TIMMINS -- The mayor of the town of Hearst is asking people to follow the Porcupine Health Unit's COVID-19 health guidelines. This, after the last six confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in the Hearst area.

"I mean people, (have) to understand it's not a joke anymore," said Roger Sigouin, in a telephone interview with CTV News on Friday.

According to the Porcupine Health Unit, the first of those cases contracted the virus within the community, and then it was passed on to five other close contacts.

The health unit said the first case has been resolved and the others remain in self-isolation.

Sigouin said while the news is disappointing, people with COVID-19 need to be supported and is asking everyone else to be more careful.

"It's not only in Hearst, it's all over the place, it's all over the country some people they just don't respect each other and I mean that's the direction we have to take," he said. "I mean, it's a war and the only thing we have to do is put a mask on and respect the distance and respect the regulation on behalf of the health unit."

Sigouin said if residents want to have a Christmas this year, everyone in the region must work better together.