Northwestern Health Unit is urging residents to stay out of Manitoba as the district reported two new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

Saturday’s new cases bring the total number in the Kenora district since the pandemic began to 87.

As of Monday, there were seven active cases of the coronavirus in the Northwestern Health Unit District, according to their website. Four are in the Kenora region, with two more in the Sioux Lookout region and one in the Dryden/Red Lake Region.

The latest cases occurred in the Dryden, Red Lake and Kenora areas. The health unit doesn’t provide specific information about cases. According to the health unit’s website, the overall infection rate for the virus across the Kenora district remains at less than one per cent.

Late Monday, the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) released updated travel recommendations in response to the worsening COVID-19 situtation across the provincial border. A NWHU statement noted Manitoba has moved to the critical (red) level in their pandemic response system and that Manitoba’s COVID-19 rates are the highest in Canada.

“Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) urges the public not to travel to or from Manitoba unless it is for an essential purpose. Anyone who has travelled to Manitoba or is coming into our region from Manitoba should stay home and not interact with anyone outside of their household for 14 days after entering Northwestern Ontario,” advised the NWHU in Monday’s statement.

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit has reported 17 new cases of the virus in recent days.

Two new cases were reported on Saturday, another 10 on Sunday and five additional cases on Monday. All but one of the 17 cases were exposed through close contact with someone with COVID-19. The remaining case had no known exposure to the virus.

All individuals are self-isolating.

The district now has a total of 41 active cases of COVID-19. The Thunder Bay district has seen 165 cases of the virus since the onset of the pandemic this spring.

On Sunday, the health unit posted on its social media accounts it was actively investigating the spread of the virus among people who played pickleball at several locations in the city.

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(See the full story in the print and digital editions of The Chronicle-Journal)

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