Nearing the end of her address, Dr. Deena Hinshaw said she'd like to discuss a new "trend" that she finds "concerning".
The change comes following a Thanksgiving long weekend that saw a significant spike in new and active cases, with 961 cases being detected between October 9 and 12. The Edmonton Zone, which includes the city of Edmonton and surrounding municipalities, had 1,329 active cases as of Friday while the city of Edmonton had 1,167.
There are 97 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 13 in ICU, Hinshaw said. "Please help us make the system as effective and efficient as possible".
The City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge County have both been placed under COVID watch by Alberta Health Services, it was announced Tuesday.
The latest deaths involved a woman in her 70s in the Edmonton zone, a woman in her 60s linked to the outbreak at Lifestyle Options Terra Losa in Edmonton, a woman in her 50s connected to the outbreak at Mill Woods Shepherd's Care Centre in Edmonton and a man in his 80s linked to the outbreak at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary.
The doctor said that she knows many people missed out on family gatherings this weekend and acknowledged all of the sacrifices everyone has made. "It makes it worse", she said.
"It is understandable that people are exhausted of COVID, and angry at the ways that their lives have been disrupted".
She also noted that the Edmonton zone remains the hot spot in Alberta with 1,444 active cases, which is more than half of the active cases in the entire province.
Priority testing is going to anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus, close contacts of confirmed spaces, and workers or residents of specific outbreaks sites, the release states.
Alberta has reported 20,956 cases and 286 deaths to date.