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COVID-19 cases continue to climb locally

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Journal Staff

There were 59 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sarnia-Lambton as of Thursday.

Lambton Public Health released the numbers this morning amid a surge of positive tests results arriving this week.

Six deaths have been confirmed, including four residents from Landmark Village seniors home in Sarnia, where an outbreak of the virus has infected five staff and nine residents, The Health Unit confirmed.

The three new cases Thursday are staff members of the retirement home, said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health.

Three area workplaces are also under investigation for potential transmission, he said.

Ranade declined to say whether the sites are retail or office settings.

“We’re still investigating the nature of those exposures and whether or not they present a meaningful risk.”

The two deaths reported Wednesday were both elderly. One, in their 80s, was admitted to Bluewater Health on March 30, diagnosed that day, and died Tuesday. The second individual, in their 70s, also died in hospital Tuesday after being admitted the previous day.

Currently 25 infected patients are being treated at Bluewater Health, while another 13 patients believed to be infected are awaiting test results, according to the hospital’s COVID-19 information site.

Of those, six patients with COVID-19 infection are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), and five are on ventilators, Bluewater Health told The Journal Wednesday.

The hospital has 16 ventilators in the ICU and 26 in total. A regional warehouse has more if demand increases.

Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health said the arrival of the virus in Sarnia-Lambton and its transmission within the community are still under investigation.

It has said some early cases are linked to group travel to Europe, family and faith community gatherings, and “a limited number of occupational settings.”

“Until we can verify there is actual meaningful evidence of transmission in those settings, it’s very difficult to confirm that that might be true,” Dr. Sudit Ranade said Wednesday.

A total of 202 tests have been conducted through the community COVID-19 assessment centre; results to date show 15 positive and 144 negative tests.

Ontario recorded more than 400 new cases overnight, totalling 2,973. The province says 53 people have died from the virus.

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