COVID‐19 – healthcare workers returning from travel and criteria for accessing testing

Advisory Alert

March 17, 2020

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To: Local Health System Partners

Re: COVID‐19 – healthcare workers returning from travel and criteria for accessing testing


As an update to the Alert sent on March 16th, returning travellers who work in essential services such as healthcare workers may return to work if asymptomatic. They are to self‐monitor for symptoms of COVID‐19 for a period of 14 days following return from travel. This applies to all travel outside of Canada. If symptoms develop, immediately self‐isolate and arrange for testing. Please see:‐measures‐to‐protect‐ontarians‐from‐covid‐19.html


Health Sciences North (HSN) Assessment and Testing Centre at Health Sciences North Research Institute (HSNRI) at 56 Walford Road in Sudbury reminder:

This assessment centre is by appointment only and does not accept walk‐ins under any circumstances.

It is critical that all referring health care providers refer only patients who meet the probable case definition (based on the most up‐to‐date Ministry of Health case definition, attached and linked:

Patients meeting the case definition should be instructed to call the assessment centre intake number at 705.671.7373. The centre is open 0900 – 1700, 7 days/week.

No one should be instructed to present at the Walford Road assessment centre, and patients should be directed to the emergency department only when clinically indicated. Further, it is also important to reinforce with your patients that not all patients who have an appointment at the assessment clinic will require a swab.

Determining whether a patient meets the probable case definition can be completed by primary care providers over the phone, via virtual appointment, or onsite at your clinic according to your organization’s infection prevention and control (IPAC) guidelines as outlined in the Alert sent on March 16.

Thank you for your attention to these important matters. Should you have questions or comments, or for immediate reporting of COVID‐19, please contact the Control of Infectious Diseases Program at 705.522.9200, ext. 301 (toll‐free 1.866.522.9200) or after hours at 705.688.4366.


Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Health and Chief Executive Officer


Dr. Ariella Zbar
Associate Medical Officer of Health

This item was last modified on March 27, 2020