MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Seven new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Elgin and Oxford counties on Friday, and five in Middlesex-London.

The seven new cases reported by Southwestern Public Health bring the total in that region to 143, with 86 recoveries and five deaths.

Of the now 52 active cases, nearly half (25) of the cases are in Aylmer, which added two new cases Friday, while there are 10 in Bayham, the next highest concentration.

Roughly 80 per cent of the active cases, including those in Aylmer and Bayham, are in Elgin County.

This marks the third day of higher numbers than in recent weeks in the area, with 14 cases reported Thursday and eight on Wednesday.

Masks were made mandatory in St. Thomas, Elgin and Oxford as of Thursday night, though businesses have until Aug. 6 to put the policy in place.

After a day with no new cases, the five new cases in Middlesex-London bring the total to 674, including 586 recoveries and 57 deaths, leaving 31 active cases.

Four of the five cases were in the City of London, but none are associated with the only ongoing outbreak in the region in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at the London Health Sciences Centre.

All of the new cases in the London region were young adults, two close contacts of a previous case, one a workplace exposure and two community exposures with unknown origins.

Both the city and Middlesex-London Health Unit are reminding people ahead of the long weekend that the novel coronavirus is by no means gone, and that everyone should wear a mask when in public and maintain physical distancing.

Both of London’s assessment centres, which together have now tested more than 40,000 people for the novel coronavirus, will maintain regular hours through the long weekend.

The centre at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre will be open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., while the Oakridge Arena location, which is usually closed Saturday and Sunday, will be open on Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cases in Lambton County also spiked on Friday, with 15 news cases reported, all close contacts of existing cases, according to Lambton Public Health.

That brings the total in the region to 317, including 265 resolved and 25 deaths, leaving 27 active cases.

According to the most recent local public health updates, here is where the case totals stand in other local counties:

  • Grey-Bruce – One new, four active, 119 total cases, 115 resolved, no deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – None new, 29 active, 458 total cases, 397 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – None new, four active, 68 total cases, 59 resolved, five deaths, active outbreak at Knollcrest Lodge in Perth East

The province saw the number of daily cases climb back above the 100 mark Friday, spiking to 134 new infections.