PANDEMIC UPDATE: Outbreak at jail grows, 1,158 seniors get first dose of vaccine

Lambton Public Health

Journal Staff

An outbreak of COVID-19 at Sarnia Jail continues to grow.

A total of 40 inmates and four staff have now contracted the virus since the outbreak began 10 days ago, Lambton Public Health said today.

That’s up from 34 inmates and four staff reported yesterday. The Christina Street facility has a capacity of 101 inmates, according to the Ministry of the Solicitor General.

Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health said today the layout of the jail makes it difficult to control transmission of COVID-19.

“It is an incredibly challenging environment to manage,” Dr. Sudit Ranade said.

Countywide, another eight cases were reported today, bringing the current number of active cases to 83.

Almost 2,000 people in Sarnia-Lambton have now been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic began last March, and 46 people have died.

Eight institutional and workplace outbreaks are ongoing, including major events at two senior homes.

At Vision Rest Home, 32 residents and 16 staff have tested positive since Jan. 13, with three deaths.

Village on the St. Clair has been in outbreak since Dec. 30, with 28 residents and 15 staff infected and five deaths.

A third large outbreak at Twin Lake Terrace has been resolved. It began Dec. 30 and was declared over Tuesday after 18 residents and six staff tested positive. One person died.

Sarnia-Lambton is gradually reopening this week after moving Tuesday to the orange “restrict” level in Ontario’s COVID-19 framework. Orange is mid-scale between green “prevent” and “Stay-At-Home” lockdown.

Public health regions will stay at their current level for at least two weeks, after which the government will assess the impact of the safety measures and determine if the region should remain where it is or move to a different level.

Lambton Public Health says 1,158 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered locally, and zero second doses.

The Lambton COVID-19 Immunization Task Force says a first dose of vaccine has now been administered to every long-term care and high-risk retirement home resident who wants one in Lambton County.