MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) is reporting 32 new COVID-19 and no deaths Friday.

The case count marks a slight decline from the previous two days of high 40s, and is the sixth straight day of daily counts below 50.

The region now has a total of 12,157 cases and 218 deaths, with 11,563 cases resolved leaving 376 active. There are now 2,960 cases with a variant of concern and another 385 that are mutation positive.

The first incidences of the B.1.617 variant – the mutation that originated in India - were confirmed in the region on Thursday.

Meanwhile the province announced Friday that it would be shortening the gap between COVID-19 vaccine doses, with the goal of having most residents fully vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Starting next week, residents 80 and older will be able to start booking or re-booking their second dose appointments. The MLHU says dates and details will be released shortly.

The London Health Sciences Centre is currently caring for 33 inpatients with COVID-19, of which 10 are in the Intensive Care Unit. Out-of-region transfers accounts for fewer than five patients in acute care and fewer than five in the ICU.

There are three ongoing outbreaks at London-area seniors' facilities, one in a school and one in a child-care setting.

An active outbreak at Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital continues, with 19 cases and three deaths to date, though no new cases or deaths were reported Thursday or Friday.

Here are the most recently available numbers from other local public health authorities:

  • Elgin-Oxford – four new, 62 active, 3,765 total, 3,623 resolved, 80 deaths, 767 variants
  • Grey-Bruce – one new, 30 active, 1,342 total, 1,305 resolved, seven deaths, 384 variants
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – one new, 48 active, 2,635 total, 2,536 resolved, 45 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – nine new, 41 active, 1,789 total, 1,691 resolved, 57 deaths, 254 variants
  • Sarnia-Lambton – 37 active, 3,463 total, 3,366 resolved, 60 deaths, 565 variants

Ontario health officials are reported a fourth straight day of daily case totals fewer than 1,300, as well as 14 new deaths.