Strict limits on private gatherings requested as coronavirus cases rise in London, Ont.

The health unit, in consultation with the City of London and County of Middlesex, is requesting that new restrictions on gathering sizes announced by the province for Toronto, Peel Region, and Ottawa be extended to the London, Ont., region.

The City of London and Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) had been trying to take an education-first approach, but tactics appear to be changing after spiralling community outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

Read more: Anger from London, Ont. mayor amid growing coronavirus outbreak: ‘You are going to kill someone’

On Thursday, Premier Doug Ford announced new restrictions starting Friday for the three regions, reducing private gatherings to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors, down from 50 and 100, respectively.

The MLHU announced Friday afternoon that it’s requested that those same restrictions be extended to its jurisdiction.

The request comes as London faces a surge in cases. On Thursday, Western University confirmed that 28 of its students had tested positive for coronavirus within the span of a week.

Read more: How Western University’s largest COVID-19 cluster happened

The health unit, meanwhile, says there’s been a total of 47 new cases in total in the last week — 30 since Wednesday alone.

Additionally, three outbreaks have been declared in the last week: one associated with downtown bars and restaurants, one tied to a large party, and one reported Friday related to a Walmart in Hyde Park.

Medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie, London mayor Ed Holder, and Middlesex County warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson will hold a media briefing at 2 p.m. ET on Friday. Global News Radio 980 CFPL will carry it live on-air and online.

More information to come.

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