EDMONTON -- As the calendar flips to December, Dr. Deena Hinshaw told Albertans it’s best to assume they will still have to limit their contacts outside their homes this holiday season.

The chief medical officer of health reported another 1,307 COVID-19 cases after more than 15,000 tests, as well as 10 deaths connected to the disease.

Of the 16,628 Albertans diagnosed with the coronavirus, 479 are in hospital and 97 of them are in intensive care.

So to reduce the growing infections that started around Thanksgiving, which Hinshaw called “a big accelerator of spread,” she’s warning Albertans against planning get-togethers at friends’ houses or having big family dinners.

“I am encouraging Albertans to begin preparing for a much different holiday season and to start thinking of creative ways to celebrate safely.

“If you were making holiday plans, it is best to assume that you will still be limiting contact with anyone outside your household as much as possible, and that any larger get-togethers will need to be virtual.”

Hinshaw added cabinet will decide which restrictions will be in place for the holidays later this month, after the current restrictions expire Dec. 15.

Alberta has reported 59,484 cases and 551 deaths since the pandemic started.