Sarnia-Lambton’s third and fourth COVID-19 deaths were reported today, with the total number of cases in the county having reached 28.
Lambton Public Health said a person in their 70s was admitted to Bluewater health on March 22 and died Sunday.
A second person in their 80s was transferred to hospital on March 26 and died the same day. Test results received today confirmed the second individual was positive for COVID-19.
“We offer our sincere condolences to the families of these patients,” says Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health.
Some of the cases have been linked to group travel to Europe, while others are linked to family and faith gatherings, as well as a small number to work settings, Ranade said.
“We’re going back to find links between those different exposure settings to see if there is one common source. Those links are not as apparent.”
Six cases and three deaths have been linked to a one long-term care facility in Sarnia.
Of the 28 confirmed cases so far, 92% are over the age of 60, and 42% are 80 years or older.
By gender, 58% of those infected are men and 42% women.
The outbreak in Sarnia-Lambton began in the first two weeks of March.
It appears as though travellers came back from at least two European destinations, and then attended subsequent family and social gatherings, Ranade said.
“That’s also around the time when more talk of COVID was happening, more talk of physical distancing was happening,” he said.
“It’s reassuring that a number of the contacts we’re talking to are saying that they had already been self-isolating.”
Bluewater Health said today it is treating 15 patients for COVID-19 illness, and another nine patients are suspected of having the virus and awaiting test results.
Some of the infected people have very wide social networks, Ranade added.
“We still need a few weeks to see whether or not there’s been significant disease transmission.”