There are 162 new cases of COVID-19 in Alberta, bringing the provincial total to 2,158.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, announced the latest statistics at the provincial government’s daily press conference Thursday afternoon.
This one of the highest single-day rises in confirmed cases, said Hinshaw.
“We did expect we would see some higher confirmed case numbers, as we’ve expanded our testing availability across the province,” she said.
“Our hospitalization numbers are going to be changing based on our testing criteria and those have continued to be relatively stable.”
The exact locations of the new cases are unavailable due to a technical issue with the government’s reporting application – only preliminary data can be seen at this time.
Updated case information, including zone cases and recovered cases, will be provided once the technical problems are fixed.
“We hope that all will be resolved by tomorrow,” said Hinshaw.
Hinshaw said she also hopes graphs of the province’s hospitalization trends will be produced next week. Those numbers are lower than modelling data predicted, she added.
Two more people have died as a result of the virus: a man in his 70s in the Calgary zone and a woman in her 80s in the north zone. Both were residents at long-term care facilities. This brings the total number of COVID-19 death to 50.
“We have not yet seen the peak of COVID-19 in Alberta,” said Hinshaw.
“It is likely we will continue to see occasional cases in every part of Alberta, including in some health care settings. When cases do arise, health officials take every possible step to isolate anyone who may be exposed and to ensure there is no broader risk to any patient.”
Hinshaw recommends people who smoke or vape quit.
“Smoking and e-cigarettes can expose the lungs to toxic chemicals. It is not yet clear whether these exposures increase the risk of catching COVID-19, however, they do increase the risk of severe illness for those who get infected,” she said, adding quitting can have positive outcomes in the prevention and treatment of the disease.
Albertans should limit alcohol consumption as well, she added.
“Alcohol consumption can make many things worse, including health issues, risk-taking behaviours, mental health and violence.”
No more than two drinks per day are recommended for women and no more than three drinks a day for men.
“It’s more important now than ever to look after both your physical and mental health,” she said.