With Ontario COVID-19 vaccine passports on the way in as he was on the way out, Lambton’s temporary top doctor noted there was some initial confusion over who was supposed to enforce them.
Dr. Christopher Greensmith, Lambton’s interim acting medical officer of health while Dr. Sudit Ranade ran in the federal election, said restaurant staff, bylaw officers and Ministry of Labour inspectors are on the front lines of following up on compliance.
But so are the patrons.
“We all have to enforce that,” he said. “We’re all in this together and we have to help restaurateurs and the like by being polite and showing our proof of vaccine. It’s all work for them, but it’s all work that goes towards making us all safe, so we should be grateful that they’re asking.”
Some restaurants throughout the region have said they will opt out of indoor dining to avoid checking customer vaccination records at the door. But for those non-essential businesses that are still open, Greensmith urged area residents to take ownership by following public-health guidelines.
“Not by calling the police because you see somebody without a mask on but, if you go past a store at Lambton Mall and there’s nobody wearing a mask in it, then don’t go in,” he said. “Or, if you have to go in, make sure you’re wearing a mask.”
Greensmith also reminded residents proof of vaccinations can be printed for free at local libraries.
About 75 per cent of the entire 12-plus population throughout Sarnia-Lambton was fully vaccinated as of the most recent figures from the local health unit. Total doses – administered by the health unit, hospitals, doctors’ officers, and pharmacies – have eclipsed 180,700.
Clinics are scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday at the community hall inside Point Edward Arena from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesday at the arena in Forest from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visit the health unit’s website for more information.
Four new local COVID-19 cases were reported Monday by the health unit. Of the 3,833 cases since the pandemic began, 3,699 were considered resolved while 64 were still active. A total of 561 have screened positive for variants of concern, with 104 linked to Delta.
There were three active outbreaks – one at a Catholic elementary school in Sarnia and the others at a daycare and a school at Walpole Island First Nation.
The local death toll was still 70 while Bluewater Health reported no COVID-positive patients in hospital.