SUDBURY -- Public Health Sudbury and Districts plans to appeal to the province to fund one of its newer programs indefinitely.

The health unit has been visiting congregate living settings, like seniors homes and assisted living facilities, providing them with best tools and practices on how prevent infection since February.

The team of four has so far seen 92 sites across the region and has a goal to visit all of them by the end of March of next year.

The one-time funding they did receive was only expected to last 13 months and officials say there has been an overwhelming amount of positive reception to their visits.

"So we're hoping in combination with what we've accomplished so far and in line with the report that the provincial government recognizes the need for ongoing financial support to health units, hospitals - these networks of expertise to be able to continue this work with our settings," said Holly Browne, Manager of the Health Protection Division.

"They (congregate facilities) don't always have the knowledge or the skills as how to put an IPAC plan in place and this is where Public Health comes in, they're happy, they learn, it makes sense, they put in place and they feel like 'hey we're going to be able to protect our residents', they feel good about this and the residents should feel good about it too because it will protect them," said France Gelinas, Nickel Belt MPP.

The health unit's board voted to make the official request to the province on Thursday.

The program deals with not only COVID-19 but other communicable diseases including influenza, SARS and H1N1.