LONDON, ONT. -- Following a large spike in new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is only reporting three new cases of the virus Saturday.

That's a significant drop from the 19 new cases in the region reported on Friday.

Saturday's new cases bring the total of confirmed cases in Middlesex-London to 954. There are 831 recovered cases and 57 deaths.

"Please, stay home this Thanksgiving, and please don’t travel out of town," says Ed Holder, mayor of London.

It's a message heath officials have been stressing.

"It's the movement of people that really spreads the virus," says Dr. Chris Mackie, medical officer of health for the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU).

The MLHU is asking people to be cautious this long holiday weekend and not travel to hot spots – including Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec.

MLHU along with Western University officials are also asking students not to travel back to their hometowns. However a walk through campus Saturday morning showed students weren't taking the advice.

"It's hard to be here because if you look around, there is nobody here, it's a ghost-town and everyone is going home for the weekend," says Sophia Anadranistakis, a first-year student from Winnipeg.

"I'd love to go home but I couldn't put my family in that position".

Her friend Natasha Hofer says she'll talk to her family back home using technology.

"We'll be on the phone, or on Facetime," says Hofer.

The MLHU is advising residents that gatherings be restricted to those in households only.

At Springbank Park some Londoners were gathering in small circles, and others were seen having picnics.

"Everything that has been happening, we've taken it seriously," says Cindy Rice, who was physical distancing in a circle with friends.

"We were going to have a Thanksgiving. Now we'll have separate Thanksgiving's, and we'll have a Zoom call over cocktails or dessert."

Friend Kathy Waugh will miss family, but puts it in perspective.

"We'll have food on the table and there are people that don't have that," says Waugh.

"We have a lot to be thankful for and that's why we call it Thanksgiving."