SAULT STE. MARIE -- CTV News has learned the Group Health Centre in Sault Ste. Marie is temporarily laying off up to 50 employees Tuesday, about 16 per cent of its staff.

Interim CEP Alex Lambert said the layoffs are a direct result of COVID-19.

"The temporary layoffs are due to a significant decline in services due to COVID-19, resulting from closures or reductions in certain departments following recommendations from relevant colleges and associations," said Lambert.

"The layoffs are expected to last less than three months," he added. "GHC is making efforts to support laid-off staff with additional financial supports and benefits to mitigate the financial impact to them and their families."

This is a developing story, check back for more information.