Lambton’s MOH say it could be a while before county’s COVID-19 rates slow

Dr. Sudit Ranade, Lambton's Acting Medical Officer of Health,

U of T website says Lambton is fifth highest risk in province

Lambton’s medical officer of health says it may be sometime before the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 here starts decreasing.

There have been 320 people test positive for COVID-19 in Lambton in December; 162 of those in the last week.

Lambton reported 40 more people tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday. There are now 166 people who are actively ill with the virus. Five people are in hospital with COVID-19.

There are also three new outbreaks in Lambton – two in workplaces and one at Confederation Road Public School.

A website run by the University of Toronto says Lambton has a high risk of COVID-19 in the community. It also shows only Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto and York have higher rates of COVID-19 per 100,000 people than Lambton in the province.

from the University of Toronto’s website

Dr. Sudit Ranade, in a news conference Wednesday, said he expected it would take some time for Lambton residents to flatten the curve.

“Nobody has a crystal ball on this, but I believe that it will take longer than it took in the first wave for us to see a plateau or reduction in transmission of cases, where in the first wave we might have been saying, ‘Yeah, you know about after you put in restrictions, it’s about two weeks,’ I think this one’s going to be a bit longer for a few reasons. One being that there are still several places that people can access and settings that are open. But but to I think more importantly, is just the whole notion of COVID fatigue,” he says.

“People are trying to figure out, how do we balance the needs, that we have to be with other people against the safety and the risk that comes with with meeting those needs?

“I think we’ll have to see in the next few weeks what what happened in terms of people’s behavior over the over the holidays to see whether or not that was linked to increasing disease transmission.”

Ranade says contact tracers are finding the people with COVID-19 have been out more, and in contact with more people.

“As a result of people doing more things, we find disease in more places,” he says.

Tuesday, public health told people involved in adult rec hockey to monitor their health after there were a number of cases linked to leagues around Lambton. Ranade says it is not clear whether any COVID-19 protocols which arenas put in place were violated leading to the illness.

“Even if you follow protocols related to it, there are probably going to be times when because these are your friends …that you get closer to them that you need to which might include, you know, the pre or post game activities. Or it may include things that actually happen while you’re engaging in that activity. So it’s possible, but it’s also important to remember that because the basic premise of that activity is social, it is going to be risky.”

As the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 increasing, the number of people needing more intense medical care does as well. Right now, there are five people in hospital in Lambton begin treated for COVID-19 – two more than Tuesday. Ranade expects that number to rise. And he says it could mean the hospital will have to delay non-essential services.

“Let’s look at the fact that we have way more cases than we did in the first wave and speculate that there might be more need for healthcare services,” he says adding Bluewater Health has a plan – as it did in the spring – to deal with increasing numbers of COVID patients.

But if the situation worsens, Ranade says, “we might be in a situation where they would be reducing elective surgeries and other things that they do based on the needs of care.”