How COVID-19 spreads
Coronaviruses are spread mainly from person to person through close contact, for example, in a household, workplace, or health care centre. When someone who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes, sings, shouts, or talks they spray droplets from their nose or mouth. If you are too close, you can inhale the droplets. COVID-19 can also be spread via direct contact with surfaces that are potentially contaminated with the virus.
Symptoms, self-assessments, and self-isolation
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (Government of Ontario), assume that you may have the virus. If you have already tested positive for COVID-19, you can get the disease again.
COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe. Complications from COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death. If you feel sick, it’s important that you stay home and talk with a primary care provider or doctor.
Post COVID-19 condition, also called long COVID, refers to the effects of COVID-19 that continue for more than 12 weeks after the initial infection. Visit Canada.ca for more information.
For a complete list of COVID-19 symptoms, visit the Ministry of Health website (Government of Ontario).
Complete the Government of Ontario COVID-19 self-assessment for a recommendation on what to do next which may include staying home and self-isolating. You can visit the Ministry of Health website for the latest COVID-19 health advice. If you were exposed to the virus, including being a household contact of someone with the virus, follow additional precautions (Government of Ontario) to protect yourself and others. Parents, children, and school and child care staff should answer the questions in the COVID-19 school screening tool (Government of Ontario) daily before going to school or child care.
Testing for COVID-19
Diagnosis of COVID-19 is done by swabbing the nose or throat. Currently, there are two types of tests—rapid antigen test (RAT) and a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test—that can detect the COVID-19 virus in your body at the time of testing. If you have been recently exposed the virus might not be detected immediately. Visit the Ontario’s Testing & Treatment webpage for more information.
Rapid antigen tests
Free rapid antigen test kits are available at Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ locations. These kits are available to individuals at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19, including people who may be eligible for COVID-19 treatment. You may be at higher risk if you are any of the following:
- 60 years of age or older
- 18 years of age or older and are immunocompromised
- 18 to 59 years old and at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 including having:
- one or more underlying medical conditions (such as diabetes, heart or lung disease), or
- inadequate immunity against COVID-19 from:
- not receiving a full primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine
- having received a full primary series but no COVID-19 vaccine or COVID-19 infection within the past 6 months
The test kits are free of charge and can be picked up in our office reception areas from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Some offices are closed for the lunch hour (noted below). Office locations include:
- 1300 Paris Street, Sudbury
- 10 Elm Street, Unit 130, Sudbury
- 34 Birch Street (entrance on Lorne Street), Chapleau (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)
- 800 Centre Street, Unit 100 C, Espanola (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)
- 6163 Highway 542, Mindemoya (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)
- 1 King Street, St. Charles (closed from noon to 1 p.m.)
A rapid antigen test will provide a result within 15 minutes following the use of the test. Learn what to do if you get a positive result or what do if you have symptoms, but get a negative result (Ontario Government).
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is prioritized based on clinical and public health needs. PCR testing is available for high-risk individuals, and individuals who work in high-risk settings. Learn who is (Government of Ontario) and where to get tested for COVID-19 in Sudbury and districts.
COVID-19 assessment centres
Important: These centres are for eligible individuals who qualify for PCR testing.
- Appointments are required. Walk-ins will not be seen.
- DO NOT present yourself at an emergency department or health care provider’s office for testing.
- Drive-through or mobile testing options may be provided.
Check with your nearest assessment centre for more information and follow these instructions:
Please visit assessment centre online information to book an appointment (see links below):
How can you find out your test results?
You will be able to access your COVID-19 PCR test results through online portal (Ministry of Health).
COVID-19 vaccination and treatment
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. It is strongly recommended you stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations to protect yourself, your loved ones, and our communities from COVID-19. Learn more on COVID-19 vaccines and vaccination opportunity and check out our frequently asked questions.
Antiviral treatments are now available in Ontario, by prescription, to people with COVID-19 who are at higher risk (Government of Ontario) of developing severe symptoms.
Visit ontario.ca to learn more about COVID-19 antiviral treatments, who is eligible, and how to get treatment.
A health care provider may determine if an antiviral treatment is right for you, even if you do not belong to one of the groups who are eligible, based on your individual circumstances. Use the COVID-19 antiviral treatment screener tool (Government of Ontario) to determine if you are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 and may benefit from these treatments.
Antiviral treatment is not a replacement for vaccination.
COVID-19 vaccine information and booking
Visit our vaccination clinics for COVID-19 page for information on local clinic dates, times, and locations, as well as important information on
Make a plan
- Create a plan based on your needs and daily routines, including having other options for child, elder, and pet care. Consider the following when creating your plan: know how long you will need to self-isolate if you are ill.
- Build on your emergency preparedness plan(Government of Canada).
- Talk to your neighbours, friends, or family about a buddy system in which you agree to check in on each other and run essential errands if you become sick or need to self-isolate.
- Make plans for your children or other dependents in case you get sick.
- Identify agencies that may be able to offer help, whether for food, mental health support, or other supplies.
- Create an emergency contact list, for example, information of health care provider, friends, family, and community services.
- Ensure you have enough prescriptions and over-the-counter medication.
- Reduce your risks and protect yourself and other by being COVID-safe.
COVID-19 data and current status
Visit our current status (COVID-19) page for information on vaccine, testing, and COVID-19 case data including hospitalization rates, and for information on outbreaks. You can also download our weekly detailed report: COVID-19 case epidemiology and vaccination program update.
Reports and infographics (COVID-19)
Public Health Sudbury & Districts has prepared reports and infographics which highlight our role as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be COVID-safe means to assess your actions, think things through, and take deliberate precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn how our behaviour can help reduce the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19
Do you have questions about COVID-19?
We continue to be here for you. For 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 you may call:
- Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200), Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Health811 can be reached by calling 811 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or visiting ontario.ca/Health811.
The following are additional credible sources of information.
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Public Health Ontario
- World Health Organization
Does Public Health post information online about outbreaks for respiratory and enteric diseases?
Yes, Public Health posts information online for outbreaks related to respiratory and enteric diseases when there are no personal privacy concerns related to the situation.