In this April 3, 2020, photo, a technician holds blue preservation solution in a clean room where saliva collection devices are assembled at Spectrum DNA in Draper, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Amid a record number of new cases in Ontario, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting just three new COVID-19 cases Friday.

In addition to the low local count, across the five surrounding public health coverage areas, only four new cases were reported Friday - three in Grey-Bruce and one in Lambton County.

Across Ontario, a record-breaking 732 new cases were reported Friday, as well as three COVID-19-related deaths. The previous record was set Monday when 700 cases were reported.

The spike has prompted new restrictions, and while most will only apply in the hardest hit regions, Premier Doug Ford is asking to limit close contact only to those in their own household.

The new cases in Middlesex-London bring the total since Saturday to 44 cases, and the region’s cumulative total to 883.

Of those, 72 remain active, while 754 are resolved. There have been 57 deaths, but none since June.

At least one of the new cases is in a local long-term care or retirement home, which now account for 200 of the local cases of COVID-19.

There are ongoing outbreaks at Meadow Park Care Centre, Peoplecare Oak Crossing, Country Terrace and Ashwood Manor Retirement Home.

Here is where the cases stand in other area regions based on the most recent publicly available data:

  • Grey-Bruce – three new, five active, 146 total, 141 resolved, no deaths
  • Sarnia-Lambton – one new, three active, 347 cases, 319 resolved, 25 deaths
  • Elgin-Oxford – none new, seven active, 270 cases, 258 resolved, five deaths
  • Haldimand-Norfolk – none new, two active, 491 total cases, 452 resolved, 32 deaths
  • Huron-Perth – none new, two active, 129 total, 122 resolved, five deaths

A day after it was announced that London’s two assessment centres were changing gears, with one to be by appointment only, the province is making that the norm.

With Ontario looking to reduce lineups and a backlog of tests, the appointment-only model is being applied province-wide.