Doctors aren't immune to coronavirus. In Alberta, COVID-19 has begun affecting the province's physicians: some tested positive after participating in a curling tournament with other healthcare workers. Around 50 are now in isolation, but some treated patients before they even knew they could have the virus.
The event in question, the Edmonton Curling Bonspiel happened from Wednesday, March 11 to Saturday, March 14.
According to Alberta's provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, 47 attendees were healthcare workers. "All attendees have been contacted and are now in isolation," said Hinshaw.
Out of the 11 positives, "many" were physicians.
Hinshaw stated that some of those physicians worked early in the week of March 15-21, before being told that people who were at the bonspiel had tested positive.
All contacts of the physicians were notified through local public health follow-up, said Hinshaw and some were patients.
Hinshaw spoke to the organizers of the bonspiel, who said they followed guidelines meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
"Despite these measures, transmission took place," Hinshaw said.
Hinshaw said that "commonly touched surfaces" could also lead to the spread of the virus, and even people with mild symptoms, like a sore throat or runny nose, could contribute to the spread.
LIVE - update from @CMOH_Alberta and officials on #COVID19 and the ongoing work to protect public health. The lates… https://t.co/xiIKUHba4m— Alberta Government (@Alberta Government)1585000481.0
"COVID-19 does not discriminate. All of us need to be vigilant with hand hygiene, staying home with even minor respiratory symptoms, and keeping unwashed hands well away from our faces," said Hinshaw.
Hinshaw also confirmed 42 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province-wide total up to 301.
Before visiting a loved one in a seniors' facility or hospital, it's crucial that Albertans understand the measures… https://t.co/gH50Zk5ZB1— Dr. Deena Hinshaw (@Dr. Deena Hinshaw)1584986272.0
Later in the same conference, Hinshaw noted that if you have experienced minor symptoms of COVID-19 but begin feeling better, showing no more symptoms after ten days of self-isolating, you could come out of quarantine.
Just watched Dr. Deena's daily update. There were a few questions re the Western Canada physicians bonspiel at the… https://t.co/dBBIb7KIih— Terry Jones (@Terry Jones)1585003115.0
Alberta also changed their testing priorities for COVID-19, including stopping testing for most travellers from outside Canada.
Hinshaw clarified that those who had an "exposure of concern" while travelling outside Canada or those who had close contact with a confirmed case would still need to self-isolate for fourteen days.
If they develop symptoms, they need to self-isolate for ten days, or as long as it takes for symptoms to go away.