SUDBURY -- The first new cases of COVID-19 in more than a month have been confirmed in Greater Sudbury, officials announced Thursday afternoon.

In a news release, Public Health Sudbury and Districts said tests of two residents in its service area (Greater Sudbury, Sudbury District, and Manitoulin District) have the disease.

“This is a serious reminder that the risk of infection is still present," said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health, in the release. "Although we haven’t reported a case of COVID-19 since May 14, these new cases are a reality check and strong reminder that we must keep up our guard to control the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.”

Sutcliffe said the area is not free of the virus yet, and as reopening measures move forward, people need to be cautious.

“With reopening, it is sort of like the speed limit has increased in our area," she said. "So now more than ever, we need to wear our seat-belts. For COVID-19, our seatbelts are washing our hands, keeping our distance, wearing non-medical masks, staying home when ill, and getting tested."

The confirmed cases are a man and woman, both their 20s. The source of exposure is unknown, the health unit said. They were both tested June 17.

Although permissible for up to 10 people, non-essential in-person gatherings of any size should be limited, Public Health said. Limit contacts and in-person interactions as much as possible, and, with few exceptions, gatherings are currently maxed at 10 people, and unless these people are from the same household or social circle, they are expected to keep two metres apart.

Close contact is permitted within “social circles” and within the same household. A social circle can only include up to 10 people and must always be with the same people. You can only belong to one social circle.

"These are small prices to pay for the benefits of businesses reopening, social isolation ending, and mental health flourishing. It is literally in our own hands to make this successful,” Sutcliffe said.