SUDBURY -- Algoma Public Health has declared an outbreak at Great Northern Retirement Home in Sault Ste. Marie after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

"APH is working closely with GNRH’s care team to take further preventive actions to protect staff and residents," the health unit said in a news release.

"At this time, the staff member remains in isolation to prevent further transmission. Surveillance testing of GNRH staff and residents is in the process of being completed."

Any family members, staff or essential visitors who have questions can call the retirement home at 705-945-9405, ext. 206.

“Every community member has a role to play when it comes to protecting our residents and staff in long term care homes and retirement homes,” Dr. Jennifer Loo, medical officer of health, said in the release. “Evidence shows … the higher the cases in the surrounding the community, the higher the chances of transmission that could lead to a long term care or retirement home outbreak.”

To break the chain of transmission, and stop COVID-19 spread in the community, all Algoma residents must take the following actions at all times:

- Stay home as much as possible. By law, during the province-wide shutdown, indoor gatherings of any size are not permitted with people who are not a part of the same household.

- This means families should not visit any other household or allow visitors in their homes.

- Individuals who live alone and single parents may consider having exclusive, close contact with another household to help reduce the negative impacts of social isolation.

- Limit close contact to household members only.

- Maintain a distance of at least two metres (or six feet) with those outside of your household.

- Wear a mask in indoor public spaces and outside when distancing is an issue

- Avoid crowded indoor spaces with poor ventilation.

- Frequently wash your hands.

- Stay home if you have any symptoms, even if mild, and call for testing.