SUDBURY -- Sudbury health officials have declared COVID-19 outbreaks at two schools after more infections were confirmed following the detection of variants of concern. An outbreak was also declared at a Sudbury retirement home along with the announcement of another COVID-related death.

Students and staff at Lasalle Secondary and Cyril Varney Public Schools were sent home to isolate and get tested for COVID-19 earlier this week after five positive cases, all involving variants of concern, were confirmed.

Late Thursday night, the health unit officially declared outbreaks at both schools after an additional infection was identified at each school.

"Individuals who are identified as close contacts of a case in a school are contacted directly by public health," said the health unit in a news release.

The two schools will remain closed until March 4.

To date, Cyril Varney has three confirmed COVID-19 cases involving two students and one staff member while Lasalle has four confirmed cases all involving students.

"For the duration of the student or staff’s isolation period, everyone else in their household is required to stay home except for essential reasons," the health unit said in a letter to families and staff. "Essential reasons include: attending work/school/childcare and essential errands such as groceries, attending medical appointments or picking up prescriptions."

New public health rules stipulate that if an individual develops one or more symptoms of COVID-19, everyone in the household is required to self-isolate until the symptomatic person receives a negative COVID test result or alternate diagnosis by a health-care professional.

Also on Thursday night, an outbreak was declared at The Walford Sudbury retirement home after a staff member tested positive for COVID-10.

This comes as the COVID outbreaks at two long-term care homes, Pioneer Manor and Elizabeth Centre, and the Amberwood Suites retirement home were finally declared over. Seven people died during the Amberwood Suites outbreak and one died at Pioneer Manor.

The COVID outbreak at Health Science North was declared over on Monday, however health officials announced the second COVID-related death connected to the Sudbury hospital Thursday night as well.

A total of 13 COVID-related deaths have been recorded in the Sudbury and Manitoulin Districts, 11 of which have occurred since Jan. 15. Out of the 605 total positive COVID cases since the pandemic began, 348 of those have been confirmed since Christmas Eve and out of those, 321 have been resolved.

There are currently 29 active COVID-19 infections in the Sudbury District.