SUDBURY -- The area covered by the Porcupine Health Unit continues to struggle to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, with another 16 cases reported Thursday.

That follows 29 cases reported Wednesday and makes for 139 new cases since May 5. There are currently 175 active cases in the area -- more than any other health unit in northeastern Ontario combined – out of a total of 787 cases since the start of the pandemic. An increasing number of cases involve the highly contagious COVID-19 variants, which spread much more easily.

Of the cases reported Thursday, 15 are in Timmins and one is in the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls and Smooth Rock Falls. The source of infection for four of the cases is under investigation, while 12 are the result of close contact with a confirmed case.

The health unit is currently holding vaccination clinics for all individuals who are 18 years and older, with appointments available in Smooth Rock Falls, Timmins, Matheson, Hearst, Hornepayne and Kapuskasing. Visit the vaccine page for information or to book an appointment.

Our COVID-19 information line is open today from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 705-360-4819 or the toll-free number, 1-800-461-1818. See the health unit's offices page for local contact numbers.