KINGSTON, ONT. -- Indoor social gatherings in the Kingston area are being limited to 10 people as the city sees a spike in new COVID-19 cases.

Medical officer of health Dr. Piotr Oglaza has issued a Section 22 class order, implementing indoor social gathering restrictions in private dwellings within Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington.

"COVID-19 cases in the KFL&A region are rising and we know that nearly half of our cases are acquired in the household setting," Dr. Oglaza said in a statement.

"Reducing indoor gathering limits in private dwellings is prudent and necessary to prevent illness and the spread of COVID-19."

Effective Saturday at 12:01 a.m., indoor gatherings are capped at 10 people, including the residents of the home.

Anyone hosting social gatherings in a private home must maintain a list of names and contact information for guests, and provide it to Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health within 24 hours of the request.

Speaking with reporters Friday afternoon, Dr. Oglaza said new measures are needed to curb the spread of COVID in the community.

"We are in the middle of the fourth wave, we have to alter our behaviour," said Dr. Oglaza.

Across Ontario, social gathering limits are 25 people for indoor private dwellings.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health reported 32 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, 36 cases on Thursday, 40 new cases on Wednesday and 35 cases on Tuesday.

The region's top doctor says the new measures will be in place as long as needed, aiming to curb pre-holiday parties over the next few weeks.  

Dr. Oglaza is hopeful they can be removed by Christmas Day in one month.

"We can still work together to make that happen. If we see cases doing down, we still have a chance."

The indoor gathering limit at private residences of 10 people is the second health measure introduced this week in a bid to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingston area.

On Wednesday, Dr. Oglaza announced that as of Dec. 6, everyone ages 12 to 17 who attends an indoor area of a sports facility for participating in an organized sport must provide proof of receiving one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. All participants must be fully vaccinated by Feb. 25.