EDMONTON -- Alberta Health says there are now 14 cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health, announced the details in a media conference Tuesday afternoon.

"This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Alberta to 14," she said.

Three of the new cases are from the Edmonton Zone: a man in his 70s and a woman in her 60s who had travelled together and a female in her 30s who has recently travelled outside of Canada.

The remaining new cases are all from the Calgary Zone, a man in his 50s, two women in their 30s and a woman in her 40s.

She added all of the patients connected to the new cases all caught the illness while they were abroad and are in isolation at home.

One of the previous cases has since been transported to hospital because of a pre-existing medical condition but is expected to recover.

"They are stable. They are simply requiring hospital care," Hinshaw says.

"Albertans should know that increases are expected as we work aggressively to limit the virus’s spread. We are all in this together. Every one of us has a role to play in protecting our families, friends and fellow Canadians. The precautionary measures you take now will help shield yourself and others, especially seniors and people with pre-existing medical conditions, from this virus," Hinshaw said in a release.

Officials say the new patients had returned from visiting a number of countries including:

  • France
  • The Netherlands
  • Egypt
  • Iran
  • Taiwan
  • Germany
  • Malaysia
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Panama
  • The Philippines
  • The United States

Officials say the patients also visited a number of countries on the above list and they are working to trace their movements and anyone they may have had contact with.

"It is still too early to know where each patient contracted the virus," Hinshaw said. "Health officlals are now reaching out to anyone who may have been in close contact with these cases."

Hinshaw says since all the new cases of the illness are travel-related, the approach health authorities are taking in regards to the virus is the correct one.

"Our public health measures are doing precisely what they intended to do: detect new cases and take immediate action. This means the number of confirmed cases will likely continue in the weeks ahead."

While the patients in Alberta's confirmed cases are expected to recover, Hinshaw says COVID-19 can be very serious for certain groups of people.

"COVID-19 can be extremely serious and even fatal for seniors and those with underlying health conditions. Even people who are otherwise healthy can sometimes have severe disease."

Hinshaw says the risk to Albertans travelling outside the country is "increasing."

"Albertans planning to travel in the coming weeks should carefully monitor the travel recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada and consider how the ever-evolving situation may impact their travel plans.

"While the risk of exposure remains low in Alberta, we are taking all necessary steps to prepare the health system in case the risk level changes in the coming weeks."

All travellers returning from Iran or Hubei province, China, should self-isolate until 14 days have passed since their visit. If they develop symptoms, they should call Health Link 811.

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever or cough linked to recent travel or other health concerns should contact Health Link 811.