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Canada 13 cases of COVID-19 linked to curling bonspiel attended by doctors from across western Canada

06:10  22 march  2020
06:10  22 march  2020 Source:   cbc.ca

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sick with COVID - 19 after attending curling bonspiel in Edmonton. 'This bonspiel is an annual event that usually attracts 50-60 physicians from Western Canada ,' Dr Health Organization declared COVID - 19 a pandemic, dozens of doctors across Western Canada were gathering to play in a

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Thirteen people connected to the medical profession who attended a curling bonspiel in Edmonton March 11-14 have been confirmed to have COVID-19. A further three are in self-isolation.  © Thomas Skrlj/COC/CBC Thirteen people connected to the medical profession who attended a curling bonspiel in Edmonton March 11-14 have been confirmed to have COVID-19. A further three are in self-isolation.

Thirteen confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been linked to a curling bonspiel attended by 50 to 60 doctors from across western Canada.

The bonspiel took place in Edmonton March 11-14, starting the same day COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer Dr. Shaqib Shahab said 11 of those cases are "front-line health care staff and physicians" from Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert. The other two are people connected to the University of Calgary's Cumming School of Medicine.

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Dr . Allan Woo, the president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, was at the curling club for a bonspiel with 50-60 physicians from western CTV News Edmonton has reached out to the Alberta Medical Association to see if the physicians who attended the curling bonspiel are now self-isolating.

Dr . Allan Woo, the head of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, has tested positive for COVID - 19 and believes he contracted the disease while at a bonspiel in Edmonton last weekend. Sarah Komadina has more from the Granite Curling Club.

Additionally, three doctors from Manitoba are in self-isolation following their attendance at the event.

Dr. Shahab noted the event took place before there were any restrictions on gatherings with less than 250 people.

He said 22 people from Saskatchewan attended the event, meaning half of those people contracted the virus.

"This is a startling reminder of the risk in gatherings, even as healthcare workers," Dr. Shahab said during a teleconference Saturday afternoon. "While we take all the precautions at work, we are not immune to this virus in social settings."

'The risks of this pandemic are far too real'

On Thursday, the president of the Saskatchewan Medical Association, which represents doctors in Saskatchewan, confirmed he contracted COVID-19 at the curling bonspiel.

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He says the bonspiel , which was held from March 11-14 in Edmonton, was attended by 50 to 60 doctors from across Western Canada . Woo is one of four new presumptive cases of COVID - 19 in Saskatchewan, bringing the total in the province to 20. The Ministry of Health says three of the new

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Woo, who is an orthopedic surgeon in Saskatoon, says he has been self-isolating since Tuesday morning when he first noticed symptoms. He said his appointments and surgeries are being rescheduled.

"We are communicating with patients I was in contact with. My sincere apologies for any distress this may cause," he wrote.

He said his situation should be a warning to everyone.

"The risks of this pandemic are far too real. I hope my personal situation serves as a signal for all health-care workers, and others, to be vigilant about their health. Everyone needs to take precautions and self-monitor for any symptoms."

Investigation into the bonspiel

Prior to the new cases being announced, Alberta's chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the investigation into the bonspiel event continues and the province is currently gathering more details.

Hinshaw said public health was to reach out to all doctors involved in the event, but didn't answer directly when asked if any could potentially still be practising or interacting with patients.

In a statement provided to CBC News, AHS said they have directly contacted any individual considered exposed to these cases, and these individuals are now being tested while in self-isolation.

"Again, all individuals exposed to a case are contacted directly by AHS. Only those individuals contacted directly by AHS, are considered exposed to any case. If you are not contacted directly by AHS, you are not considered exposed," the statement reads. "So as to protect patient privacy, no further patient details will be provided."

The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada .
The latest numbers of confirmed and presumptive COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 4:00 a.m. on March 29, 2020: There are 5,655 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada. _ Quebec: 2,498 confirmed (including 22 deaths, 1 resolved) _ Ontario: 1,144 confirmed (including 19 deaths, 8 resolved) _ British Columbia: 884 confirmed (including 17 deaths, 396 resolved) _ Alberta: 621 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 33 resolved) _ Saskatchewan: 134 confirmedThere are 5,655 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada.

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