SUDBURY -- As Ontario struggles to contain the latest surge in COVID cases, police in the northeast are increasingly moving from educating people on lockdown restrictions to enforcement.

In Sault Ste. Marie, police have issued a provincial offence notice to an organizer of an Easter gathering after they received a complaint April 2.

After an investigation, the person was ticketed April 21 for holding a gathering that exceeded restrictions under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA). The fine is $750, plus administrative and other charges.

“This community has fared quite well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and I know we all want to keep it that way so we’re able to once again visit with friends and family,” Chief Hugh Stevenson said in a news release Wednesday.

“In order to do our part as your police service, we will thoroughly investigate any complaint of EMCPA violations. As in this case, and others, anyone found to be violating the EMCPA will be fined accordingly.”

Sault police also ticketed seven people who are also facing criminal charges for violating the lockdown rules.

In Temiskaming Shores, Ontario Provincial Police responded to a call April 20 at 10 p.m. about an illegal gathering on Jaffray Street.

"Further investigation revealed that there were people in contravention of the recently implemented stay-at-home order," police said in a news release.

Two adults, ages 46 and 53, have been charged with failing to comply with the lockdown restrictions.

"The OPP is doing its part to support the Ontario government's health emergency declaration to limit the transmission of COVID-19," police said. "It is important that the public understands that there are consequences for individuals who defy the EMCPA."