COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Novel coronavirus, COVID-19

Please stay home unless essential to do otherwise.

Protect yourself from COVID-19

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

What is the current situation in Sudbury and districts?

Instructions issued by the Medical Officer of Health

Requirements within a Letter of Instructions (LOI) are mandatory and legally enforceable under the provincial Reopening Ontario Act (ROA). Review the current Instructions issued by the Medical Officer of Health. The time-limited measures will be in place until the situation improves based on ongoing risk assessments and monitoring of key public health and health indicators.

Class Order

October 28, 2021: Read the Special COVID-19 Statement from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe and Class Order made pursuant to Section 22 (5.0.1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.H.7

A plan to safely reopen Ontario and manage COVID-19 for the long-term

The Ontario government has released A plan to safely reopen Ontario and manage COVID-19 for the long-term. The plan outlines a gradual approach (Government of Ontario, PDF) to lifting remaining public health and workplace safety measures by March 2022. The plan will be guided by the ongoing assessment of key public health and health care indicators and supported by local or regional tailored responses to COVID-19.

Your actions matter, COVID-19 safety

Continue to follow public health measures. Stay home except for essential purposes such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care service, or for essential work. Monitor and screen for symptoms of COVID-19, get tested for COVID-19 if you have any symptoms. Practise physical distancing and wear a face covering. You are encouraged to be physically active and take advantage of the outdoors while following public health guidance related to physical distancing and wearing masks, when appropriate. Avoid all non-essential travel outside of Sudbury & districts.

When practised diligently, COVID-safe measures help to limit the spread of COVID-19, including the variants.

COVID-19 vaccine

Find out what we know about the COVID-19 vaccine so far and stay up to date by checking back regularly and visiting credible sources of information.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics

For details on upcoming vaccination clinics, visit our vaccination clinics page.

Schools

On Friday, July 30, 2021, the provincial government announced the September reopening of Ontario schools. Learn more about schools and COVID-19. 

Workplaces

Employers must take precautions to protect the health of the workforce and support measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more about sector specific guidance.

Orders and enforcement

Provincial governments, municipal governments, police services, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts all have a role to play in enforcing orders and closures.

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).

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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:

  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. Call a local COVID-19 assessment centre, use the online COVID-19 self-assessment tool, the COVID-19 school screening tool (Government of Ontario) or call your health care provider or Telehealth Ontario.
  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 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.

To find your closest Ontario testing location to get a COVID-19 test, visit COVID-19 testing locations (ontario.ca).

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).

Rapid antigen testing

Rapid antigen point-of-care testing (also known as ‘rapid testing’ or R.A.T.) is a screening test available for people who do not have COVID-19 symptoms and have had no known exposure to someone infected with COVID-19. Rapid antigen testing should not be used by someone who has had a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 or by someone with symptoms. Instead, these individuals should seek testing through a local assessment centre. Local assessment centres use PCR testing, which is different than rapid antigen testing.

There is no requirement to report positive results from a rapid antigen test to Public Health as long as the individual has no symptoms of COVID-19 and has no known contact with someone infected with COVID-19.

If you test positive using a rapid antigen test, you should:

Individuals who test positive with a rapid antigen test who have symptoms or are a contact of someone with COVID-19 should contact Public Health for further assessment and direction.

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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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What to do if you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to COVID-19

Public Health Sudbury & Districts provides guidance and information to individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or are close contacts of someone who tested positive.

If you test positive or are exposed to COVID-19, you may receive this information through a letter from a school, daycare, workplace, or individual responsible for a setting that a case attended.

Public Health has also created guidance flowcharts to help quickly identify the steps you need to take. In additional to following the guidance flowchart, you must also carefully read the letter you received from Public Health as it has important details about the exposure and guidance.

Guidance and information letters and flowcharts

Case letter and flowchart
Household contact letter and flowchart
School contact letter and flowchart
School breakthrough contact letter and flowchart
High-risk contact letter and flowchart
Owner/operator letter

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.

Keeping track of who you see and where you go is another easy way to help protect your friends, your family and your community. Can you remember all of the places you went and the people you spent time with over the last two weeks? If not, consider keeping a contact log. This will help Public Health with thorough contact tracing in the event you get sick. Record information in your calendar, the notes section of your phone, on a piece of paper, or using an app. You can also download or print our contact log.

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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

Self-isolation means you should stay home and isolate away from others in your 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 essentials. Use the phone or the internet for services and supplies where relevant.

There are some scenarios in which individuals will be required to self-isolate. For example:

Fully vaccinated individuals who have no symptoms will not need to isolate, even if they are linked to an exposure, unless otherwise directed by Public Health. Download the instructions for people who have been asked to self-isolate (Public Health Ontario, PDF). For travellers, please visit https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid (Government of Canada) for the latest travel advice, advisories, and quarantine instructions.

For more information on self-isolation visit our frequently asked questions.

 

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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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This item was last modified on November 30, 2021