A new case of the UK variant of COVID-19 has been discovered in the Dryden area.

The Northwestern Health Unit says the COVID-19 variant has been identified in a case related to the outbreak at Dryden's Wal-Mart.

The health unit believes the virus is spreading within the community across a wide range of age groups and said in a prepared release, "it is important to note that the Walmart cases were infectious at work many weeks ago, and avoiding the store now does not offer protection. It is likely that people who do not know they have COVID-19 are currently spreading it throughout the community."

Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at the Northwestern Health Unit says, “with the long weekend approaching, it is imperative that the public does not gather with anyone who they do not live with, and does not travel, even within the region unless it is for an essential purpose.”

NWHU warns that gatherings over the weekend could lead to dire outcomes for the community.

“By gathering with others without physical distancing, you are putting yourself and your friends and family at risk of death and also contributing to more strict measures being put in place,” warns Dr. Young Hoon.

On Sunday, the health unit declared a workplace outbreak at Dryden's Wal-Mart after at least two cases of COVID-19 were discovered in the workplace.