths.

“Our overall cases fatality rate in Windsor is roughly around 2.2 per cent, which means that the last 1,000 cases that we have seen in the last 25 days, there’s a possibility that may lead to 22 deaths, leaving 22 families devastated,” says Ahmed.

Windsor-Essex has had a total of 4,238 confirmed cases of the virus, including 3,597 people who have recovered.

The second-highest single-day case count was 119 on June 28 when there were several agri-farm outbreaks.

"This is a record that we have never achieved, even with the largest farm outbreak," says Ahmed.

Ahmed says regardless of what the province announces with a potential lockdown, he is considering a Section 22 Class Action Order on Friday with more restrictions. Windsor-Essex is currently in the ‘Red-Control’ zone of the five-tier shutdown framework.

“There will be more restrictions we will be putting in place,” says Ahmed. “Even if the province doesn’t put any restrictions on us, we will be looking forward to additional restrictions locally.”

Ahmed is also calling for more restrictions at the Windsor-Detroit border.

The Canada-U.S. border is already closed for non-essential travel, but Ahmed says there are still too many people crossing. He says it should only be open for health-care workers and the transportation of goods.

By the numbers here’s the breakdown of new cases:

  • 20 are close contacts of confirmed cases
  • 1 is a health-care worker
  • 1 is an agri-farm worker
  • 102 are under investigation

There are 556 active cases. WECHU says 33 people are in the hospital and nine are in the ICU.

The health unit says there are 20 active outbreaks.

There are nine workplace outbreaks, seven long-term care outbreaks, two hospital outbreaks, one community outbreak and three school outbreaks.

With files from CTV Windsor's Sijia Liu.