Assume virus is here, local cases could spike: Lambton MOH

Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade (Photo from Lambton Public Health)

Sarnia-Lambton’s top public health official pleaded with residents again Tuesday to assume COVID-19 is circulating in the community and follow social distancing, self-isolation and personal hygiene instructions.

Medical Officer of Health Dr. Sudit Ranade told Sue Storr on CHOK (103.9 FM, 1070 AM) there are still no confirmed cases locally but that could change quickly.

“We’re waiting for lab tests to come back from several days,” said Ranade. “So, it’s possible we might get a sudden jump if several cases come back positive at once or several lab results, but right now nothing.”

Dr. Ranade said they’re acting as though the virus is here to ensure maximum protection for everyone.

While local testing has been very limited, he said there are three ways residents can find out more or be tested.

“The first way is to go online, the government of Ontario has a COVID-19 assessment tool you can use, Ontario.ca/coronavirus. The other thing is you can call your healthcare provider and based on certain criteria, if you meet them, they can send a referral to the assessment centre for you to be tested. And the final thing is if your symptoms are very, very severe and the hospital is considering admitting you, or if you’re in the ICU, those people are getting pretty much automatically tested,” he said.

Dr. Ranade admitted being surprised that the Ontario government has a categorized list of more than 70 businesses that are deemed essential and can stay open.

“So now we take that list and through our networks, we communicate it so that everybody knows who can stay open and who is supposed to close. It’s a really long list. I was really surprised to see how long that list was but it’s not surprising because everything in our economy is interconnected right, everything supports everything else.”

Ranade said he expects there’s probably going to be days of possible refinement of the list.

For the latest information visit the Lambton Public Health website.

-With files from Sue Storr