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THURSDAY UPDATE: Hospital staff members test positive for virus

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Journal Staff

Three staff members at Bluewater Health have tested positive for COVID-19, Lambton Public Health said this morning.

The impacted staff are self-isolating at home.

The three cases make the hospital the second institution in Sarnia-Lambton classified as having an outbreak. The other is Vision Nursing Home, which hasn’t had a new case in a week. Twenty-six residents and 28 home staff have contracted the virus since the pandemic began, and 10 residents have died.

Bluewater Health explained that a provincial directive issued June 5 requires an institutional outbreak be declared when more than two positive cases of COVID are confirmed within a 14-day period.

Since the pandemic began, the hospital has had up to 15 staff test positive at any one time. Over that period it safely managed patients and reduced COVID presence in the hospital. There are currently zero COVID-positive patients in acute care, the hospital said in a statement this morning.

“We are confident we are able to get this outbreak under control, as we have each time we have had COVID in our hospital.”

As of this morning Sarnia-Lambton had 279 cases, just 14 of them active, health unit said.

Twenty-five people have died during the pandemic, 16 of them residents of local senior homes.

A 150-bed field hospital set up two months ago for an overflow of potential COVID-19 patients has been dismantled.  A joint effort of Bluewater Health, the city and Lambton College, the field hospital was never needed or used.

Meanwhile, more local businesses will be allowed to reopen tomorrow under Stage 2 of Ontario’s pandemic recovery strategy.

Lambton Social Services said it’s planning to reopen county operated child-care facilities by June 29, with limited capacity and strict health measures in place.

The province has extended all emergency orders currently in force until June 30. For more information visit https://www.ontario.ca/page/emergency-information.

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