SUDBURY -- North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit said the cluster is “especially worrying” considering the only connection between the individuals is they live in the same apartment building and that one test has returned a preliminary confirmation of a COVID-19 Variant of Concern.

The health unit is working with the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Assessment Centre to perform on-site testing for residents of the apartment building.

Officials did not confirm the name or address of the apartment building.  Residents are being asked to self-isolate until a negative test is returned.

This is the second case reported by the health unit regarding the Variant of Concern and should furthering test confirm, it will be the first cluster in the district linked to the variant.

North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit reported the first case on Feb. 4 and said the case in its area was detected in someone who had also travelled internationally.

"The preliminary results of COVID-19 Variant of Concern confirms the need for everyone to remain cautious and assume everyone outside your home has COVID-19," Dr. Jim Chirico, medical officer of health for the North Bay and Parry Sound area said of the first case.

"Our district has been doing great with keeping the number of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 low, but as we've seen with the outbreaks in long-term care homes, associated to COVID-19 Variants of Concern in southern Ontario, the variants can be devastating. We must not let our guard down and we need to continue to follow public health guidelines."

This is a developing story.  Check back often for updates.