MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The number of COVID-19 case in Middlesex-London jumped by seven on Friday to 659, while Elgin and Oxford also saw a rise.

The London region hasn’t seen more than three new cases on any given day since five infections were reported on July 11.

London Mayor Ed Holder called the number "alarming" and asked area residents to be safe.

“As much as past few days is concerning, I hope this serves as somewhat of a wake-up call or at least a reminder. Make no mistake, despite the fact we are in Stage 3, it's called Stage 3 for a reason. We aren’t back to normal, we remain under a state of emergency. The virus is still here and it's just as infectious.”

Middlesex-London Health Unit Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie also called the number "concerning" and says this is a reminder we need to continue safety protocols like maintaining distance, wearing face masks and washing hands frequently.

Among the new cases is the first in the region associated with a day care centre, a young child whose case was not severe. The others included a long-term care home resident and a health care worker at the London Health Sciences Centre.

The number of recoveries rose by one to 582, leaving 20 active cases in the region. There have been no deaths since early June.

Four new cases were also reported in Elgin and Oxford counties on Friday, bringing the total there to 100.

In just the last week, Southwestern Public Health has reported a dozen new infections.

That’s in a region where up until about 10 days ago, there had been either just one or no new cases daily since late May.

There are now 13 ongoing cases there, with 82 recoveries and five deaths reported. The majority of active cases are in Elgin County, with just under half in St. Thomas.

Here are how the numbers stand according to the most recent updates from other local public health authorities:

  • Grey-Bruce – One new case, two active, 117 total cases, 109 recovered, six referred to other health units, no deaths
  • Huron-Perth – None new, two active, 61 total cases, 54 recovered, five deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – None new, six active, 292 total cases, 261 recovered, 25 deaths

A week after most of southwestern Ontario transitioned to the next stage of reopening, Lambton County entered Stage 3 Friday morning.

Lambton, Elgin and Oxford counties are now the only local areas that currently have no mandatory mask requirements in place.

However, a special meeting of Sarnia city council is scheduled for Monday morning to discuss a mandatory mask bylaw in public indoor spaces.

Across the province there was a spike in cases on Friday, with 195 new infections reported Friday, nearly double the previous day’s total.