A 61-year-old man with confirmed positive COVID-19 has been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at Bluewater Health in Sarnia.
Hospital spokesperson Julia Oosterman said the man, who is not a resident of Lambton County, was admitted Monday to hospital and was transferred to the ICU Tuesday.
She could not confirm whether or not the patient is one of five COVID-positive crew members from a Great Lakes freighter docked at the Sarnia Harbour, reported last week.
City emergency officials revealed last week that crewmates of the commercial vessel were removed by Lambton Public Health in collaboration with Transport Canada and taken to a Point Edward hotel, where they were placed in isolation.
The health unit 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.
Because the cases involve people with primary residences outside outside Lambton County, they do not appear in the local COVID-19 case count. As of late Tuesday, public health reported no active cases from 347 total confirmed cases to date.
“We’re completely committed to absolute transparency while at the same time of course, recognizing there’s privacy legislation to keep our patients’ information safe,” Oosterman said Wednesday. “But it is a pandemic and I want to make sure we are as accurate and transparent as possible.”
Bluewater Health discharged its last COVID-19 patient in June. The hospital had been updating its COVID-19 data online daily, but scaled back to weekly, when things slowed down in the summer.
“Now that we have COVID-19 back in the hospital, we will return to daily updates.”
She said the news is a reminder for residents to remain vigilant, especially as Thanksgiving weekend approaches.
Public health safety measures include staying home when sick, practicing physical distancing with others outside your social circle, use good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask if required or if physical distancing is not possible.
“This is a really stark reminder that [the virus] is still present and there are people in our community who are being impacted by this,” she said. “You have people delivering food, delivering care, people cleaning rooms… This is very much still touching the lives of people in Sarnia-Lambton.
“So we need to be very very conscientious — everyone has to do their part to continue to keep COVID-19 at bay.”