Variant of concern emerges in county

Dr. Ranade announced that a positive test result is one of the 'variants of concern.'

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COVID-19

In his briefing Wednesday, Lambton Medical Officer of Health Dr. Ranade confirmed that a variant of concern  has been detected in one of the county’s positive Covid-19 test results.

He declined to go into detail but said that the variant of concern is being investigated and does not appear to be linked to travel.

“It’s just a matter of time”

Ranade said that the steps to manage the variants are no different than those to manage the original Covid-19 strain. He added that the appearance of the variant is “not unexpected.”

“It’s just a matter of time before we start identifying more and more variants of concern,” he said.

The province’s modelling projections shows that the variants of concern are spreading quickly and will likely make up 40 per cent of positive cases by mid – march.

There are currently 106 active cases of Covid-19 in the county. Ranade stated that there was “a sudden influx” of cases this week (possibly due to a lab backlog) which will change the totals.

As of Wednesday there were five institutional outbreaks and one workplace outbreak in Lambton County. This week Chief Henry announced an outbreak of 20 cases at Stoney and kettle Point. Ranade said he is aware of the outbreak and is working closely with the First Nation.

Ranade said that Lambton Public Health is set to begin administering the second dose of the Moderna vaccine to long term care and retirement home residents while the Pfizer vaccine is being allocated to high risk health care workers, long term care essential caregivers, EMS and others according to the province’s vaccination rollout plan.

Immunization for residents aged 90 and older, as well as caregivers residing in the same household, will begin March 6 at clinics in Point Edward or Forest. Residents can register online by visiting http://getthevaccine.ca/register or by calling the Lambton Public Health call centre 519-383-8331. Lambton Public Health is urging residents to register online if possible.

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