The number of cases of COVID-19 in Porcupine Health Unit territory has exploded.

After reporting one new case Saturday morning, it followed up late in the afternoon with 24 more, and one death.

The death is part of the outbreak at Extendicare Kapuskasing. It’s the second death, and the first time PHU has acknowledged the site of the outbreak. Until now, it has just been referring to an institutional outbreak in the “area of Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, Fauquier-Strickland”.

Of the 24 new cases, 19 are part of that outbreak, for a total of 38.  Three more are in the PHU-defined area of Hearst and Hornepayne.  It has yet to publicly acknowledge the outbreak at the Constance Lake First Nation.  If those three cases and the one revealed earlier in the day are there, the total is now 15.

The final two are in what PHU calls the “area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, Smooth Rock Falls”.

The tally of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now 218.