SUDBURY -- The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) reported 2 new deaths at Extendicare Kapuskasing on Saturday afternoon. A total of 13 residents have now died after testing positive for COVID-19.

 “It is with great sadness that we announce two more deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the Porcupine Health Unit region,” saidPHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lianne Catton, Medical Officer of Health in a news release.

PHU declared an outbreak at the LTC facility on January 7 and since then, 47 residents and 20 staff have tested positive.

There are currently 24 actives cases among residents and 15 active cases among staff.

“This loss further reinforces the reality of COVID-19 in our communities and I urge individuals to do everything they can to prevent its spread, recognizing that many are at higher risk from the virus. Stay home as much as possible, avoid contact with vulnerable individuals, wear a mask and practise physical distancing.”

The announcement comes as area politicians debate if the province should be brought in to manage the LTC facility, after Mushkegowuk-James Bay Member of Provincial Parliament, Guy Bourgouin, wrote to Premier Ford yesterday, asking him to send the Armed Forces or the Red Cross to take over at the nursing home.