WINDSOR, ONT. -- For the first time since the initial wave of COVID-19, Windsor Regional Hospital is using its temporary morgue at the Met Campus.

“It’s in use unfortunately now because we had 14 patients who had recently passed,” says WRH hospital CEO David Musyj.

The temporary trailer outside of the hospital was built last spring as part of its early pandemic planning. The morgue has 36 spaces, with two currently occupied.

“We have very limited morgue case at the Met campus and Ouellette campus. We only have enough for 12 (deceased) patients at either morgue. Even pre-COVID there would be days where it would be full or close to full,” Musyj explains.

With a “planning for the worst” approach, last year the hospital leased a Windsor hockey arena as a backup morgue. Musjy says it's ready for use if the COVID death toll reaches extreme heights. 

“We’ve never had to use that,” he said. “That is worst-case scenario.”

On Monday, Windsor-Essex saw a record high number of deaths, with COVID-19 taking the lives of 16 local residents.