MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- The Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting 13 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the second straight day with a double-digit increase.

MLHU Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie says, “This is the second wave and we are seeing substantial spread in the community.”

With 11 cases reported on Thursday, the total in the last week has now risen to 47 cases - largely connected to a community outbreak.

The outbreak was declared over the weekend after five Western University students initially tested positive.

Ten of Thursday’s cases and 11 of Friday's cases were also Western students, bringing the total number of students affected to 39. All are reportedly in good condition.

The cases come from multiple clusters, with almost all linked to partying in bars or restaurants or at house parties, Mackie says.

Nine of the cases reported Friday are linked to a second cluster all connected to a single house party. Others are connected to El Furniture Warehouse and the northwest London Walmart.

The 13 new cases bring the total in the region to 789, including 679 resolved and 57 deaths.

It has been more than a month since the last time the London region last saw double-digit daily totals, and there hasn’t been such a high two-day increase since mid-April.

And the trend is likely to continue. Mackie said Thursday that since it can take two-five days for symptoms to appear and two weeks for a positive test, more cases are likely.

The health unit is asking the province to extend new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings to Middlesex-London.

Wait times remain high at the city’s two assessment centres at Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre and Oakridge Arena, and those with symptoms and confirmed close contacts are being prioritized to try to speed up the testing process.

Here is where the case totals stand in other nearby regions based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Elgin-Oxford – none new, 10 active, 263 cases, 248 resolved, five deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – none new, one active, 343 cases, 317 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – none new, 14 active, 487 total cases, 441 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – none new, four active, 127 total, 118 resolved, five deaths
  • Grey-Bruce – none new, one active, 130 total, 129 resolved, no deaths

The province reported 401 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, the first time the daily tally has surpassed the 400 more in 15 weeks.