Novel coronavirus, COVID-19

With many countries now reporting that COVID-19 is spreading within the general population, the global risk related to the virus is increasing.

If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911.

What’s on this page

You may also be interested in (related pages):

The changing situation requires that our agency, community, and individuals prepare for the spread of infection in the community. Learn more about what Public Health Sudbury & Districts is doing to respond to this pandemic and be sure to follow credible sources of information.

COVID-19 call centre

If you have questions related to COVID-19, call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200)

Use our form to submit your information and Public Health staff will call you back within 24 hours, unless extenuating circumstances. You can also read our frequently asked questions for more information on COVID-19.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

Other less frequent symptoms of COVID-19 have been reported to include:

Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

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What to do if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19

IMPORTANT: If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, follow these steps:

  1. Isolate yourself right away. Learn how to self-isolate.
  2. If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911.
  3. Find out if you should seek medical attention. Use the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool or call Telehealth Ontario, your health care provider, or a local COVID-19 assessment centre.
  4. For general information about COVID-19, call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

Ministry of Health COVID-19 online self-assessment

Use the Ministry of Health self-assessment to help determine if you need to seek further care.

Telehealth Ontario

Call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007). Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.

Your health care provider

If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them if you have a respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of illness.

Local COVID-19 assessment centres

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Testing for COVID-19

Who is eligible for COVID-19 testing?

There are no eligibility criteria for testing. Testing for COVID-19 is based on a clinical assessment of each person. The priority as a health system is for testing to inform clinical and public health management.

As there is not a limitless supply of testing materials or laboratory capacity, testing is prioritized for those who are at risk of more severe disease or those who live or work in settings that are higher risk.

Priority groups include symptomatic health care workers and staff from health care facilities; symptomatic residents and staff in long-term care and retirement homes and other settings, for example, homeless shelters; hospital patients admitted with respiratory symptoms; symptomatic members of remote, isolated, rural and/or Indigenous communities; and symptomatic travellers identified at a point of entry to Canada.

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Who determines who gets tested for COVID-19?

Public Health Sudbury & Districts does not decide who gets tested. Our agency will refer individuals to a health care provider who will make a clinical assessment and decide whether testing is recommended or not. All specimens will be tested by the laboratory, but the tests will be analyzed in priority sequence. Those who are at risk of more severe disease or those who live or work in settings that are higher risk are given higher priority.

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What is the role of public health in testing?

Public Health Sudbury & Districts is one agency individuals may contact if they are concerned about their symptoms as it relates to COVID-19. Our agency may make a recommendation about whether an individual should receive testing; however, the final decision to test an individual is made by health care providers, based on a clinical assessment.

If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, immediately self-isolate (learn how). Then, you can contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200), your health care provider, your local COVID-19 assessment centre, or Telehealth Ontario at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007).

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Who is responsible for COVID-19 testing?

COVID-19 testing (the actual swabbing) is done in a number of different venues in the region. Testing is done at Ministry of Health funded and approved COVID-19 assessment centres, but may also be done by others, including local health care providers.

COVID-19 assessment centres

Important: These centres are for clients who require further assessment and possibly testing. Appointments are required. Walk-ins will not be seen. Not everyone will be tested. DO NOT present yourself at an emergency department or health care provider’s office. Follow these instructions:

Health Sciences North (HSN) assessment centre
Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC)
Espanola and area communities (mobile assessment centre)
Chapleau assessment centre

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How can you find out your test results?

Ontario has launched a new user-friendly online portal (Ministry of Health) for the public to easily access their COVID-19 lab test results. The COVID-19 Test Results Viewer offers a fast and secure way to access your test results through your computer or mobile device.

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What is the public health advice for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms?

Regardless of whether or not you have been tested, the public health guidance for people with fever or new or worsening chronic cough remains the same.

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How does COVID-19 spread

Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace, or health care centre.

Watch this video from the World Health Organization to learn more:

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How to protect yourself and your family

Simple, easy, and routine hygiene practices can reduce the spread of germs and help you stay healthy.

Wash your hands as an important part of your daily routine. Washing your hands is your best defense against spreading illness such as coronavirus, influenza, colds, food-borne diseases, and norovirus.

Learn more about handwashing and tips to help reduce the chances of getting an infection or spreading it to others. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or cough or sneeze into your sleeve, if a tissue is not available. Throw used tissues into the garbage right away.

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How to take care of someone who is ill

Download the instructions for caregivers of someone who has, or who may have, COVID-19.

If you are caring for someone who has, or who may have, COVID-19, limit your contact with them as much as possible. Public Health Sudbury & Districts will give you special instructions about how to monitor your own health, whether you should self-isolate, and what to do if you start to feel sick.

Follow the advice of your health care provider and/or Public Health Sudbury & Districts. If you have questions, or you or the person you are caring for start to feel worse, contact Public Health, and your health care provider or Telehealth Ontario.

Special instructions for caregivers (recommendations)

Wear protection
Taking protection off
Follow these steps when you remove your protective equipment:
  1. Take your gloves off.
  2. Wash your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer (preferred method). Use of plain soap and water is acceptable if alcohol-based hand rub or sanitizer is not available. If your hands are visibly soiled, clean them with plain soap and water. Wash your hands for 15 seconds (count out loud as a reminder).
  3. Remove your eye protection.
  4. Remove your mask by only holding the ear loops or ties—do not touch the front of the mask that was over your face.
  5. Put the mask in a waste container or disposable bag right away.
  6. Use a cleaner or disinfectant to clean your eye protection. Follow the product instructions.
  7. Wash your hands a second time. If your hands look dirty or came into contact with respiratory secretions or other body fluids, clean them with plain soap and water.

Stop the spread of infection

Monitor your health
If you need to take someone with COVID-19 to the hospital or an appointment

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How to self-monitor

Download the how to self-monitor instructions (Public Health Ontario, PDF)

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How to self-isolate

This means you should stay home. Do not go to work or school or other public places. Do not use public transportation, taxis or rideshares. Call on family, friends or neighbours for essential errands or use the phone or the internet for services and supplies where relevant.

Download the instructions for people who have been asked to self-isolate (Public Health Ontario, PDF). This information is important if:

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Treatment for COVID-19

There are no specific treatments for coronaviruses, and there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19. Most people with common human coronavirus illnesses will recover on their own.

You should:

More tips for self-care

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Credible sources of information

Canadians’ best defense against COVID-19 is to stay informed and be prepared. The following are credible sources of information.

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What Public Health Sudbury & Districts is doing to respond to novel coronavirus

Public Health is closely monitoring the global situation and working alongside stakeholders to coordinate activities at a local, provincial, and national level with the assistance of health care professionals and other agencies.

During an outbreak in the community, Public Health Sudbury & Districts works with partners to implement measures to help keep people healthy, reduce exposures to COVID-19, and slow the spread of the disease. Decisions about what actions to take are made in consultation with local, provincial, and federal partners.

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This item was last modified on April 9, 2020