Novel coronavirus, COVID-19

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

If you have a COVID-19 symptom, or have been exposed to the virus as informed by Public Health or the COVID Alert app, get tested. As of September 24, 2020, the Province of Ontario has updated the eligibility and testing criteria for COVID-19 assessment centres. Stay informed and seek testing if necessary.

Protect yourself from COVID-19

All residents who are planning to travel should be aware that COVID-19 is still circulating at different levels around the province. The safest options are to stay in the area of your home community or to stay in the region. If you think you have travelled somewhere (within or outside of Ontario) where you may have been exposed to COVID-19, call us at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

When you go out, make sure to follow public health guidance—wash your hands, cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or a tissue, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, follow all the steps of physical distancing, wear your face covering, and stay home when ill.

What is the current situation in Sudbury and districts?

Stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 developments by following Public Health Sudbury & Districts on Twitter and Facebook.

Fall 2020 return to school

With schools reopening their doors in a pandemic, the focus is on safety for students and staff. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is working actively with school boards in our service area to ensure they have the Public Health supports they need for a healthy and successful return to school.

Face coverings and Public Health Sudbury & Districts instructions

Currently in effect: All persons responsible for a business or an organization that is currently open in the area served by Public Health Sudbury & Districts must have a policy in place to ensure that no one is permitted to enter or remain in an enclosed public space (public indoor spaces) unless they are wearing a face covering. This includes public transit. They must also have a policy in place for enclosed employee spaces to ensure physical distancing or face coverings, where physical distancing is not possible, among other responsibilities. Exemptions to wearing a face covering apply, for example due to medical conditions or age. No proof is required for exemption. For more information about face coverings and exemptions read our frequently asked questions. Learn more about these instructions in our letter to employers (322 KB, PDF).

Framework for Reopening our Province

Effective Friday, July 17, 2020, the area served by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, will enter Stage 3 of the Framework for Reopening our Province (Government of Ontario). In Stage 3, even more businesses, organizations, and public spaces are permitted to reopen in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts provided they follow Public Health advice and workplace safety guidance.

Do you have questions about COVID-19?

If you have general or personal health-related questions about COVID-19, use our COVID-19 information request form to submit your information and Public Health staff will call you. Or, try our COVID-19 call centre at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).

COVID-19 guidance (related pages)

You may also be interested in (related pages):

What’s on this page

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 one business day. 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.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
Other symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
Atypical/less common signs and symptoms:

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:

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 or face covering 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?

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.

Testing is available for:

Priority groups include

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What does testing tell you?

The test detects COVID-19 virus in your body at the time of testing. If you have been exposed and are in the early days of incubating the virus, it might not be detected. Testing will not tell you if you were previously infected, as the antibody test is not yet available. It is important to maintain other public health measures such as handwashing and physical distancing.

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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.

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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.

Check with your nearest assessment centre for more information and follow these instructions:

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

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How can you find out your test results?

You will be able to access your COVID-19 lab test results through a secure online portal (Ministry of Health).

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How does Public Health conduct follow-up after a positive test result?

When Public Health Sudbury & Districts receives notification of a positive test result, our staff will follow-up with the individual who has the positive test result for COVID-19. A person with a positive test result is called a confirmed “case”.

Case management

Public Health gets in touch with the individual who is a case as soon as possible following reporting of the case to Public Health. Public health professionals discuss the test results and explore possible exposure settings as well as close contacts of the case. Instructions and follow up actions are provided based on this conversation.

These instructions will cover how to self-isolate, how to self-monitor for signs and symptoms, ways to prevent or control the spread of infection, and how to properly clean living environments. Public health professionals will also answer any questions an individual or family may have.

Individuals with COVID-19 (cases) will receive daily follow-up by public health professionals to monitor their symptoms and the progression of the illness, monitor resolution of symptoms, and to ensure ongoing self-isolation.

It is critical that individuals with COVID-19 (cases) maintain self-isolation, including from people living in the same household, until told otherwise by Public Health so that they do not spread the infection to others.

Contact tracing

At the same time that Public Health conducts follow up with confirmed cases, our public health professionals also begin a process called contact tracing.

Through this process, public health professionals identify people who may have been in close contact with a person with COVID-19 during the period of time when the person may have been able to spread the infection.

The purpose of identifying contacts is to provide these people with important direction to reduce the spread of infection to others (e.g. self-monitoring, work-related direction, self-isolation).

Examples of people who are considered close contacts of a case of COVID-19 are:
Close contacts of a case

Once public health professionals identify close contacts, they immediately follow-up with each person individually to provide public health information and direction. Close contacts of cases receive regular contact to ensure they are following any public health direction provided.

Not all contacts of a person with COVID-19 will develop infections. The risk of infection depends on a number of factors to determine the level of exposure. Public health professionals use the level of exposure of each contact to determine the required public health direction.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts will continue to follow-up with both cases and contacts until they meet the criteria for resolution and can discontinue their isolation and/or monitoring.

Declaring an outbreak

Public Health assesses each unique situation in determining if an outbreak should be declared, including, for example, occupation, exposures in the home, symptoms of the case, specific risk factors, and local epidemiology. Learn more about what leads to the declaration of an outbreak in long-term care homes, retirement homes, and other congregate settings in our guidance for health care providers, long-term care homes, and retirement homes (COVID-19).

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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:

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.

Public Health assesses each unique situation in determining if an outbreak should be declared. 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.

Learn more about our COVID-19 response activities and guidance for long-term care and retirement homes.

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This item was last modified on October 27, 2020