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.
- Status updates about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) will be posted as new developments arise.
- If you have questions related to COVID-19, use our form to submit your information and Public Health staff will call you back within 24 hours, unless extenuating circumstances.
If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911.
The changing situation requires that our agency, community, and individuals prepare for the potential wider spread of the infection in the community. Learn more about what Public Health Sudbury & Districts is doing to respond to this pandemic.
What’s on this page
- Symptoms of COVID-19
- COVID-19 self-assessment
- What to do if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19
- How does COVID-19 spread
- How to protect yourself and your family
- How to take care of someone who is ill
- How to self-monitor
- How to self-isolate
- Testing for COVID-19
- Treatment for COVID-19
- Credible sources of information
- What Public Health Sudbury & Districts is doing to respond to novel coronavirus
You may also be interested in (related pages):
Symptoms of COVID-19
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
- difficulty breathing
Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.
What to do if you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19
If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911. If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them if you have a respiratory illness.
If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, immediately self-isolate (learn how).
If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has it you have the following options:
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.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts COVID-19 call centre
If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, have been in contact with someone who has it, or would like general information about COVID-19 call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).
- Availability: during regular business hours, and extended hours on evenings and weekends (subject to change based on call volumes)
- Callers can leave messages and Public Health staff will call back within 24 hours, unless extenuating circumstances
- At times, call volumes are high, and your patience is appreciated
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
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
- Clients MUST call 705.671.7373 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 7 days per week.
- Assessment Centre online information
Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC)
- Clients must call MHC (Mindemoya 705.377.5311, Little Current 705.368.2300). Calls are answered between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (seven days a week).
- The MHC Centres are open Monday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Assessment Centre’s online information
Espanola and area communities (mobile assessment centre)
- For clients in Nairn, McKerrow, Massey, Sagamok, Webwood, Espanola, and Birch Island.
- Clients MUST first be screened by Telehealth Ontario, Public Health Sudbury & Districts, Family Physician’s Office, Sagamok Wellness Centre, or Birch Island Health Centre.
- If you meet the screening criteria, your health care provider will give you the number for the COVID-19 Assessment Centre phone line.
- Assessment Centre online information
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:
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.
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 gloves, a mask, and eye protection (goggles or a face shield) while you provide care or are in the same room as the person.
Taking protection off
Follow these steps when you remove your protective equipment:
- Take your gloves off.
- 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).
- Remove your eye protection.
- Remove your mask by only holding the ear loops or ties—do not touch the front of the mask that was over your face.
- Put the mask in a waste container or disposable bag right away.
- Use a cleaner or disinfectant to clean your eye protection. Follow the product instructions.
- 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
- Avoid sharing items that might be contaminated, for example, toothbrushes, cigarettes or vapes, eating utensils, drinks, towels, washcloths, or bed linen. Do not share a bed.
- Clean dishes and eating utensils with dish soap and water after use. Use of a dishwasher with a drying cycle will also provide a sufficient level of cleaning.
- Clean high-touch areas such as toilets, sink tap handles, doorknobs, and bedside tables daily. Use regular household cleaners and clean more often, if visibly soiled.
- Wash laundry thoroughly using regular laundry soap and water.
- Wash your hands frequently. The infected person should do the same. Wash your hands for 15 seconds (count out loud as a reminder). Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is preferred. If alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not available, plain soap and water is acceptable. If hands are visibly soiled, clean them with plain soap and water.
Monitor your health
- Monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, congestion (stuffy), difficulty breathing).
- If you think you are ill, isolate yourself right away and call Public Health. See the self-isolation fact sheet for instructions.
- Follow the instructions below if you need to go to the hospital or if you seek medical care.
If you need to take someone with COVID-19 to the hospital or an appointment
- Do not use public transportation such as buses, taxis, airplanes, or trains.
- Call Public Health if you need to take the person you are caring for to the hospital or to a medical appointment. We will discuss transportation options for you, and we will call the hospital or clinic to make sure they are prepared when you arrive.
- The person you are caring for should wear a mask (surgical or procedure mask) over their nose and mouth, and travel in a private vehicle if possible.
- If you need to call an ambulance, tell them that the person you care for has COVID-19 (coronavirus) so they can take special precautions.
How to self-monitor
Download the how to self-monitor instructions (Public Health Ontario, PDF)
How to self-isolate
- All persons over 70 years of age and individuals who are immunocompromised are advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
- ALL returning travellers to Canada (including those returning from the United States) are advised to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
This means that you should only leave your home or see other people for essential reasons. Where possible, you should seek services over the phone or internet or ask for help from friends, family, or neighbours with essential errands.
Download the instructions for people who have been asked to self-isolate (Public Health Ontario, PDF). This information is important if:
- You have been asked to self-isolate OR you live with someone who is self-isolating.
- It does not take the place of medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
- If you have are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (which include fever or new cough or worsening chronic cough), you must self-isolate for 14 days from onset of symptoms and follow any advice from your health care provider. If you have no fever and your symptoms are improving after 14 days, you can return to your usual activities. Be sure to practise physical distancing.
- Additionally, if you have recently travelled outside of Canada or been in close contact with a confirmed case, regardless of whether or not you are experiencing symptoms, you must also self-isolate for 14 days.
- Note that health care workers and essential service workers returning from any destination outside of Canada are permitted to return to work upon their return from travel providing they have no symptoms. These workers should self-monitor for symptoms and immediately self-isolate should symptoms develop.
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.
- drink plenty of fluids
- get rest and sleep as much as possible
- try a humidifier or a hot shower to help with a sore throat or cough
More tips for self-care
Credible sources of information
Canadians’ best defense against COVID-19 is to stay informed and be prepared. The following are credible sources of information.
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Media briefings Monday to Friday at 3 p.m.
- Public Health Ontario
- World Health Organization
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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.
Preparing for community spread
During an outbreak in the community, Public Health Sudbury & Districts will work 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 would be made in consultation with local, provincial, and federal partners and could include measures such as temporary school closures or cancellations of mass gatherings.
There are steps people can take today to reduce the spread of illness in our community and also prepare for more widespread transmission of COVID-19.
How to prepare
This item was last modified on March 27, 2020