Today, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health, is reporting that a woman in her 70s is the fourth confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. The case is travel-related and is not related to previously reported cases.
“We know that this individual wore a mask during all of her air travels and immediately self-isolated as a precaution upon returning to Canada—she carefully followed all current public health direction,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “We are working closely with the individual to identify any contacts who require follow-up from Public Health,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
The individual remains in self-isolation at home where she has been isolated since her return to Canada. She was assessed and tested at Health Sciences North’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre on March 18, 2020. Staff took all necessary precautions for infection control, testing, and assessment.
The individual travelled on international and domestic flights.
- March 17, 2020: Fort Myers (Florida) to Toronto Pearson Airport on Air Canada flight AC1975. Passengers in rows 22 to 26 and flight crew that may have served these rows are considered close contacts of the confirmed case and are directed to self-isolate immediately for 14 days from arrival.
- March 17, 2020: Toronto Pearson Airport to Greater Sudbury Airport on Air Canada flight AC8611. Passengers in rows 1 to 4 and flight crew that may have served these rows are considered close contacts of the confirmed case and are directed to self-isolate immediately for 14 days from arrival. All other persons on this flight are directed to self-monitor for 14 days and contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts or their local public health authority for assessment and direction.
“With an increase in returning travellers from abroad, it is critical that anyone who travelled outside of the country follow the direction to self-isolate for 14 days from their return. This means going home and staying home. Friends and family of returning travelers need to do any essential shopping, such as for grocery or pharmacy supplies,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Do not go to work or public places. This direction is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
What everyone must do
Practise social distancing (physical distancing) to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person, and to protect our health care system and vulnerable populations. Everyone is asked to stay home unless essential to do otherwise and to keep two metres from each other when you must go out.
Case management and privacy
Public Health Sudbury & Districts will not comment on specifics about individual cases. Our agency works closely with individuals to identify close contacts who may require follow-up. If you have NOT been contacted by Public Health Sudbury & Districts, please do not assume that you are a close contact. Continue to take precautions to reduce your personal risk. People who are affected by COVID-19 need support and compassion. We encourage others not to pursue or spread information about confirmed cases.
COVID-19 assessment centre: Health Sciences North (HSN)
For clients who require further in-person assessment and testing.
- 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, 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. At times, call volumes are high, and your patience is appreciated.
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, immediately self-isolate yourself (learn how). Next, use the Ministry of Health COVID-19 self-assessment tool (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment) to help determine if you need to seek further care or call your health care provider, local COVID-19 assessment centre, Telehealth Ontario 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. If you are having difficulty breathing or are experiencing other severe symptoms, call 911. Mention your travel history and symptoms.
This is a rapidly changing situation requiring that our agency, community, and individuals are best prepared by assuming the virus is spreading in the community. Stay informed by relying on credible, reliable sources of information, for example, public health agencies, as well as reputable media outlets.
Visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 for information about social distancing; mental health; how you can prepare for the spread of COVID-19; how to monitor your health; how to self-isolate; what to do if you think you are sick; resources; and, specific guidance for employers, health care providers, and travellers. For additional information, please call Public Health call centre.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about the province’s response to COVID-19.