Ten COVID-19 outbreaks a sign of increasing sickness in Lambton

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

Ten long term care and retirement homes in Lambton are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks.

But the county’s acting medical officer of health says the outbreaks are much different now since almost all residents have been vaccinated.

Public health says in the last week there have been 126 cases of the virus reported in long term care, health care and congregate living homes – the only places the province continues to track the virus which gripped the world for two years.

Albany Retirement Village has been dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak for a little over a week. Fourteen residents and fewer than five staff tested positive.

Watford Quality Care is also a week into an outbreak with nine residents and fewer than five staff testing positive for the virus.

The largest outbreak is at Vision Nursing Home where 23 residents and 16 staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Marshall Gowland Manor in Sarnia has been in outbreak for COVID-19 for almost a month now with 32 residents becoming ill.

“We have certainly seen an uptick in cases and that is certainly something you’re seeing across the province and across the country,” Dr. Sudit Ranade told Lambton County Councillors Wednesday. “It is not unexpected. It is exactly what you would expect.

“Remember COVID-19 is now co-circulating with a number of other routine respiratory viruses. Essentially you’re seeing a movement to treating COVID-19 as part of what we usually deal with with respiratory viruses.”

Ranade adds the burden of disease has “shifted” with people getting vaccinated and new variants which are more transmissible but less severe.

Ranade says ten outbreaks “sounds like a lot for Lambton County but when you look at the numbers – although some of them have many cases – again the burden is different in terms of the severity of the disease in terms of hospitalizations and fatalities.”

Ranade says one person in long term care passed away due to the virus this week.