Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

As some kids head back to school this week, Alberta's top doctor will provide an update on COVID-19 cases and health measures Monday afternoon.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw will hold her availability at 3:30 p.m. and will also address criticism over a health order she approved on the weekend that lifts mandatory physical distancing in classrooms.

Order 33-2020 states that school operators do not have to maintain two-metre physical distancing in classrooms where seats are arranged to prevent students from facing each other.

In a series of tweets, Hinshaw addressed social media comments saying the change was stealthily made during the weekend.

I’ve heard criticism that Order 33-2020 was issued over the weekend. This timing was not to hide information from Albertans but to ensure school authorities knew about the order before it came into effect today (August 31). (1/8)

— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@CMOH_Alberta) August 31, 2020

Masks will still be required for all staff and K-4 students in shared and common areas like hallways.

In the province's last COVID-19 update Friday, there were 158 new cases confirmed, driving the number of active infections in the province to 1,185. No new deaths were reported, leaving the province's death toll at 237.

While the Edmonton Zone fell off Alberta Health's watch list, it still has the majority of active cases with 544.

Watch Hinshaw's update live at 3:30 p.m. on and