A Barrie girl is among the seven new COVID-19 cases reported on Thursday, bringing the region's total confirmed diagnoses to 842.

Four other Barrie residents, an Innisfil man and a Collingwood man, tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hours, according to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU).

There were no new cases reported in Muskoka.

The SMDHU reports the average age of people testing positive is 30.

The health unit calls the number of cases so far this month a 'substantial surge' with 132 cases, which is more than July and August combined and closer to what was reported back in May.

The region's top doc, Dr. Charles Gardner, said there is no doubt this is the second wave.

So far, three Catholic schools and two public schools in Simcoe County have confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Sister Catherine Donnelly Catholic School, Father F.X. O'Reilly Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic School, Bear Creek Secondary School, and Twin Lakes Secondary School each have at least one case according to the school board's websites.

The principal at Sister Catherine Donnelly sent a letter home to parents today saying two classes are closed as the health unit investigates who may have been in contact with the positive case.

There are outbreaks at three long-term care homes in Simcoe Muskoka, each with a single case. The latest is at Muskoka Shores in Gravenhurst, where a staff member tested positive.

The Muskoka area reported a jump in COVID cases this week. "We're seeing a pattern of transmission that's involving household clusters, but also have links to community transmission," Dr. Gardner said.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford unveiled over one-billion dollars in expanded testing and contact tracing today to deal with the long lines at assessment centres. "We're all in this together. We will spare absolutely no expense," Ford said during his daily briefing.

The announcement comes as the province reports 409 new COVID-19 cases and one new virus-related death in the past 24 hours.

Ontario's health minister said 63 per cent of the new cases are in people under the age of 40.

The premier has already announced the province will launch a bolstered flu shot campaign in a bid to keep hospital capacity down.

The government said that up to 60 pharmacies would begin offering COVID-19 tests to asymptomatic people starting Friday.