SUDBURY -- Health officials in Sudbury have confirmed a COVID-19 outbreak at Health Sciences North (HSN) as a second case of a variant of the virus has been detected.

According to Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD), the outbreak at HSN, the largest hospital in the northeast, is affecting two hallways of the sixth floor in the south tower.

"The need to protect our health care system is absolutely critical,” Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the medical officer of health with PHSD, said in a news release. "To do this, Public Health remains hard at work to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the community and our health care system. At the same time, everyone must also continue to do their part and continue to take public health measures seriously."

The outbreak is believed to be contained and there is no evidence of ongoing transmission, health officials say.

According to the hospital, the cases in question have affected one patient and one HSN employee.

"HSN has taken a number of measures to deal with this outbreak," said a news release sent out by the hospital Saturday night. "Admissions and designated care partners to the affected unit are restricted. Patients are in isolation, being monitored and tested for symptoms."

The outbreak has not impacted operations. All clinics and procedures are continuing as normal.

The hospital has seen the number of patients admitted with COVID-19 decline to five, from 15 on Jan. 18. Two of those patients are in the intensive care unit.

According to the Ministry of Health, a COVID-19 outbreak is declared in a hospital upon the discovery of two or more confirmed cases within a specified area.