Alberta announced 29 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the provincial total to 690 Monday.
The province announced five additional deaths, bringing province at eight deaths related to COVID-19.
As of last week, there were two deaths in the province. A third death in the province was announced Sunday.
In central zone, there was no increase in numbers in the recent update on Monday. The total number of cases remains at 46.
In Red Deer, that number remains at 17. In Lacombe, there are two confirmed cases, one in Ponoka, seven in Red Deer County, one in Innisfail, two in Olds, one in Stettler County area and eight in Wetaskiwin County.
In Calgary zone 422 cases have been confirmed, 164 in Edmonton, 12 in south and 45 in north zone.
Recovered cases in the province reached 94 Monday.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, said with five deaths in the last 24 hours, Monday has been one of the hardest days yet.
“We’ve always known that with rise in cases, we would have more severe cases in terms of deaths,” she said.
“Each of these individuals had life that mattered, and people who love them, and that’s the hard part, having so many (deaths) in one day.”
Two of the five deaths were in senior’s housing in Calgary and Edmonton zones: a woman in her 70s and a man in his 80s respectively. The three remaining are: a woman in her 50s in the Calagry zone, a man in his 80s in Edmonton zone and a man in his 30s in the north zone.
“These deaths speak to the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, and why aggressive measures are needed to contain the spread,” she said.
Hinshaw explained the number of new cases in the last few days have been comparitively lower than what we’ve seen previously. That’s due to several factors: returning travellers are no longer being tested and a decrease in the total daily tests in the lab over the past few days given “some challenges with lab testing supplies.”
“It will take several days more of the new testing protocol to get enough data to understand our trends,” she said. “I expect by the end of this week we will have a better sense of what this data means to our risk in Alberta.”
The province believes 65 cases are as a result of community transmission. This number is concerning, said Hinshaw.
While some provinces such as Alberta had previously allowed those in self-isolation to leave their property for short walks, that has now changed.
The uniform recommendation across Canada now is: if you’re in quarantined because you recently came back from outsde the country or were in close contact with someone with COVID-19 you must remain on your own property.
“You’re only permitted to go outdoors on your deck, in your yard or on a balcony,” she said.
“This means if you’re in mandatory self-isolation you can’t go out for walks at the park or your neighbourhood.”