Bluewater Area COVID-19 Update for July 31, 2020

St. Clair County, MI — Lambton County, Ontario

Cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases as of July 31st, 2020 at  9:00 AM are as follows:

  • State of Michigan: 80,887  confirmed cases; 6,191 deaths
  • St. Clair County: 634 confirmed cases; 52 deaths
  • Ontario: 39,075  confirmed cases;  2,772 deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton: 302 confirmed cases; 25 deaths

St. Clair County currently has 119 active cases of the virus, and 5% of hospital beds in the county are being used for COVID-19 patients. There have been 59 new total cases of COVID-19 in St. Clair County in the last 7 days.

Governor Whitmer released an Amended Safe Start Order on Wednesday night that allows for the opening of Michigan casinos at 15% capacity, and closes bars for indoor service throughout the State of Michigan. Bars in Regions 6 and 8 were previously exempt from the closure that has affected other Michigan regions since July 1st.

There has been a lot of confusion about whether the regulations on public gatherings were changed in this new order. The limit of 10 people for indoor activities and 100 people for outdoor activities has been in place our region (Region 1) since June 1, 2020. The newest order simply restates those limits, it does not change them. Both the rescinded order and the new order make some exceptions for the size of gatherings if they are outdoor athletic activities or involve medical services, crisis centers, and some professional services.

Lambton County currently has 12 active cases. The number of cases doubled since last week. In the course of the epidemic in Lambton County, there have been 58 hospital admissions for the virus.  Hospital admissions peaked at 5 during April, and the last case requiring admission to the hospital was on May 31st.

The City of Sarnia passed a by-law to impose temporary regulations requiring the use of masks or face coverings in public indoor spaces within the City. The regulations take effect today, and a list of exemptions for following the mask requirement are:

  • Children under five years of age
  • Persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering
  • Persons who are unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance
  • Employees or agents of the establishment within an area designated for them and not publicly accessible, or in an area separated by a physical barrier
  • Persons who are reasonably accommodated by not wearing a mask or face covering in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code
  • Persons in an establishment, while receiving services requiring the removal of the face covering, including but not limited to eating or drinking, or while actively engaging in an athletic or fitness activity
  • Persons within an establishment, while participating in a religious service, for rituals which require an uncovered mouth

Please continue to rely on reputable sources for information on COVID-19:

Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand