The Sarnia Primary Control Group (SPCG) met electronically with staff from Lambton Public Health (LPH) and Point Edward regarding developments related to COVID-19.

Local Update

The province announced updating testing and isolation guidelines to protect our most vulnerable and maintain the stability of critical workforces. These changes come into effect Friday, December 31, 2021.

In response to the rapidly spreading and highly transmissible Omicron variant, the Ontario government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, have updated COVID-19 testing and isolation guidelines. More details are available online here.

High-risk settings will continue to be provided with infection prevention and control guidance by Lambton Public Health staff and declared outbreaks will be published on the Sarnia-Lambton COVID-19 Surveillance Report. This change means that Lambton Public Health will no longer be declaring new outbreaks associated with workplaces or community settings.

For the latest updates on Sarnia-Lambton’s COVID-19 Immunization Rollout, please visit GetTheVaccine.ca.

Businesses, organizations and individuals are asked to take measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 in these settings, and public health recommendations to support these efforts can be found here.

Provincial Update

If you think you have been exposed to Covid-19 visit Ontario.ca/exposed for more information.

Ontario is restricting spectator capacity to 50 per cent of the usual seating capacity or 1,000 people, whichever is less, in the indoor areas of the following settings:

  • Spectator areas of facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities (e.g., sporting events);
  • Concert venues; and
  • Theatres

The government and the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to monitor the data to determine when it is safe to lift capacity limits in these settings.

Update to Provincial Testing

Publicly funded PCR testing will be available only for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic and/or are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Members of the public with mild symptoms are asked not to seek testing. A full list of eligible individuals can be found here. In addition, most individuals with a positive result from a rapid antigen test will no longer be required or encouraged to get a confirmatory PCR or rapid molecular test.

Update to Provincial Isolation Guidelines

Individuals with COVID-19 who are vaccinated, as well as children under 12, will be required to isolate for five days following the onset of symptoms. Their household contacts are also required to isolate with them. These individuals can end isolation after five days if their symptoms are improved for at least 24 hours and all public health and safety measures, such as masking and physical distancing, are followed. Non-household contacts are required to self-monitor for ten days. Click here to read the full announcement.

Enhancing Proof of Vaccination Requirements

Effective January 4, 2022, all City indoor recreational facilities that currently require proof of vaccination at the point of entry, which includes City of Sarnia Arenas and the Strangway Centre will require the use of the Ontario enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code.

The QR code can be used digitally or by printing a paper copy. Identification will still be required in addition to the enhanced vaccine certificate with QR code.

Individuals can download their enhanced certificate with QR code by visiting: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/ or by visiting local libraries or calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900 to have their vaccine certificate mailed to them. They can also visit a Service Ontario centre to receive a printed copy.

Supports for Businesses

The Ontario government is introducing two new supports for many of the businesses that are most impacted by public health measures in response to the Omicron variant:

The Ontario Business Costs Rebate Program: eligible businesses will receive rebate payments equivalent to 50 per cent of the property tax and energy costs they incur while subject to the current capacity limits. This will provide support to businesses that are expected to be most impacted financially by the requirement to reduce capacity to 50 per cent. A full list of eligible business types will be made available through a program guide in mid-January 2022.

A six-month interest and penalty-free period to make payments for certain provincially administered taxes. The six-month period will begin January 1, 2022, and end July 1, 2022.

Click here to read the full announcement.

The Federal Government also announced its intention to temporarily expand eligibility for key support programs to ensure Canadians are protected and workers and businesses get the help they need to sustain them through new and necessary public health restrictions. Click here for more details.

COVID-19 Resources

As of 10:00 a.m. on December 31 the SPCG can report that:

Summary of COVID-19 cases in Lambton County from LPH

Confirmed Cases 5,600
Resolved Cases 4,742
Deaths 83
Active Cases 775
Current Active Outbreaks 4
Incidence Rate per 100,000 – Week of December 19-25 2021 355
Percent Positive Data temporarily delayed
Immunizations – as of December 30, 2021
Total immunizations given 221,449
First Dose 101,585
Second Dose 96,136
Third Dose 23,728
% Age 5+ with first dose 80
% Age 5+ fully vaccinated 76
% Age %+ with 3 doses 19

By-Law Enforcement COVID-19 Reporting System

Total number of complaints and inquiries received 2,283
Total number of emails received 1,928
Total number of phone calls received 355
Total number of charges issued 13

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For further information, please contact:

City of Sarnia, Customer Service
customerservice@sarnia.ca or 519-332-0330 Ext. 3131