TORONTO -- For a second straight day, Ontario has recorded more than 300 new cases of COVID-19 after reporting a dip in patients earlier this week.

Health officials confirmed another 344 cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, as well as 41 more deaths.

The new patients bring the total number of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province to 27,210, including 2,230 deaths and 20,983 recoveries.

Tracking Ontario's 27,210 cases of COVID-19

The total number of resolved cases accounts for more than 77 per cent of all patients. 

According to Friday’s epidemiological summary, eight of Ontario's deceased COVID-19 patients were between the ages of 20 and 39. Eighty-seven of all deceased patients in the province were between the ages of 40 and 59 and 586 people were between the ages of 60 and 79.

There have been no deaths recorded in people 19 years of age or younger.

People 80 years of age or older continue to be the hardest hit age group with 1,549 deaths.

There are currently 826 patients in Ontario hospitals with COVID-19. Of those, 129 are in intensive care.

COVID-19 testing in Ontario

The number of COVID-19 tests conducted daily in Ontario appears to be increasing, although officials have yet to reach their goal of 20,000 per day. In the last 24 hours, 18,525 tests were conducted.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford has been urging residents who are asymptomatic and believe they may have been exposed to the disease to contact an assessment centre to get a test.

"If you have no symptoms, you feel you've been around groups, you feel you're nervous you might have COVID-19, please go get tested," he told reporters on Wednesday.

To date more than 680,687 tests have been conducted for COVID-19. There are 13,351 test samples under investigation in Ontario.

On Friday, the province unveiled its new COVID-19 testing strategy, pledging a massive expansion in the next few weeks.

Top doctor not surprised by bump in cases

Ontario's top doctor did not appear surprised on Thursday the number of cases had increased, attributing the fact to people gathering together on Victoria Day long weekend.

“I was thinking we would get an uptick in the number today, generally it’s because its seven to nine days after a weekend, " Dr. David Williams said. "We saw the same thing following Mother’s Day weekend."