PEMBROKE, ONT. -- With four active cases of COVID-19 in Renfrew County and two linked to a gym and a high school in Pembroke the past week, the area’s top doctor is warning residents against complacency.

Dr. Robert Cushman, acting Medical Officer of Health, said in a message on Sunday that two confirmed cases at Planet Fitness gym and Fellowes High School is a stark reminder of how quickly the virus can spread and how important it is for residents to protect themselves. 

“If we want schools to stay open and the economy to progress, we must recognize that individual vigilance and strict observance of public health recommendations are imperative," he said. 

“Yes, we all have COVID-19 fatigue, but this is a marathon and we are in a key phase with new challenges. This is not the time to let down our guard but rather just the opposite.” 

The health unit has identified more than 100 potential contacts to follow up with since Friday, with nurses assessing each individual and offering advice, Cushman said. 

Cushman said that if residents aren't feeling well, they should stay home from school or work and get tested immediately, even if symptoms are minor or mild.

Cushman reiterated the need for frequent hand washing and social distancing as well as wearing a face covering in public, something mandatory within Renfrew County indoor public spaces. He also recommended residents get their flu shot. 

“We are in this together. Each and every one of us must do our part.”