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Numbers suggest Sarnia-Lambton is flattening the curve

Journal Staff The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sarnia-Lambton increased to 148 today, up three from the 145 cases reported Monday.
Note: The numbers do not included COVID-19 fatalities and those who have recovered. Troy Shantz, The Journal

Journal Staff

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Sarnia-Lambton increased to 148 today, up three from the 145 cases reported Monday.

The number of deaths is unchanged at 14, and the number of people who have recovered from the viral infection has risen to 54 from 50.

Ontario said Monday the emergency and social distancing measures are starting to work and allowing communities to “flatten the curve.”

The number of active cases in Sarnia-Lambton, as well as a declining number of patients being treated in hospital, also suggest the local infection rate might be levelling off.

But relaxing the restrictions in place would be premature if the community wants to continue reducing the number of infections and death, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sunit Ranade said today.

Meanwhile, requests for mental health support from members of the community have actually declined slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the VP of mental health and addiction at Bluewater Health told a community news conference today.

“We’re experiencing major life-changing situations, so I think it’s important to recognize that feeling anxious and down and depressed is actually a normal feeling right now,” said Paula Reaume-Zimmer.

“We really want people to reach out now. We are very concerned that there will be a growing demand.”

Within the hospital itself, 14 staff members have tested positive for the virus. Four are believed to have been infected at the hospital, said Dr. Michel Haddad, chief of staff.

Workers are feeling the stress, and some are choosing to isolate themselves between shifts to protect their families from possible infection, he said.

“It has been quite a roller coaster, up and down.”

A 24-hour mental health hotline has been established for staff, and every department is checked-in on by mental health professionals, Reaume-Zimmer said.

The number of local test results received reached 1,133 today, a one-day increase of 15% from Monday.

Dr. Ranade said test kits are readily available for anyone showing COVID-19 symptoms at long-term care homes, homeless shelters and other group-living situations.

Discussions are ongoing about whether to test individuals who show no symptoms, he added, a practice adopted last week for Detroit's essential workers.

Ranade said the county is waiting further direction from the province.

Some 87% (985) of the test results have come back negative, Lambton Public Health said.

A breakdown of confirmed COVID-19 cases by age in Sarnia-Lambton:

0-19 years: 2.1%

20-29 years: 8:3%

30-39 years: 9.7%

40-49 years: 7.6%

50-59 years: 14.5%

60-69 years: 13.1%

70-79 years: 15.2%

80 plus years: 29.7%

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