SUDBURY -- The Porcupine Health Unit announced a COVID-19 death on Thursday related to the outbreak at Extendicare Kapuskasing.

Four people at the care home have now died as a result of the outbreak. Extendicare announced nine more positive COVID tests among residents Thursday, as well as two more among staff.

Overall, the health unit announced 13 new cases Thursday, in the region of Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland and the region of Hearst, Hornepayne

“It is with a heavy heart that I am reporting that we have had another death from COVID-19 in the Porcupine Health Unit region,” Dr. Lianne Catton, medical officer of health, said in a news release. “On behalf of the PHU, we extend our most sincere deepest condolences to their family and friends.”

“It has never been easy to share these losses, the current circumstances are so incredibly sad and we need to continue to support one another.”

Extendicare Kapuskasing also announced that vaccinations of residents began Thursday.

"I’m pleased to share that all asymptomatic residents with negative COVID-19 test results at Extendicare Kapuskasing were vaccinated today, a milestone our community has been looking forward to for months," Claudette Brouzes, administrator at Extendicare Kapuskasing, said in a news release.

"Going forward, we’ll continue to work with our public health partners on further phases of vaccine access to expand protections to all of our residents. This will include residents whose cases are resolved, meaning that a minimum of 10 days have passed since their positive test result and they are no longer exhibiting symptoms."

The release said the home continues to meet daily with the Porcupine Health Unit, Sensenbrenner Hospital, Ontario Health, our Local Health Integration Network team and the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

"All parties are working together to protect residents and staff." 

Since the outbreak was declared on Jan. 7, the number of cases at the long-term care facility has grown to 54 infections. Eleven of those cases have been resolved, including four COVID-related deaths.