Five members of a Great Lakes freighter that docked at Sarnia Harbour have tested positive for COVID-19, city and health officials confirmed today.
They and 14 of their “close contacts” are currently in isolation at a Point Edward hotel.
Ron Realesmith, manager of Sarnia’s emergency management office, said crewmates of the commercial vessel were removed by Lambton Public Health in collaboration with Transport Canada and taken to the hotel, where they were placed in isolation.
Lambton Public Health did not say when or where the crewmembers tested positive, only that its contact tracing investigation is complete and health staff is monitoring the situation daily.
“There was limited contact upon arrival to the community and all public health safety measures were followed to limit community transmission,” the health unit said in a release.
Because the cases involve people with primary residences outside outside Lambton County they do not appear in the local COVID-19 case count, it said.
As of Thursday, public health reported just two active cases from 346 total confirmed cases to date.
It said no further details are being released to protect the privacy of those involved.
“Contact tracing is a valuable public health measure used throughout the duration of this pandemic,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health.
“Acting quickly to identify positive COVID-19 cases allows public health to put in place contact management strategies to reduce community transmission.”