SUDBURY -- The Porcupine Health Unit reported 40 new COVID-19 cases among residents in the health unit area on Saturday.

The new cases mean there have been 140 new cases in the last three days. After reporting 38 cases early Friday, another 12 were announced Friday evening. Timmins is under a state of emergency as officials try and stem the rapid rise in case numbers in the last few weeks.

The Porcupine Health Unit has now recorded more cases during the third wave of the pandemic than during the first two combined.

Vaccines are being offered to people ages 12 and older, the first health unit in northern Ontario to offer the shot to people in that age group. And in another first in the north, vaccines without appointments will be available this weekend at drop-in clinics.

Of the cases announced Saturday, 26 are in the Timmins area, seven are in the James and Hudson Bay region, six are in the Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls region, and one in the Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam and Fauquier-Strickland region.

The source of infection for 26 cases is under investigation, eight cases are contacts of a case, and six cases are related to an outbreak.

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and complete the online COVID-19 Self-Assessment to determine your next steps.

If testing is required, seek testing through one of the assessment centres across Ontario. You can also call the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-360-4819 or toll-free at 1-800-461-1818.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.