CALGARY -- The City of Chestermere upped its fight against the spread of COVID-19 on Tuesday and declared a state of local emergency.

"We take this situation extremely seriously and this declaration means that in partnership with you, our citizens and local businesses, we can protect our community," said Mayor Marshall Chalmers in the announcement on the city’s website.

In its daily update later in the day, Alberta Health Services announced 23 new cases of the virus were found in the province, brining the total number to 97.

Effective immediately, the city says businesses must restrict their capacity to 50 per cent or less to ensure people can safely practice social distancing.

Businesses are also required to have hand sanitizer stations and require people to sanitize their hands before entering the building.

Businesses who do not comply can face fines or closures.

Chestermere residents are urged to limit social gatherings at their homes.

“We recommend that you cancel birthday parties, celebrations, anniversaries and parties until further notice,” the announcement read.

Also on Tuesday, Premier Jason Kenney announced a state of public health emergency for the entire province.

More information about the COVID-19 precautions can be found on Chestermere’s website.