SUDBURY -- Health units in Timmins and Sudbury each reported about two dozen new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

In Timmins, the Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) reported 25 new cases, the highest in months.

"The PHU is also advising that six confirmed cases previously reported in the area of Timmins have screened positive for a variant of concern," the health unit said in a news release.

"The individuals are currently in self-isolation and following the public health recommendations. It is expected that the variant is the predominant strain in Ontario which is the B.1.1.7 first detected in the United Kingdom."

Public health will notify all close contacts directly, the release said. If you are not contacted by public health, you are not considered a close contact. Regardless of an announcement of a case, everyone is reminded to stay home if they have symptoms and get tested.

The new cases bring the area's total case count to 435. Twenty-five people have died from COVID in the health unit's coverage area.

In Sudbury, Public Health reported 23 cases Thursday, including 20 in Greater Sudbury and three in Sudbury district. An additional case has tested positive for variants, bringing the area's total to 591 variant cases, out of a total of 1,796 cases. Twenty five people have also died in Public Health's coverage area from COVID.