Community safety and direction update from Public Health: COVID-19Issued: Saturday, March 14, 2020
Public Health Sudbury & Districts is committed to providing timely updates related to evolving COVID-19 directions and guidance.
“Our priority is that residents and stakeholders are aware of how the rapidly changing situation involves us locally. We need to have up-to-date information on provincial and federal directions and understand the impact on our own lives,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health. “This pandemic situation is fluid and doesn’t affect the whole country or the whole province in the same way or at the same time. We can expect to be at different stages of the outbreak and have different waves of infections at times that will vary region to region. Because of this, we need coordinated yet nimble actions that respond to our real-time circumstances,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
Current local situation
The local situation remains unchanged with no evidence of community transmission.
As of noon, Friday, March 13, there have been 67 tests performed for COVID-19 within our service area. At this time, there remains only one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Sudbury and districts.
Travel guidance: self-isolation advised for returning international travellers
Travellers should delay all non-essential international travel.
Direction for ALL returning travellers to Canada (including those returning from the United States):
- Self-isolate for 14 days after your return from travel outside of Canada. Some provinces and territories may have specific recommendations for certain groups such as health care workers.
- Monitor your health for fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
- Wash your hands often for 20 seconds and cover your mouth and nose with your arm when coughing or sneezing.
- If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days, continue to isolate yourself from others and immediately call a health care professional or Public Health. Call ahead—do not drop in.
Gatherings and closures: guidance
Public Health is recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people. Organizers who have questions about smaller gatherings are encouraged to contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts. The community is asked to recognize the risk of attending public gatherings and to practise social distancing as much as possible until further notice to manage the spread of illness. Organizations that can take advantage of virtual options to continue providing services are strongly encouraged to do so. For up-to-date information on school closures visit the Ministry of Education website. For information about community events or services impacted by COVID-19, please consult your local municipality or individual event organizers of service providers.
Visiting long-term care homes and other health care facilities
- Essential visits are allowed: visitors who have loved ones (resident) who are dying or very ill, or parents or guardians of an ill child or youth in a live-in treatment setting may visit.
- These visitors will be actively screened before entering these settings.
- Other visitors are not permitted to enter these locations. Please keep in touch with loved ones by phone or other technologies, as available.
COVID-19 Assessment Centre: Health Sciences North
- Health Sciences North (HSN) is running a COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
- Clients MUST call 705.671.7373 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 7 days per week and are directed to NOT present at HSN’s Emergency Department.
- The Assessment Centre is by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be seen.
- Not everyone who attends the clinic will be tested.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts call centre – for general information about COVID-19
- Call 705.522.9200 (Press 1), 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.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath). Complications from the COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.
IMPORTANT: If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited.
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 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.
At this time, the virus is not circulating locally. However, this is a rapidly changing situation requiring that our agency, community, and individuals be prepared for the potential wider spread of the infection in the community.
Visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 for information about how you can prepare for the spread of COVID-19, how to monitor your health, and what to do if you think you are sick. For additional information, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). The Public Health COVID-19 website has personal preparedness information, specific guidance for employers, guidance for schools and childcare programs, travel information, guidance for health care providers, and additional COVID-19 resources.