Double digit increase in COVID cases

Nasal swabs in test tubes. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / ayo88.

Lambton Public Health reported a double digit increase in COVID-19 cases Thursday.

In its daily update, the health unit reported 11 new infections for a total of 3,740 since the start of the pandemic.

There were five more cases deemed resolved, up to 3,636, increasing the active case count by six to 35.

There are no active outbreaks and the death toll stands at 69.

Bluewater Health has two COVID-positive patients in hospital, unchanged from Wednesday.

The Lambton Kent District School Board has reported a total of four student and staff cases at Colonel Cameron Public School in Corunna, Riverview Central School in Port Lambton and Queen Elizabeth II Public School in Petrolia.

The St. Clair Catholic District School Board is reporting one student case at St. Matthew in Sarnia and two student cases at St. Phillip Catholic School in Petrolia.

Lambton’s acting medical officer of health expressed concern related to how COVID cases will impact Ontario schools in the months ahead.  During a media briefing Thursday, Dr. Christopher Greensmith said it’s important for students 12 and up to get vaccinated.

“And that will certainly limit the impact of the virus in the school. We don’t want children to miss their education, so it’s important they get vaccinated and follow public health guidelines in the classroom.”

Dr. Greensmith said Health Canada’s recent full approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will ultimately help persuade the vaccine hesitant.

“People have been worried that it hasn’t had that approval, but I think that’s an administrative thought now because millions of doses have been given and we know it’s safe. Now it has full regulatory approval — I hope that will persuade those still worried to come forward.”

Dr. Christopher Greensmith. (Photo courtesy of Lambton Public Health via Twitter)

Dr. Greensmith said the health unit is making some progress on reaching a vaccination rate of 90 per cent, but some people still need to step up.

“It’s available, as I’ve been saying, but really we’re giving about 200 to 300 doses a day and we have 30,000 doses that we have to make up, so you can do that math. We don’t have enough time at that rate — we got to get people to come forward.”

To date, 74 per cent of Sarnia-Lambton residents 12-years-old and up have received two doses of a vaccine, 79.5 per cent have had one shot.