SUDBURY -- With the city recording new COVID-19 cases in double digits every day, Greater Sudbury Mayor Brian Bigger is calling on residents to stay at home this Easter weekend.

"I will say it again – this long weekend, please do your part. Stay home," Bigger said in a statement this week. "Don’t travel to visit friends or family, and don’t invite them over to your home. Spend some quality time with the people you live with, and connect with other loved ones by phone or video.

"I realize that restricting this weekend’s celebrations is a difficult choice. But it’s an important one. It’s one we all must make in order to stop the spread."

The city has been adding more than 100 new cases each week this month, driven in part by the presence of highly contagious COVID variant strains. With the city under lockdown, Bigger said a normal Easter isn't in the cards this year.

"Unfortunately, these are far from normal circumstances," he said. "We have all been through a lot over the past year. The sacrifices we’ve had to make have been difficult. The good news is that the distribution of vaccines in our community continues to ramp up, and more vaccines are becoming available each week."

But most people are not yet vaccinated, Bigger said, "so we must continue to be patient and vigilant.

"With the help of the vaccine, we will see the other side of this pandemic," the statement said. "Until then, let’s keep our friends, families, neighbours and colleagues safe so that we can celebrate with them in person again soon – and for years to come."

Read the full statement here.