SUDBURY -- The Porcupine Health Unit reported one COVID-related death on Thursday, along with 12 new COVID-19 among residents in the health unit area.

"Out of respect for the family, no further information will be shared," the health unit said in a news release. "We extend our deepest condolences to their family and friends during this difficult time."

There have now been 26 deaths related to the pandemic in the health unit's area since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, out of a total of 541 cases.

The source of infection for one of the new cases is international travel, the health unit said. Another 10 infections are a result of close contact with a confirmed case and one is under investigation. Eight of the new cases are in Timmins, while the rest are in the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls.

There have now been 79 new cases in the health unit's coverage area since Sunday.

"Public health will notify all close contacts directly," the health unit said. "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."

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.