Shell didn’t contact Lambton Public Health about possible COVID-19 exposure in Sarnia

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Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health says Shell Canada didn’t contact his office when it learned an out-of-province contractor had tested positive for COVID-19.

Shell officials told employees through an update that they had been notified late in the day March 23, that a contractor worker onsite between March 11 and 13 had tested positive for COVID-19. It’s not clear when that positive test occurred. The worker didn’t have any symptoms at the time he was in Sarnia, the update continues.

Officials told Shell employees working close to the contract worker about the positive COVID-19 test Monday. Those Shell employees been asked to self-monitor for symptoms until March 27.

The update also said Shell had talked with “medical professionals” about the incident before giving their employees advice to self-monitor for symptoms but to continue working.

Dr. Sudit Ranade says the company didn’t consult public health.

He adds if Shell had called first, public health would have worked with its partners out-of-province to track down if the worker had actually tested positive, when and other details which could have been used to decide whether employees at Shell should have gone home to self-isolate for 14 days.