Fifteen more cases of COVID-19 were added to Sarnia-Lambton's daily tally ahead of the long weekend.
In a news release issued late Friday, Lambton Public Health said the cases are linked to close contacts of cases reported earlier this week.
"Contact tracing efforts by Lambton Public Health determined the cases are linked to a few of the same families, predominantly in a rural community, but with connections to family members in urban communities," the release stated. "Direction was provided to those families to self-isolate immediately and proceed to an assessment for testing."
The numbers come in addition to three new cases reported overnight Thursday, bringing the total to 317, and marking the largest daily increase since Sarnia-Lambton's first cases appeared in March. Lambton Public Health updates the numbers on their website every evening.
“We continue to investigate and support all cases,” Dr. Ranade noted in the release. “We expected early on this week that new cases may result, based on findings and determining the level of interaction for an infected individual. The importance of moving quickly to limit the transmission of the virus is a critical public health measure to reduce additional community spread.”
Direction was provided to those families to self-isolate immediately and proceed to an assessment for testing.
As the follow up with close contacts continues, additional individuals may be required to self-isolate and get a test, or be directed to self-monitor for symptoms due to limited contact, officials added. This could include risk settings such as workplaces.
“Please continue to take precautions and follow the public health safety measures," Ranade added. "The virus can quickly spread among close contacts so keep your social circle small – limit is 10, and be very diligent if you choose to attend a larger gathering.”
Lambton’s emergency control group said it has been anticipating an increase in cases given the increased socializing allowed in Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening plan.
Public health safety measures include staying home when sick, practicing physical distancing with others outside your social circle, use good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask if required or if physical distancing is not possible.
Ontario logged a total of 134 COVID-19 cases Friday, an increase from 89 cases reported Thursday, and 76 on Wednesday.