Seven cases of COVID-19 now confirmed in Sarnia-Lambton

Troy Shantz

Two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Sarnia-Lambton, bringing the total number of cases to seven.

All seven patients are being monitored in isolation at Bluewater Health, and four are in the intensive care unit (ICU), officials say.

“It would not be a surprise, and nor should it be a surprise to anyone in the community if there were more positives that come back,” said Julia Oosterman, Bluewater Health’s communications chief.

“We anticipate an increase in positives in the days to come.”

For weeks, Sarnia-Lambton seemed to dodge the coronavirus bullet. While cases popped up in London, Chatham and Windsor-Essex early in the pandemic, Sarnia was spared.

Even so, officials warned the virus that has infected more than 4,000 Canadians and half a million worldwide was likely already here.

Five people locally, all over the age of 60, were confirmed earlier this week. Physical contact of the patients with others ranges from a few people to “in the hundreds,” said Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton County’s medical officer of health.

“Weeks ago we were saying it’s here; treat it like it’s here,” he said.

Two more cases were confirmed March 26 by Bluewater Health. Website: https://www.bluewaterhealth.ca/covid-19-information

The first five cases of COVID-19 arrived at Bluewater Health’s emergency department with symptoms that included shortness of breath, Oosterman said.

Even before the tests were administered, staff assumed it was coronavirus and extra precautions were taken.

The hospital is not yet overburdened. Oosterman said 16 ICU beds are available for regular needs, and that can be ramped up during pandemics. There are 16 ventilators at Bluewater Health’s ICU, and 26 in total. A regional storehouse has additional equipment, she added.