The number of COVID-19 cases in Alberta continues to rise, prompting the provincial government to implement measures to enforce public health orders.

There were 61 new cases confirmed between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon to bring the provincial total to 419.

Two new cases were recorded in the South Zone, both in Medicine Hat, for a total of ten in this region.

Premier Jason Kenney, in delivering Wednesday’s update, said too many people are ignoring public health requests so the province has given full authority to law enforcement agencies, including peace officers and police officers, to issue fines.

Penalties for violating a COVID-19 public health order can range from a $1,000 ticket for a single, first offence to a $100,000 court ordered fine and up to $500,000 for subsequent offences through the courts.

Kenney says every tool must be used to ensure public safety, adding he hopes these measures “send a message” that this is not a hint, or suggestion but “an absolute legal requirement” that under certain circumstances, people must isolate themselves.

It is now mandatory for travellers returning from outside Canada to self-isolate for 14 days.

The legal requirement also applies to close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases.