A sharp rise in the number of COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta over the weekend.

A total of 1,440 new cases were reported between Friday and Sunday bringing the number of active cases up to 4,477.

That breaks down to 364 new cases on Friday, 572 cases on Saturday, and 504 cases on Sunday.

There were also seven additional deaths over those three days.

Here in the South Zone, there were 73 new cases confirmed and 37 of them were in Lethbridge. There were ten new cases in Lethbridge County.

Lethbridge currently has 161 active cases of COVID-19.

In an effort to address the rising number of cases, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on Monday, introduced new public health measures for Edmonton and Calgary.

There is now a mandatory 15 person limit on all social gatherings in those two cities.

New voluntary measures are also in effect for Calgary, and will remain in place for Edmonton, that includes masks in indoor work settings where distancing isn’t possible, a reduction of close contacts and connections between networks, and no more than three cohorts per person.

Hinshaw says these measures are not being taken lightly but are necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from continuing to escalate saying “the warning bell is ringing and I want all of us to hear its call.”