SUDBURY -- Ontario Provincial Police say it is concerned for the safety of a man who left the Espanola hospital wearing only a blue gown from the facility Thursday morning.

Police confirmed schools in the area were locked down as a precaution. 

A staff member at Espanola High School told CTV News the school went into a "hold and secure" around 11 a.m., not letting anyone in or out.

Nicole Charette, the information coordinator for Rainbow District School Board, told CTV News just before 1:30 p.m. that the hold and secure protocols at A.B. Ellis Public School and Espanola High School have been lifted.

"In a hold and secure, students remain in the school as teaching and learning continues," Charette said.

It is a bitterly cold day in the town with temperatures at -15 C on Wednesday morning.

"The gentleman is an elopee from the hospital and we are concerned for his safety. The 25-year-old male is wearing a blue hospital gown and black rubber boots," said Shona Camirand, an OPP media officer. "We have a lot of units in the area, along with the OPP helicopter and canine is on their way from Sudbury."

Police are asking the public to call 911 if they see a man that fits the description.

"There is a potential for unpredictable behaviour, so please call the OPP and do not approach," Camirand said.

At 2:38 p.m. Camirand said officers are still actively looking for the man. 

"Last reports are that he may have acquired a green sweater and rain boots around 10:30 a.m.," she said.

More to come on this developing story.