COVID-19 vaccine still not expected in Sarnia-Lambton until early February

Journal Staff

The first COVID-19 vaccine doses are still not expected to arrive in Sarnia-Lambton until early February, although that timeline could change subject to supply availability, Sarnia’s Primary Control Group says.

In the meantime, long-term care homes are gathering consent forms and preparing lists of residents and staff who will be first in line to receive shots, the group said Tuesday.

After the most vulnerable are vaccinated in long-term care and retirement homes the rollout will expand to additional priority groups.

As the vaccine supply increases, the general population will be able to get shots at multiple locations and from pharmacists, doctors and other primary health providers, the group said after meeting electronically with public health, hospital and municipal officials.

A waiting list for vaccinations is not being maintained, Lambton Public Health said.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 continues to spread, with 59 new cases reported today, lifting the number of active cases to 261. Thirteen people are being treated at Bluewater Health, a number that is rising. The hospital had four positive cases on Jan. 2.

Ten of the 14 virus outbreaks in Sarnia-Lambton are at senior homes. A health response team is now working with the staff of the hardest-hit facilities.

Village on the St. Clair, a retirement home on Christina Street, has 21 residents and six staff who tested positive. Twin Lakes Terrace long-term care home on Murphy Road has 15 residents and two staff infected.

Two CBSA employees at the Blue Water Bridge have tested positive and are currently at home and in isolation , the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively notified all employees who may have had contact with these individuals, while respecting the privacy of the employees, and have taken steps to clean
the location where the employees worked,” said spokesperson Louis-Carl Brissette Lesage.

A number of licensed childcare and home childcare agencies also have active COVID-19 cases. They include:

– Miss Helen’s Place, Sarnia, (1 staff)
– St.Anne Sarnia YMCA (1 staff)
– Sir John Moore, Corunna (1 child)
– Lambton Rural Childcare (Home), Oil Springs, (1 child)
– North Lambton Childcare (1 child)
– NLCC Kinnwood (1 staff)

Meanwhile, local police and bylaw enforcement officers have been given authority to issue tickets to anyone who doesn’t comply with the new stay-at-home orders contained in the Ontario emergency declaration coming into effect Thursday at 12:01 a.m.

The orders say:

* Outdoor organized public gatherings and social gatherings are restricted to a limit of five people, with limited exceptions, similar to the lockdown during the first COVID-19 wave last spring.

* Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is also recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.

* All non-essential retail stores, including hardware stores, alcohol retailers, and those offering curbside pickup or delivery, must open no earlier than 7 a.m. and close no later than 8 p.m. The restricted hours of operation do not apply to stores that primarily sell food, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and restaurants for takeout or delivery.

* Non-essential construction is further restricted, including below-grade construction, exempting survey.