Number hospitalized with COVID-19 surging, Bluewater Health officials say

Number hospitalized with COVID 19 surging Bluewater Health officials say

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The number of people in hospital in Sarnia-Lambton infected with COVID-19 Sunday was the largest to date during the pandemic, a Bluewater Health spokesperson tweeted.

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“We’ve beat our own ‘record,’” said communications chief Julia Oosterman. Thirty-four “is the highest we’ve seen yet.”

Her’s was in response to an earlier tweet from chief of staff Dr. Mike Haddad that the number hospitalized from COVID-19 Sunday in Sarnia-Lambton was the highest at any one time since March 2020 ..

“Hope we get over this wave soon,” the doctor said.

Of the 34 people in hospital with confirmed COVID-19 – one more than Saturday – 10 were in intensive care, Haddad said.

Nine of those 10 were unvaccinated, he said.

Fifty-nine per cent of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients were unvaccinated, he said.

The percentage of Lambton County’s population, age 12 and up, unvaccinated as of Jan. 7 – the latest data from public health – was 17 per cent.

For ages five and up, the percentage yet to receive a second vaccine dose was 24 per cent.

After correcting for a community vaccination rate of 88 per cent, the risk in Lambton of hospitalization from COVID-19 is five times greater if not vaccinated, Haddad said.

The risk of needing intensive care is 20 times greater, he said.

“While vaccines aren’t as good against Omicron infections, they’re holding very well against severe disease requiring hospitalization or worse, ICU,” he tweeted.

Even with vaccination rates, and temporary non-emergent / urgent surgery and procedure cutbacks across Ontario to slow the Omicron variant’s spread, Bluewater Health’s 300 beds were at 87 per cent capacity Sunday, he said.

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Public health reported another COVID-19 death Sunday, bringing the death toll in Sarnia-Lambton to 89.

The health unit also reported Saturday another two COVID-19 deaths.

Those deaths were all previously reported by Bluewater Health Friday and Saturday, including a 66 year-old man, 91-year-old man, and an individual in their 70s, a public health spokesperson said.

The number of COVID-19 deaths at Bluewater Health remained 75 Sunday. COVID-19 deaths in hospital have also included people from outside Sarnia-Lambton.

Another 179 COVID-19 cases were confirmed by the health unit Sunday.

Of the 7,046 to date, 1,434 were active and 5,523 were resolved.

The number of outbreaks rose two, to 14, including a six-patient outbreak on the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Bluewater Health’s Sarnia hospital, declared Friday.

The latest seven-day incidence rate of confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in Lambton was 519.7.

Due to recent testing changes, the number of cases being reported is considered a “substantial underestimate” of the actual figure, Lambton medical officer of health Dr. Sudit Ranade said recently .

For every confirmed case, officials believe there are another three to four unknown cases in the community.

The health unit recently announced plans to double vaccine clinic capacity to about 7,000 doses per week.

One in four people in Lambton age five and older had received a third dose as of Jan. 7.

Local doctors’ offices, family health teams and pharmacies are also upping their capacity, the health unit said.

Appointment-booking was opening Sunday for a provincial vaccination bus, setting up at the Petrolia Farmers’ Market pavilion 1-7 pm Monday. The stop will be its third in the region.

Details are available at .

More information about upcoming clinics is available at .

-with files from Terry Bridge

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