First confirmed case of COVID-19
March 10, 2020
To: Local Health System Partners
Re: First confirmed case of COVID-19
Public Health Sudbury & Districts has confirmed the first COVID-19 case in our area.
We are outlining key points regarding the roles and responsibilities of Public Health Sudbury & Districts relevant to your practice. We are also outlining resources for your reference that we encourage you to review in detail.
- Screening: our agency is screening visitors and those calling in regarding concerns over COVID-19. If they screen positive, we are referring for testing. You are encouraged to screen individuals calling into and visiting your own practice if you are not doing so already. Please review the primary care guidelines available on our website, listed below, for screening guidance.
- Testing: our agency does not conduct testing for COVID-19. We are working with health care partners on enhancing community-based assessment and testing. Guidance around testing is found in the primary care guidelines. We are aware that the Ontario Medical Association is working to establish specific funding and increasing access to personal protective equipment for primary care providers who wish to offer these services. We encourage OMA members to stay informed via the association’s member updates.
- Case and contact follow-up: health care providers are required to report all cases to public health. Our agency will conduct follow-up with the case (ex. counselling on self-isolation). We will conduct contact tracing and provide direction as appropriate to their symptoms and exposure (ex. monitoring for symptoms).
- Information for health care providers: we encourage providers to check our web page as below. Our nursing staff are available for additional questions during business hours.
- Information for the general public: our website is regularly updated with new information for the public. We encourage you to inform your patients about this resource and other accurate sources of information listed on our website. Our nursing staff are available for additional questions during business hours.
What you can do to prepare for and respond to COVID-19:
- Keep up-to-date: Public Health Sudbury & Districts has developed a web page for health care providers with important information on COVID-19: www.phsd.ca/health-topics-programs/diseases-infections/coronavirus/guidance-for-health-care-providers-covid-19. We encourage you to review this regularly to ensure you are up-to-date with clinical guidance provided by Public Health Ontario, the Ontario Ministry of Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada. You will also find links to information for the public that will assist you in talking about COVID-19 with your patients and with your own families.
- Prepare for workplace shortages: should there be sustained community transmission of COVID-19, your staff may become infected and/or may need to provide care for dependents who are ill. We encourage you to develop contingency plans in preparation for workplace shortages.
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. For ease of reference, please find included an updated list of diseases of public health significance that includes diseases caused by novel coronavirus.
Dr. Penny Sutcliffe
Medical Officer of Heath and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Ariella Zbar
Associate Medical Officer of Health
This item was last modified on March 10, 2020