Information for employers: COVID-19—Distributed: March 12, 2020, to Workplace Health Network

Distributed: March 12, 2020, to Workplace Health Network

We are writing to provide timely information on COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

As you have likely read through recent media reports and our public communications, the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts was confirmed on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. We recognize that this local development is of relevance to workplaces and employers. This letter provides details about the situation and what you and your employees can do to protect yourselves.

Current situation

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts is a male in his 50s who presented himself to the emergency department at Health Sciences North on March 7, 2020. Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world.

Although this is concerning, as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. While the Public Health investigation is ongoing, it is known that on March 2 and 3, this individual attended the PDAC (Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) 2020 convention in Toronto. Our local focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection.

As a precautionary measure, we are asking those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days since they last attended the conference.

COVID-19 symptoms and testing for infection

Symptoms include fever or cough or difficulty breathing. If people experience symptoms, they are directed to self-isolate as quickly as possible and immediately call their health care professionals or Public Health to make arrangements to be tested. Anyone who is ill and who must visit a health care professional is required to call ahead and advise of their potential respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of illness. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 infection can range from minor to severe. Complications of COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

Individuals who do not develop symptoms do not need to self-isolate. Public Health encourages everyone to use good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette practices.

Risk of infection

While the risk to our community remains low, we encourage you to stay informed by regularly visiting Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ website at for updates and resources.

Treatment for COVID-19

At this time, there are no specific treatments for COVID-19 infection, and there is no vaccine available. Most people with novel coronavirus infection will recover on their own.

Guidance for workplaces

Public Health Sudbury & Districts encourages employers to be proactive and provide support to your workplaces and employees to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Below you will find resources for your reference that we encourage you to review.

What you can do to prepare for COVID-19:

Employers should:

Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness. We encourage you to print and display information about preventing the spread of illness in key locations in your workplace. The following posters are available for your use: 8.5 x 11” handout, 8.5 x 11” bilingual handout and 11 x 17″ poster.

Additional information

More information for workplaces to protect customers, contractors, and employees can also be found at:

Please contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts for additional information at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Public Health’s social media accounts (French and English) also share timely and relevant information about COVID-19—follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

This item was last modified on March 13, 2020