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Rise in local cases levelling off, but reason not yet clear

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Journal staff

Lambton Public Health reported 63 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven deaths in Sarnia-Lambton as of Friday.

That’s up from 59 cases and six deaths Thursday.

“We’re seeing the number of new cases this week slow down, but it is hard to say if that is the result of effective social distancing measures or whether it’s the result of the lab backlog cleared,” Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, said Friday.

“There’s no clear answer on that.”

Of the first six deaths, four were residents of the Landmark Village retirement home, where an outbreak of the virus has infected five staff and nine residents, the health unit said.

The most recent death was a person in their 90s who is not connected to the retirement home, Ranade said.

Three area workplaces are also under investigation for potential transmission, he said, but declined to say whether the sites are retail or office settings.

Details have been limited to protect patient confidentiality, Ranade said, noting new information released by the Ontario Human Rights Commission this week.

“We’ve also even seen examples where people have tried to release even a minimal amount of data about cases, and yet those cases have been identified and suffered significant harm as a result of that identification,” he said Friday.

“That is the place that we’re trying to avoid getting to.”

As of Friday, 26 infected patients were being treated at Bluewater Health with another 19 patients believed to be infected and awaiting test results.

Here’s a timeline of Sarnia-Lambton’s novel coronavirus cases.

Mar. 25: 5 cases (+5)

Mar. 26: 7 cases (+2) 3 deaths (+3)

Mar. 27: 9 cases (+2) 4 death (+1)

Mar. 28: 20 cases (+11)

Mar. 29: 28 cases (+8)

Mar. 30: 36 cases (+8)

Mar. 31: 47 cases (+11)

Apr. 1: 56 cases (+9) 6 deaths (+2) (4 discharged from hospital)

Apr. 2: 59 cases (+3) 6 deaths (+0)

Apr. 3: 63 cases (+4) 7 deaths (+1)

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

Other PPE stocks are sufficient for current demand at Bluewater Health, but if the cases spike “someday we may not be OK,” a spokesperson said this week.
A total of 229 tests have been conducted through the community COVID-19 Assessment Centre. Results to date show 17 positive and 146 negative tests.

At Bluewater Health, 132 patients have been tests, with 38 positive and 78 negative.



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