On Sunday, March 22nd, the St. Clair County Health Department and the City of Sarnia sent the following information in press releases:
As of 3-22-20 at 4:00pm, the State of Michigan is reporting 1,035 confirmed cases, including eight (8) deaths. St. Clair County remains at seven (7) confirmed cases. St. Clair County Health Department is monitoring 42 people under investigation, along with 73 of their contacts.
Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer explains why the St. Clair County Health Department does not name potential exposure locations; “When confirmed cases are identified, it is very likely community-wide transmission is already present. Everyone should be following all recommended prevention measures and advisories to help slow down further spread.”
The St. Clair County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) continues interagency coordination, information sharing, decision making and response planning efforts. The EOC will remain active throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency.
For further information visit: cdc.gov/coronavirus; Michigan.gov/coronavirus; or scchealth.co. A general St. Clair County COVID-19 Informational Hotline is available Monday through Friday, (810) 966-4163, 8:00am-4:30pm or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The State of Michigan hotline is 1-888-535-6136 and is operational daily 8:00am – 5:00pm or email questions to COVID19@michigan.gov.
From the City of Sarnia:
The Sarnia Primary Control Group met via teleconference on March 22, 2020 at 9:00am regarding COVID-19 and can confirm that, as of that time, there remains no confirmed cases of the COVID-19 infections in the County of Sarnia-Lambton area.
The City is taking preventative measures based on discussions with Lambton Public Health and information received from both the Provincial and Federal Governments. These measures are in place as a result of collaborative discussions between concerned agencies.
County of Lambton Warden Bill Weber, Mayor Mike Bradley of the City of Sarnia, Mayor Bev Hand of the Village of Point Edward, and Chief Chris Plain of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation have issued the following joint statement to express their continued gratitude to the members of the community who have expressed a desire to help by volunteering in these difficult times:
“While we appreciate the sense of civic duty that drive our community members to reach out and offer to volunteer their services, we request that people keep safe and continue to maintain social distancing practices at this time, to help stop the spread of this pandemic. Our respective communities will work in conjunction with County of Lambton Public Health officials to coordinate opportunities and for members of the public to volunteer at an appropriate time and would refer people to the Lambton Public Health website for such opportunities.
For those who are currently volunteering through community groups, we ask that you continue to respect safety guidelines issued by Lambton Public Health officials such as continuing to practice social distancing principles, wearing appropriate gloves and masks, and leaving any items delivered outside for pick up instead of attending at the doors.”
The City of Sarnia would like to remind the public the extreme importance of social distancing. While the amount of actual cases is unknown at this time, operating under the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, we must act as though the virus is already here and social distancing and proper hygiene practices are the only ways for us to curb the spread and reduce the burden on the health care system. Too many members of the public are ignoring these recommendations and it is of growing concern to our community. Please limit your trips to essential matters only.
Under the advice of the Medical Officer of Health, the City of Sarnia is operating under the premise that the COVID-19 virus is already circulating within the community. For that reason, the City is taking all precautions to protect the public and staff by maintaining closures of all city facilities and City Hall, this includes suspending non-essential services.