Apparent slowing of COVID-19 count misleading, Lambton MOH warns file photo.

Lambton County’s medical officer of health says an apparent slowdown in the number of COVID-19 cases doesn’t mean the local outbreak is under control.

Over the past five days, there have been 22 new confirmed cases, compared to 43 over the previous five days.

Dr. Sudit Ranade, during a daily briefing on Wednesday, told the media that has more to do with testing than anything else.

“You have to remember that when cases come in to us it’s really a reflection of lab processing as opposed to the reflection of the nature of the outbreak,” said Ranade. “So we get lab results, either a handful at a time, so we might get one or two a day or we might get five or six a day or more.”

Dr. Ranade said we should be careful not to assume that because we’ve had only one or two new cases each day for the last few days, that that is a sustainable change.

“Because then you would be very surprised if it jumped up the next day, for example, you’d say what happened? But it really is all part of a slightly longer view of the outbreak that is needed now. Everybody is supposed to be physically distancing, lots of things are closed, and the point now is to take the next week or week-and-a-half, maybe two weeks, and have a collective deep breath where we pause, and we hold, and we wait to see what happens in the health system.”

Lambton Public Health reported Wednesday morning that the number of confirmed cases increased by one to 87 with the number of deaths remaining at eight. Five infected people have recovered.

Bluewater Health said Wednesday that there were 26 patients in hospital confirmed to have the virus, and nine suspected of having it with tests pending.

-With files from Colin Gowdy