MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 12 new COVID-19 cases Friday and no new deaths as the London-area schools get ready to begin asymptomatic testing.

The region now has a cumulative total of 6,068 cases, 5,754 resolved and 181 deaths, leaving 133 active cases.

Outbreaks are ongoing at six seniors' facilities, as well as at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre, where the number of cases has grown to 29 staff and 23 inmates, though there have been no new cases for a few days.

There are also active outbreaks at one child care facility and three elementary schools in the region, after a new outbreak was declared at St. Anne's Catholic School on Thursday.

Meanwhile the Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) says it is preparing to implement voluntary testing of asymptomatic students and staff across its schools, as per the provincial mandate.

“We’re working with partners to develop criteria and a timeline for voluntary diagnostic testing of our students and staff,” said Mark Fisher, TVDSB director of education, in a statement.

He added that more details will be released once specific schools are chosen, which will be done in collaboration with the MLHU.

As of Friday, school staff who are asymptomatic can also get tested at local pharmacies. https://covid-19.ontario.ca/assessment-centre-locations

Here is where the cases stand in the region based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Elgin-Oxford – one new, 50 active, 2,453 total, 2,338 resolved, 65 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – seven new, 13 active, 1,394 total, 1,337 resolved, 39 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – none new, 20 active, 1,304 total, 1,235 resolved, 49 deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – none new, 18 active, 690 total, 671 resolved, one death (one new case referred from other area)
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 10 new, 95 active, 1,993 total, 1,852 resolved, 46 deaths

On Friday the province moved the region under Lambton Public Health from orange-restrict to red-control under the province's COVID-19 response framework, citing "worsening public health trends."

Ontario reported 1,150 new cases and 47 deaths Friday, marking a second day of increasing daily counts in the province.