SUDBURY -- Health officials in Sudbury have declared an outbreak at a local long-term care facility after a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials with Public Health Sudbury & Districts say that the staff member at St. Joseph's Villa long-term care home is under active follow up after being confirmed as positive for the novel coronavirus

 “This is the first instance of a confirmed COVID-19 case being linked to a long-term care or retirement home in Public Health Sudbury & Districts’ service area,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts, in  a statement. “There are no cases among residents in the Villa."

According to ministry standards, a COVID-19 outbreak must be declared when either a resident or staff member tests positive for the virus.

"We want to assure staff, patients, and families that the risk of infection in our facilities remains low,” said Jo-Anne Palkovits, president and CEO of St. Joseph's Health Centre. “None of the residents who were in contact with this employee is symptomatic and all are being tested. Residents continue to be isolated in their individual rooms. We are relieved to hear our staff member is no longer experiencing symptoms and is safely self-isolating at home."

Sutcliffe adds that additional control measures will be put in place, including priority testing of identified residents and staff members.