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Hockey players asked to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms

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Journal Staff

COVID-19 could be spreading in recreational hockey leagues in Lambton County, Public Health said today.

An estimated 20 cases have been found connected to adult leagues, they said. All adults that participated in local recreational hockey over the past 2-3 weeks should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and to get tested if they are present.

“Adult recreational hockey at its core, is a social activity,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade in a media call today. “It’s also important to remember because the basic premise of that activity is social, it is going to be risky.”

Sarnia-Lambton passed a grim milestone Wednesday after recording 40 new COVID-19 cases – the highest one-day total since the pandemic began. There have been more new cases in December than March, April, May and June combined.

Twenty-six new cases have been resolved. Five are in hospital and two of those are in intensive care. Twenty-eight in the community have died from COVID-19.

Ranade said cases requiring hospital care could increase. 

“What we know about hospital cases they lag behind cases,” Ranade said. “Let’s look at the fact that there are way more cases than there were in the first wave, and speculate that there might be more need for healthcare services.”

Bluewater Health is assessing and evaluating hospital operations, but there are no plans to reduce surgeries or procedures yet, spokesperson Julia Oosterman said in an email.

“But this does remain one of many variables that we continue to look at daily,” she said. “We have several strategies in place in the hospital to monitor our levels in real time.” 

There are 15 ongoing outbreaks in the community. The newest outbreaks are at Confederation Central School and the City of Sarnia. Five city employees in three different departments tested positive for COVID-19, Sarnia announced today.

Ranade blamed “COVID-fatigue” for much of the recent surge in cases, which are mostly a result of social gatherings. He said families are trying to balance the risk of catching or spreading the coronavirus with the need to visit loved ones during the holidays. 

Any cold or flu symptoms should be considered COVID-19, Ranade said. And those experiencing symptoms should get a test. A list of COVID-19 testing and assessment centres can be found at

Residents should not go to the emergency department for COVID-19 tests, Ranade added.

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