SUDBURY -- Despite the provincial lockdown, the COVID situation in some areas of northeastern Ontario refuses to let up, with 37 new cases reported Friday in Sudbury and 12 in the Timmins area.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported that 34 of the cases are ibn Greater Sudbury, two in Manitoulin district and one in Sudbury district.

Public Health also reported that 16 more cases have screened positive for the much more contagious COVID variants, bringing the area's variant case total to 493, out of 1,656 total cases since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations related to COVID passed the 40 mark Friday, with 44 people at Health Sciences North either with or suspected to have the disease. Of those, five are in intensive care.

In Timmins, the Porcupine Health Unit said eight of its 12 new cases are in Timmins, while the remainder are in the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls.

The Timmins health unit has now recorded 404 cases since the start of the pandemic.

"Public health will notify all close contacts directly," the health unit said in a news release. "If you are not contacted by public health, you are not considered a close contact. Regardless of an announcement of a case, everyone is reminded to stay home if they have symptoms and get tested."