Your Weekly Update From Health Sciences North In Sudbury


The following is a release from Health Sciences North:

  • COVID-19 admissions: In the past month, the number of COVID-19 positive patients admitted to HSN each day ranged between 7 and 26. As of January 4th, HSN is caring for 22 COVID-19 positive patients with 4 of those patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). There are 10 past positive patients still being cared for at HSN and 13 patients under investigation. HSN's Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is at 88% occupancy with 36 out of 41 beds occupied.


  • Surgical activity: A new provincial directive is being implemented this week to reduce non-urgent surgeries and procedures. Decisions to reschedule surgeries are not made lightly, in a way to minimize harm to patients and only to address confirmed health system capacity needs. HSN expects to proceed at approximately 80% of historical surgical volumes this week and next week.


  • Assessment Centre: Activity levels at HSN’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre on Regent Street have been steady in the past month, with an average last week of 366 tests daily despite statutory holidays and a high of 528 tests on December 30th. The Assessment Centre was opened every day during the holidays to allow for shorter turnaround times for PCR test results for Sudburians. Unlike some other Canadian hospitals, HSN is not yet facing a shortage of PCR tests. Provincial guidance has been issued on December 30th to help prioritize PCR testing. The province aims to maintain turnaround times of 48 hours for PCR testing. HSN appreciates the public’s understanding if, at some stage, PCR appointments are not given due to prioritization.
  • PCR testing is recommended for individuals if they belong to the following groups:
    • Symptomatic people who fall into one of the following groups:
      • Hospitalized patients
      • Patients in Emergency Departments, at the discretion of the treating clinician
      • Patient-facing health care workers
      • Staff, residents, essential care providers, and visitors in hospitals and congregate living settings, including long-term care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, temporary foreign worker settings, and correctional institutions
      • Outpatients for whom COVID-19 treatment is being considered under housed or homeless
    • People who are from First Nation, Inuit, and Métis communities and individuals travelling into these communities for work
    • Symptomatic elementary and secondary students and education staff who have received a PCR self-collection kit through their school
    • People on admission/transfer to or from hospital or congregate living setting
    • High-risk contacts and asymptomatic/symptomatic people in the context of confirmed or suspected outbreaks in high-risk settings, including hospitals, long-term care, retirement homes, other congregate living settings and institutions, and other settings as directed by the local public health unit
    • Individuals, and one accompanying caregiver, with written prior approval for out-of-country medical services from the General Manager, OHIP
    • Asymptomatic testing in hospital, long-term care, retirement homes and other congregate living settings and Institutions as per provincial guidance and/or Directives.
    • HSN may decline requests for COVID-19 PCR test that are not part of these provincial recommendations.
    • HSN appreciates the patience and understanding of the public if there are delays in booking appointments during this busy time.


  • Laboratory: Activity levels at HSN’s laboratory for COVID-19 testing in the North have been steadily increasing in the past month, with an average in the last week of 828 swabs processed daily despite statutory holidays and a high of 1,123 swabs on December 31st.


  • Health human resources: Some Canadian hospitals are reporting that hundreds of their employees and medical staff either have COVID-19 or are in self-isolation due to a high risk contact exposure.. As of January 4th, out of its 4,600 employees and medical staff, HSN reports approximately 21 employees and medical staff who are positive for COVID-19 and approximately 57 others who are self-isolating due to a high-risk contact exposure. Public Health Sudbury & Districts reports 1,184 active cases of COVID-19 in the community as of January 4th, and indicates that the confirmed cases are an underestimate of the true number of people with COVID-19 in the community.


  • Vaccination: HSN is encouraging the public to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and to get their third dose if eligible. HSN continues to run vaccination clinics this week and next week for its employees, medical staff, learners and volunteers, their household members, and members of the general public. Appointments can be booked online at or by calling Public Health Sudbury District directly at 705-674-2299.