LETHBRIDGE -- While people wait for their chance to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the virus is surging in southern Alberta.

Lethbridge in particular is a hot spot and lead medical officer of health Dr. Vivien Suttorp said there are likely more cases than what's being reported.

"We need people to get tested. If people are not being tested, the numbers that we have are a mere tip of the iceberg," said Dr. Suttorp.

Suttorp added that she understood why some people may not be going in for tests as not everyone experiences the same level of symptoms.

"A young child may just have a snotty nose for a day and then there's others with extremely severe disease," she said.

Dr. Aaron Low, the South Zone's medical director said despite the high number of active cases in Lethbridge, the Chinook Regional Hospital is still managing for now.

"We have 14 beds in our ICU (intensive care unit),  nine of them were filled as of this morning," Low said.

"Not all of those nine are COVID patients," he added, saying "there are seven COVID patients in our ICU right now."

Both doctors will be in an online community conversation this evening from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in joining to ask questions is encouraged to register or email questions in advance to Community.Engagement@ahs.ca.