SUDBURY -- Public Health Sudbury & Districts reported 41 new COVID cases Thursday, as the area continues to be mired in the third wave of infections.

Forty of the new cases are in Greater Sudbury, while one is in Sudbury district. There are currently 261 active cases in the health unit's coverage area, with 53 people in hospital at Health Sciences North with or suspected to have the disease. Eight of those cases are in the intensive care unit.

There have now been 1,100 COVID cases, and 15 people have died as a result. Much more contagious variant strains of the disease is helping drive recent cases, and 208 are suspected to be variants, while another three have been confirmed to be variants.

While many of the cases in recent months have been linked to schools, most of the cases announced Thursday involve older residents. A total of 14 of the new infections are in people between the ages of 40-59, five are between 60 and 79, and two are older than 80. Fifteen cases involve people ages 20-39 while five are under age 19.

The area covered by Public Health is currently in lockdown. In all, 89 new cases have been reported since Monday, and have risen each day. Five cases were reported Monday; 18 on Tuesday; 25 on Wednesday; and, 41 Thursday.