No COVID-19 infections in Lambton despite all-time high in testing

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Lambton continues to buck the concerning COVID-19 trends in Ontario. But like other regions of the province, people are still waiting a significant amount of time to hear the results from their COVID-19 tests.

While Saturday, the province reported 809 more people infected with the novel coronavirus, Lambton has not reported a single new resident case since Oct. 1. There were just seven cases of COVID-19 in Lambton in all of September.

Last week, five members of a transport ship in Sarnia were diagnosed with the virus however since they do not live in Lambton, they are not counted in the public health unit’s statistics.

While no one has been reported ill, people in Lambton are still getting tested for the virus to work in or enter long-term care facilities or to go back to work or school. The week of Sept. 20 to 26, Lambton registered 3,424 people taking the COVID-19 test – that’s the highest level of testing in the area since the pandemic began.

While the week of Sept. 27 has not been tabulated yet, the statistics show at least 2,100 people were in the testing centers.

But, as in every Ontario community, having the test and getting the test results back are two different stories. On the week of Sept. 20, only 37 per cent of the tests came back in a two-day time frame – the goal for reporting test results.

In a news conference earlier this week, Lambton’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Sudit Ranade, says the processing of the tests is becoming a very big problem. Across the province Saturday 56,138 people were awaiting their test results as the labs continue to be backlogged.

Ranade says the province wants to expand laboratory capacity but it there is a backlog in the supply chain to get the machinery needed. There is also a problem finding qualified laboratory staff.