The province has increased the presence of local enforcement to hand out fines to Alberta residents if they aren't complying with the new COVID-19 restrictions rolled out by the province last Tuesday.

Frank Borsos is the Manager of Municipal Enforcement with the Town of Cochrane and he says that community peace officers have been granted the authority to hand out fines.

"Basically we've been added as that partnership and that tool with the health inspectors and our local police service, the RCMP," says Borsos.

Peace Officers will follow up on any complaints that they receive, and Borsos says that they are prepared to issue fines if they are warranted.

"We're looking at it as a complaint basis right now," says Borsos. "If we receive a complaint about something then we gather the information like we would any other investigation, and see where it goes from there regarding what, if any violation is taking place."

Borsos says that the starting point for fines is $1,000 plus a victim surcharge.

"If enforcement was determined then the ticket could actually be issued in the minimum fine of 12 hundred dollars," says Borsos. "That's a thousand dollars and then a $200 victim surcharge. If you're looking at fines above that then that would be based on the courts, they'd be listening to that information and then determining the amount."

Cochranites are reminded that all indoor social gatherings are strictly prohibited at this time and outdoor gatherings, weddings and funerals are limited to a maximum of ten people.

Health officials have identified social gatherings as the number one source of COVID-19 transmission, and say that it accounts for 40 per cent of the provincial cases.