Alberta is near the end of one of its most sobering weeks of the pandemic so far. Even though they have ample personal protective equipment and testing according to provincial authorities, case numbers continue to climb. Alberta's COVID-19 count just passed 2,000 after a record-breaking day.

On Thursday, April 16, Alberta's top doctor shared her daily update on COVID-19 in the province. She announced that there were 162 new cases.

That brings the total number in the province to 2,158.

"The scale of this pandemic means we often talk in case numbers, but we must never forget that every case is a person," said Dr. Hinshaw after reporting that there had been two new deaths.

It seems like the end is nowhere in sight. "We have not yet seen the peak of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said Hinshaw. “It is likely that we will continue to see occasional cases in every part of Alberta," she said.

Just one day earlier it was clear from Dr. Hinshaw's update that the province was about to surpass 2,000 cases. On Wednesday, April 15 there were 126 new cases announced and 1,996 in total.

Alberta has the third most cases in the province. As of Thursday, April 16 Quebec has just over 14,000. Ontario has the second-highest with almost 8,000.

In contrast, Alberta's neighbour to the west has just over 1,500 right now.

In her April 16 update, Hinshaw also warned against smoking and vaping because COVID-29 is a respiratory disease.

"Smoking increases the risk of poor outcomes from any lung infection and this virus mainly affects the lungs," she said. 

Plus, if you smoke or vape you touch your hands to your face often making transmission easy.

She asked people to even temporarily try to quit smoking and said there are lots of resources from Alberta Health to support people. 

Other than quitting smoking, one of the best things you can do for your health and for others is to stay committed to social distancing.

"I know many Albertans are wanting to see that light at the end of the tunnel. Rest assured, we are doing everything possible to limit the spread in Alberta and get our province through this incredibly difficult time," said Hinshaw.

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