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Hundreds of Alberta doctors, 3 major health-care unions join calls for 'circuit breaker' lockdown – CBC.ca

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A group of more than 430 Alberta physicians and three major health-care unions will send a letter to Premier Jason Kenney Thursday endorsing the idea of a “circuit-breaker” lockdown as cases of COVID-19 continue to surge in the province.

“There is no more time. We have to act now,” said Dr. Tehseen Ladha, who co-authored the letter. “We need something strong and mandatory in order to bend the curve.”

  • You can read the full letter at the bottom of this story

The letter will arrive the same day Alberta’s government is expected to introduce further restrictions

Though restrictions were not final as of Wednesday, officials said the measures were expected to be in line with the premier’s messaging over the past few weeks, involving modest and targeted measures — moves that officials emphasized do not constitute a lockdown.

Thursday’s letter also comes on the heels of a separate letter signed by more than 70 physicians earlier this week, which warned that the province’s acute-care system could be overburdened if strict restrictions weren’t implemented.

Doctors warn of health system crisis

In the letter, the signatories say they feel it is their duty to warn of the “impending health system crisis” resulting from the spread of COVID-19 in Alberta.

“We have reached a juncture where only strong and decisive mandatory measures can prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed,” the letter reads.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is being urged in the letter to implement a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown, on the heels of a similar call made by dozens of doctors earlier this week. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Those measures, which the letter says should be time-limited, include:

  • Directives to work from home for those who are able.
  • The limiting of contacts to those within the household or a support bubble.
  • Restrictions on group recreation and sports activities.
  • The suspension of group indoor activities, including indoor dining, bars, casinos, religious services and theatres.

Schools should be kept open for in-person learning, the letter says, “due to their vital importance.”

The letter goes on to cite Alberta’s rise in cases, high levels of test positivity and intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. 

On Wednesday, Alberta reported there are 217 COVID-related patients in hospital — more than double the number a month ago — with a record-setting 46 of them in intensive care. 

“Even if transmissions drop today, hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths will continue to rise for weeks as current infections progress,” the letter reads.

Circuit-breaker lockdown

In the view of the doctors, a circuit-breaker lockdown would consist of strict, time-limited measures that would help prevent a complete lockdown should the health system become overwhelmed.

“The time for incremental measures has passed, and voluntary measures, requested October 9, have not blunted the rise in cases,” the letter reads. “Our testing system is strained, and contact tracing [capabilities] have collapsed.

“We see no other way to break chains of transmission and decrease cases, than to implement a ‘circuit breaker’ of short, strict measures.”

WATCH | As cases surge, provinces are implementing short, sharp circuit-breaker lockdowns:

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Canada, provinces are implementing the short, sharp “circuit-breaker” lockdowns to fight the spread of the virus and prevent health-care systems from being overwhelmed. 1:58

Last week, Kenney asked Albertans to stop hosting parties and social gatherings in their homes but did not impose mandatory restrictions.

“We’re not going to be sending out police to monitor this,” Kenney said. “As much as what we’ve done, this is appealing to people to exercise personal and collective responsibility, so that we can avoid having to use more stringent measures.”

On Wednesday, officials told CBC News that new measures set to be announced on Thursday by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, could include capacity limits on worship services and fitness classes.

Businesses could also see reduced capacity or operating hours, but one official said no business closures are expected to be announced.

The letter released Thursday indicates it recognizes that suggested restrictions under a circuit-breaker lockdown would also present their own harms, and urges the government to provide support to impacted businesses.

“The evolving evidence suggests that strong, time-limited measures will not only minimize the second wave but could prevent the need for the complete lockdowns that become inevitable when the health system becomes overwhelmed,” the letter reads.

“A failure to control COVID-19 spread means we cannot expect our economy to recover quickly or strongly.”

WATCH | Infectious disease specialist’s growing concern over Alberta hospitalizations: 

Dr. Jim Kellner, an infectious disease specialist in Alberta, is concerned about rising COVID-19 case numbers and their impact on hospitals two to three weeks from now. 0:29

3 health-care unions endorse letter

Ladha said the letter had also been endorsed by the United Nurses of Alberta, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, which together represent more than 100,000 health-care workers.

“We think it’s imperative that action is taken now,” said Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta. “We think it would be a responsible thing, for the premier to show leadership.”

Ladha said part of the purpose of the letter is to get the word out to the public.

“The majority of people that actually work in the health-care system that are seeing these numbers, that are seeing the strain that we’re under in the hospitals, know that this is an impending crisis,” she said. 

Heather Smith, president of the United Nurses of Alberta, says she thinks that it is ‘imperative’ that action be taken now as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alberta. (CBC)

At Monday’s press conference, Hinshaw said the idea of a circuit-breaker lockdown was an interesting one, adding the province would continue to consider all its options.

“We need to look at all options on the table … including what we’re doing now, which is giving Albertans every opportunity to walk along with us, to come alongside and be a part of the solution before we impose restrictions,” she said.

Alberta reported 672 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and seven more deaths to COVID-19 — the third day in a row the province reported seven new deaths in one day.


Read the full text of the letter below:
 

November 12, 2020 

The Honourable Jason Kenney MLA 

Premier, Province of Alberta 

Office of the Premier 

307 Legislature Building 

10800 – 97 Avenue 

Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6

  • C.C. Honourable Tyler Shandro MLA, Minister for Health; Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health 

Dear Premier Kenney, 

As health-care workers we feel it is our duty to warn of the impending health system crisis resulting from the uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 in Alberta. We have reached a juncture where only strong and decisive mandatory measures can prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. 

We therefore urge the Government of Alberta to institute a set of time limited public health restrictions that would consist of: 

  • Directives to work from home for anyone who is able.

  • Limiting contacts to those within the household or support bubble.

  • Restrictions on group recreation/sports activities.

  • Suspension of group indoor activities (including indoor dining, bars, casinos, religious services, and theatres).

Due to their vital importance, we should aim to keep schools open for in-person learning options. 

We are seeing an exponential rise in cases, high levels of test positivity, and already have almost double the number of hospitalizations seen in the first wave. Intensive care unit admissions and deaths have also increased markedly in the past week. Even if transmissions drop today, hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and deaths will continue to rise for weeks as current infections progress.

There are outbreaks in at least nine acute care hospitals, endangering vulnerable patients and resulting in bed and staffing shortages. As staff become ill or must quarantine, we do not have appropriately qualified individuals to fill their roles. Outbreaks in care facilities are also worsening bed shortages in hospitals as patients cannot return to their care facility where there is an outbreak. 

The Edmonton zone has already deferred 30 per cent of non-urgent surgeries to account for the burdens on the health system. More delays of foundational health services (surgeries, cancer screenings, and diagnostics) will be imminent and will be severely consequential if we do not act now.

We have witnessed how quickly hospitals in Winnipeg, the United States, Belgium, and Austria have become overwhelmed. The time for incremental measures has passed, and voluntary measures, requested October 9, have not blunted the rise in cases. Our testing system is strained, and contact tracing capacities have collapsed. We see no other way to break chains of transmission and decrease cases, than to implement a “circuit breaker” of short, strict measures. Similar restrictions have been recently implemented in Winnipeg, Toronto, the United Kingdom, and Germany. 

We recognize that these restrictions have their own harms, and we would urge the government to provide supports for businesses impacted by these restrictions. The evolving evidence suggests that strong, time-limited measures will not only minimize the second wave but could prevent the need for the complete lockdowns that become inevitable when the health system becomes overwhelmed. A failure to control COVID-19 spread means we cannot expect our economy to recover quickly or strongly. 

We are proud of Alberta’s health system and the quality of care we provide, but we believe that it is in grave jeopardy unless urgent action is taken. Please help us continue to care for the people of Alberta safely. 

Sincerely, 

  • Leyla Asadi, MD, MPH, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Tehseen Ladha, MD, MPH, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Christine Gibson, MD, CFFP (PC), FCFP, MMedEd (Family Medicine) 
  • Amy Tan, MD, MSc, CCFP (PC), FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Joe Vipond, MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Lynora Saxinger, MD, FRCPC, CTrop Med (Infectious Diseases) 
     
  • Guy Smith, President of AUPE, on behalf of 58,000 members of AUPE (Alberta Union of Public Employees) 
  • Heather Smith, President of UNA, on behalf of 30,000 members of UNA (United Nurses of Alberta) 
  • Mike Parker, President of HSAA, on behalf of 27,000 members of HSAA (Health Sciences Association of Alberta – Union of Healthcare Professionals)
     

See attached for remaining 429 physician signatories ​​​​​​:

  • Erika MacIntyre, MD (Respirology, Internal Medicine, and Critical Care) Arnold Voth MD, LMCC, FRCP(C), FACP (Internal Medicine) 
  • Annick Poirier MD FRCSC (Urogynecology) 
  • Gary Samycia, MD, CCFP, (Family Practice) 
  • Rachelle Westover, MD, CCFP EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Anne Draginda M.D., C.C.F.P. (Family Medicine) 
  • Andrea Robb MD FRCPC (Pediatric Emergency Medicine) 
  • Adam Parrish MD (Family Medicine, Long Term Care) 
  • Kitty Chan, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Ranjeeta Gounden, MD MBBS, CCFP, COE (Geriatric physician) 
  • Anthea Peters, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Sam Stetsko, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesiology) 
  • Joanne Tseng, MD, CCFP(EM) (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Lauren Eastman, MD, CCFP 
  • Patricia Verones MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Naureen Kasamali, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Cara Bablitz, MD, CCFP 
  • Tanya Spence, RN MN, (Pediatric ICU) 
  • Andrew Swinton, MD, FCFP (Family Physician) 
  • Rahim Samji, MD (Interventional Radiology) 
  • Amir Pakdel, MD, PhD (Radiology) 
  • Teresa Eliasson MD FRCPC (Anesthesiology) 
  • Mary Noseworthy, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Respirology) 
  • Tomasz Nowacki, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Tessa Penrod, MD CCFP FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Martin Moran, MD (Family Medicine) 
  • Ellise Morley, MD (Family Physician) 
  • Erin Kelly, MD, FRCSC (OBGYN) 
  • Marlene Hamilton BSc, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Laurie Elizabeth Mereu, MD FRCPC (Endocrinology) 
  • Hilda Morales, MD, CCFP 
  • Sally Berg, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Ashley Gilson, MD, FRCPC (Pulmonary) 
  • Marilyn Zeman, MD, FRCPC (General Internal Medina) 
  • Timothy Chan, MD, FRCPC (General Internal Medicine) 
  • Greg Hrynchyshyn MD FRCPC (Internal Medicine) 
  • William Hnydyk MD MCFP CCPE (Family Medicine) 
  • Jennifer F.W. Yue, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Manisha Khurana, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine Care of the Elderly) Jayan Nagendran MD, PhD, FRCSC (Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation and Director of Research, Division of Cardiac Surgery) 
  • Kim Anderson-Hill, MD, CCFP (Family medicine) 
  • M. Wasif Hussain, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Tarini Siva, MD, CCFP 
  • Leah Remington, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Lillian Lim, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Barbara Fischer, MD, CCFP 
  • Prenilla Naidu, MD, DTM&H, FRCPC (Medical Microbiology) Rshmi Khurana, MD, FRCPC (General Internal Medicine) 
  • Krista Piebiak Patterson, MD, CCFP 
  • Andrea Freitas, MD, CCFP 
  • Erica Dance MD, FRCPC, DABEM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Alexandra Rydz, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Sheila Murji, MD, FRCPC (Radiology) 
  • Andrea Milne-Epp, MD, CCFP 
  • Shazma Mithani, MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • George Cembrowski, MD, FCAP (Pathology) 
  • Jennine Wismark, BSc., MD, CCFP, (Family Medicine) 
  • Timothy G. Muzyka Bsc(Hon) MD FRCPC (Cardiology) 
  • Nadia Giannakopoulos, MD PhD DABP (Anatomical Pathology) Ade Aderibigbe, MB:BS, CCFP, ACBOM (Family Medicine) Amanda Kim, MD, FRCS(C) (Obstetrics and Gynecology) 
  • Tien Yen, MD FRCPC (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) Cathy Horsman BSc(Med), MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) Nancy Zhu, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Ian Sutanto, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Kathleen Crawford MD, CCFP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Ariane Fielding, MD FRCPC (Anesthesiology) 
  • Carla Laidlaw, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Katarzyna Kycia, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Joel Berube MD FRCPC (Cardiac Anesthesiology) 
  • Jill Konkin, MD (Family Physician) 
  • Alan Brilz, MD, CFPC (Family Medicine) 
  • Simon Turner MD MEd FRCSC (Thoracic Surgery) 
  • Indra Dhunnoo, MBChB, MD, FRCP ( Pediatrics) 
  • Diana Rucker, MSc, MD, FRCPC 
  • Lillian Chan, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) 
  • Seema Bhanji, MBBS, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Jason Long MD FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Colleen Sweeney, MD, CCFP-EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Ashley Gillson, MD, FRCPC (Respirology) 
  • M. Allison Theman BMSC, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) Hyun Ju Sung, MD, CCFP 
  • Alison Clifford, MD, FRCPC (Rheumatology) 
  • Cora Constantinescu, MD, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Cassandra Hirt-Walsh MD FRCSC (Obstetrics and Gynecology) Mari-Lynn Thomson, MD, LLB (Family Medicine) 
  • Michael J. Kim, MD FRCSC, FACS (Trauma, Acute Care Surgery, Critical Care) Lillian Au, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Ameeta Singh, BMBS, MSc, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Michael Poitras, MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Bodh I. Jugdutt, MD, MSc, DM, FRCPC, FACC, FACP, FAHA, FESC, FIACS (Medicine/Cardiology) 
  • Shirley Schipper, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Jennifer Jin, MD, FRCPC (Gastroenterology) 
  • Dianna Wang, MD, FRCPC 
  • Carol D. Connick, MD, CCFP, (Family Doctor and Hospitalist) Sophia Pin MD, FRCPC (Gynecologic Oncology) 
  • Sandi C. Frank, MD, FRCP(C) (Psychiatry) 
  • Samantha Horvey, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Nicolaos Lakis, MD, FFRad (Diagnostic Radiology) 
  • Peter Newnham MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Bailey Adams MD CCFP (Family Practice) 
  • Peter Hamilton MD,FRCPC,FACP (Internal Medicine) 
  • Amber Reichert, MD, FRCPC (Neonatology) 
  • Susan Bates, MD (Diagnostic Radiology) 
  • Mark Hnatiuk, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Narmin Kassam, MD, MHPE, FRCPC, FACP (General Internal Medicine) Martin Tieu, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Jaime C. Yu, MD, MEd, FRCPC (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) Jose Fernandez de Lara Nieto, MD, CCFP, FRCSC (Obstetrics and Gynecology) Lesia R. Boychuk, MD, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Jeffery M Patterson, MD, FRCPC (Oncology) 
  • Samina Ali MD, FRCPc (Pediatric Emergency Medicine) 
  • Jen Riess, MD, CCFP (Family Physician) 
  • Adam Burgess, MD, CFPC (Family Medicine) 
  • Ian M. MacDonald, MD, CM, FRCSC, FCCMG, FCAHS (Ophthalmology) Lovneet Hayer MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Stephen Kwan, MD FRCS(C) (Othropaedic Surgeon) 
  • Pablo Amigo, MD, MCFPC. (Palliative Medicine) 
  • Shelina Jamal MD FRCPC (Pediatric Critical Care Physician) Alexandra McFarlane, MD, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases) 
  • Ernst Schuster, MD, CCFP, FCFP, CCPE (Family Medicine) 
  • Linda Sun, MD, MHSc, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Jennifer Chan, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Omor F Bhuiyan, MBBS (General Practice) 
  • Antoine Seguin, MD, CCFP(EM), (Emergency Medicine) Hubert Kammerer MD CCFP FCFP (Geriatrics) 
  • Shona MacLachlan MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) Arabesque Parker MD FRCPC MSc QIPS (Critical Care and Hematology) Amanda Hogg, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Allison Thiele, MD, FRCSC (Maternal Fetal Medicine) 
  • Angela Currie, MD, FRCPC (Physiatry) 
  • Fraser Brenneis MD CCFP FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Isabelle Chapados MD MSc FRCPC (Paediatrics, CIP, Endocrinology) Joanne Norum, MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Anneliese Kohler, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Sabin Shurraw, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) 
  • Marlene Dytoc, MD FRCPC (Dermatology) 
  • Erin Chapman, MD, FRCPC (Anatomic Pathology) 
  • Elena Kumar, MD CCFP (COE) (Family Medicine) 
  • Faruqa Ladha, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Alice Bedard BSc, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Katherine Kasha, MD, CFPC, FCFP (Family Medicine) Krishna Balachandra MD FRCPC (Addiction Medicine) Jean A.C.Triscott, MD (Family Medicine) 
  • Hajira Danial, MD, FRCSC 
  • Emily Gawley MD, CCFP EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Catherine Otto BSc, MD FCFP COE diploma (Family Medicine) Margaret Schaffter, MD (Family Practice) 
  • Arlene Kanigan MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Radiologist) 
  • Susan Lea-Makenny, MD, CCFP, FCFP, ICD.D (Family Medicine) Marielle Pratt, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Aatif Hussain MBBS, FRCPC (Geriatric Medicine) 
  • Grant Sigurdson, MD, FRCPC (General Pathology) 
  • Terry M. Olsen, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine/ Hospitalist) Rhona Capisonda, MD (Pediatrics) 
  • Amanda Aiken, MD, FRCSC (Obstetrics and Gynecology) Bobbi-Jo Whitfield, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Christopher Ewing, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics and Pediatric Respirology) Leslie Preston, Bsc, MD , CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Niels-Erik Jacobsen, MD, FRCSC (Urologic Surgery) 
  • Colin Muscat, MD, CCFP EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Madelene Kellerman MBChB, MMED(Psych) (Psychiatry) Tanya Tran MD CCFP FCPC (Hospital Medicine) 
  • Brian Wirzba, MD, FRCPC, FACP (General Internal Medicine) Derek Bochinski, MD, FRCSC (Urological Surgery) 
  • Jane Schulz, MD, FRCSC 
  • Loree Larratt (Clinical Hematology) 
  • Michael Bowman, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Infectious Diseases) Tammy McNab MD FRCP(C) (Endocrinology and Metabolism) Ginetta Salvalaggio, MD, MSc, CCFP(AM), FCFP (Family Medicine) Jennifer Andruchow, MD, FRCSC (General Surgery) 
  • Sneha Suresh, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Immunology and Infectious Disease) Rajive Jassal MD FRCP CSCN Diplomate (EMG) (Neurology) Amy Borkent, MD (General Practice) 
  • Andrew Chung, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Marlene Dytoc, MD, FRCPC (Dermatology) 
  • Cassandra Millar, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Joanne Caulfield MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Katherine Li, MD, CCFP 
  • Saeed Ahmadinejad, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine Care of the Elderly) Dale Lien, MD, FRCP (Pulmonology) 
  • Marta Kozlowska, MD, CCFP 
  • Sarah Burton-MacLeod MD CCFP(PC) (Palliative Care) 
  • Peter Ao, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) 
  • Neal Chatterjee, MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Julia Drager, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Sudhakar Sivapalan, MD, FRCPC, MSc (Psychiatry) 
  • Manishi Khatter MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Surita Sidhu, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesiology) 
  • Jennifer Tse, BMSc, MD, CCFP, FRCPC (Anesthesiologist) 
  • Jeff Shmoorkoff BSc, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine, Obstetrics, Family Planning) Marjan Abbasi, MD CCFP CAC (COE) FCFP (Family Medicine) Rebecca Saunders, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Helen Bowden, MD (Retired) 
  • Cindy Lee, MD, CCFP 
  • Sarah Grant MD CCFP (Family Medicine- Rural) 
  • Elysia Ma, MD, CCFP 
  • Stefan Slomp, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine) M. Jahandardoost, MD, FRCPC, FACP (Internal and Geriatric Medicine) Errol Raff, MBChB, FRCP(C) (Internal medicine) 
  • Jaime Blackwood MD FRCPC (Pediatric Critical Care Physician) Sanja Kostov, MD, CCFP 
  • Renee Nason, MD, CCFP, BHSc-hon, (Family Medicine) 
  • John Cinats, MD (Orthopaedic Surgery) 
  • Amber Peters, MD CCFP (COE) 
  • Rahim Janmohamed, MD, FRCSC (OBGYN) 
  • Joshua Wong, MD, MSc, FRCSC (Plastic Surgery and Burns) Tami Masterson, MD, FRCSP (Pediatrics) 
  • Tasneem Sajwani, MBBS, CCFP, FCFP 
  • Tara McGrath, MD, FRCPC 
  • Alena Tse-Chang, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Infectious Diseases) 
  • Nureen Pirbhai, MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Steve Fisher, MD, CCFP-EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Donna Manca MD, BSc, MClSc, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Gaylene Genge, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Aubrey D Uretsky MD MSc FRCSC (Obstetrics and Gynecology) 
  • Thomas Jeerakathil MD, MSc, FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Zahra Saleh, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Lindsay Bridgland, MD, FRCPC (General Internal Medicine) 
  • Bonnieca Islam, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Carla Laidlaw CCFP, (Family Medicine) 
  • Diana Hong, MD, CCFP 
  • Emily Almaden-Camacho MD, CCFP, CMD (Family Medicine) 
  • Mukarram Ali Zaidi, MBBS, CUS, MSc, MD, CPHRM, MCFP. PPP (Family Medicine) Jon Zaozirny MD CCFP-EM (Emergency) 
  • Lynnsey Frunchak, MD, CCFP, (Family Medicine) 
  • Megan Ruth, MD, PhD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Mona Zhang, MD, FRCPC (Peds) 
  • Yuliya Kolodenko MD, CCFP 
  • Kathleen Perreault, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Sandra Corbett, MB, BCh, MRCPsych (General Psychiatry) 
  • Elena Liew, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Brenda Law, MD, FRCPC 
  • Prabhpreet Dhaliwal, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine) Lynnsey Frunchak, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Ryan Wright, MD CCFP (Family Medicine, Hospitalist Medicine) 
  • Mark Schindel, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesia) 
  • Candy Marcet, MD, PhD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Nadine Letwin, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Pierre-Marc Villeneuve, MDCM, FRCPC, MSc. (Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Critical Care) Antonia Cappella, MD, FRCPC (Geriatric Psychiatry) 
  • Marcelo C Shibata, MD FAHA (Cardiology) 
  • Oana Caluseriu, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG (Medical Genetics) 
  • G.Juliana Rey-Parra. MD, PhD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Girudiha Kuganathan, MD CCFP 
  • Dionne Walsh, MD, CCFP (PC) 
  • Fareeha Nasir MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Melissa MacPherson, PhD, MD, FRCPC, DABMGG, FACMG (Medical Genetics and Genomics) 
  • Ted Roberts MD FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Jonathan Abele, MD, FRCPC (Nuclear Medicine) 
  • Melanie Marsh-Joyal, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Tally Mogus, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Amy Rosborough, MD, CCFP (COE) (Family Medicine) 
  • Edward Gee, MD (Family Medicine) 
  • Andrea Tamm, MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Megan Fowler, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Emergency Medicine) 
  • Kristalee Watson, MD, FRCPC (Anatomical Pathology) 
  • Nabil Al-Kayssi MD, M.Sc., CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Jaspreet K. Khangura, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Jessica Kirkwood, MD, CCFP (AM) 
  • Carmen Young, MD, FRCSC (Maternal Fetal Medicine) 
  • Andrea Freitas MD CCFP (family medicine) 
  • Campbell-Scherer, MD, PhD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Jamil Janmohamed, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Alyzee Sibtain, MD, FRCPC (Radiology) 
  • Kem Algu, MB.ChB. DOH, DTM&H, MBL, CCFP, FCFP. (Family Medicine) Oleksa Rewa, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Critical Care Medicine) 
  • Sharif Shaik, MD, FRCPI (Neonatology) 
  • Treena Trustham, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Rose Yeung, MD, MPH, FRCPC (Endocrinology) 
  • Loretta Fiorillo, MD FRCPC (Pediatric Dermatology) 
  • Ping Chen MD FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Shawkat Michel, MD, FRCS Ed (Ophthalmology) 
  • Cheryl Mack, BSc Hons, MD, MA, FRCPC (Anesthesiology and Pediatric Palliative Care) Julie Seymour, MD, CCFP(EM) (Emergency) 
  • Maileen M. Lim, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Lakshmi Puttagunta, MD (Anatomical Pathology) 
  • Christine Froelich, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Chantelle Champagne, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Anna Donovan, BMBS, FRCPC 
  • Melanie Currie MD CCFP FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Rachel Khadaroo, MD, PhD, FRCSC, FACS (Surgeon & Intensivist) 
  • Dana Mihalicz, MD, MSc, FRCSC 
  • Kieran Halloran, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Lung transplant) 
  • Mary-Pat Schlosser, MD, MIH, MPH, FRCPC (Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Palliative Care) 
  • Darren Markland, MD (Critcal Care, Internal Medicine, and Nephrology) Mary Fras MD FRCPC (Pediatric Respirologist) 
  • Sue Chandra MD, FRCSC (Maternal Fetal Medicine) 
  • Lynn Jacoby, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Charlene Dinakaran, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Hernando Leon, MD PhD FRCPC FACP (General Internal Medicine) Constance Chik, MD, PhD, FRCPC (Endocrinology) 
  • Jennifer Jin, MD, FRCPC 
  • Shazia Chaudhry MD, CCFP (Family Physician) h Abday, RN ACCN, RGH (Emergency Room) 
  • Rhea Varughese, MD FRCPC (Respirology) 
  • Chelsea Smithbower, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Stanley Govenlock MD (Psychiatry) 
  • Jeanelle Sabourin, MD MPH FRCSC (Gynecologic Oncology) Penny Smyth, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Michael Knash MD FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Cecile Phan, MD, FRCPC 
  • Ramon Grover MD, FRCSC (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery) Melanie Currie, MD, CCFP 
  • Michael Pappachan, MD, FRCPC (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation) Jarrod Anderson, M.D. CCFP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Rebeccah Rosenblum, MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Eric Bedard MD, MSc, FRCSC (Thoracic Surgery) 
  • Bonita E. Lee, MD, MSc (Epi), FRCPC (Pediatric Infectious Disease) Neeja Bakshi, D.O. (General Internal Medicine) 
  • Ricky Zhang, MD, CCFP-EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Ioana Bratu, MD, FRCSC (Pediatric Surgeon) 
  • Virginia Gunn. MD, MHSc, FRCPC (Vascular surgery) 
  • Atilano Lacson, MD, FRCPC (Laboratory Medicine) 
  • Allison Kirkham, MD, FRCPC 
  • Joseph Brandwein, MD, FRCPC (Hematology) 
  • Andrea Woo, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Keith Huber, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Kelly Dabbs MD, FRCSC (General Surgery) 
  • Taryn Brown MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Robin A Lamoureux MD., CCFP, FCFP (Hospital Medicine) 
  • Richard Sherlock, MD (Radiology) 
  • Jamil Kanji, MD, DTM&H, FRCPC (Infectious Diseases & Medical Microbiology) Debra Hammer MD MSc FRCPC FACC (Internal Medicine/Cardiology) Lilah Rossi, MD, CCFP, FCFP 
  • Philip F Halloran MD PhD (Nephrology) 
  • Juliet Fairfax, MBChB, CCFP 
  • Laurie Lee NP MN, PICU Nurse Practitioner 
  • Fraulein Morales, MD, FRCPC, FACP (General Internal Medicine) Colleen Kjelland, MD, FRCP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Lotje Wasilenko, MD, CCFP (Care of the Elderly) 
  • Tiffany Kwok, MD, FRCPC (Dermatology) 
  • Sheryl Koski MD, MHPE, FRCPC (Medical Oncology) 
  • Jeff Mohler. MD. (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Jed Shimizu, MD CCFP (Care of the Elderly) 
  • Victoria Ung, MD, CCFP 
  • Suk-Kun Lee, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FACP (Internal Medicine) 
  • Michael Fiorino, MD.(family medicine with special interest in long term care medicine, supportive assisted living and geriatrics) 
  • Suzanne Chan, MD, FRCPC, FCCMG (Anatomical Pathology) 
  • Elysia Ma MD, CCF 
  • Hilary Kornder, MD, CCFP 
  • Carolina Escudero, MD, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Aleksa Botros, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Erin Chapman, MD, FRCPC 
  • Deanne Watrich, MD, CCFP(EM) (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Comfort Samakinde MBchB,MD,DOH,PGHIV (Family Medicine) 
  • Shawn Wasilenko PhD MD, FRCP(C) (Gastroenterology) 
  • Sarah Meleshko MD, CCFP(EM) (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Linda L. Smith, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Alexa Bertagnolli-Hansen MD (Family Medicine with Geriatric Focus) 
  • Gerry Schwalfenberg MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine with special interest in long term care) 
  • Frances Carr, MB, ChB, MSc, FRCPC 
  • Diana Yu, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Fraser Armstrong, BSc, Bcom, MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Andrew Stagg MD MSc CCFP(EM) FCFP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Tanya Drews MD FRCPC (Pediatric Critical Care Physician) 
  • Arsalan Hassan, MD, CCFP-EM (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Janet L. Wright, MD, FRCPC (Psychiatry) 
  • Cathy Flood MD FRCSC (Urogynecology) 
  • Kesa Robinson, MD, CCFP 
  • Paul V Greenwood, BSc., MB, ChB, FRCP(C), FRCP (Cardiology and Internal Medicine) Andrei Poukhovski, MD, PhD (Psychiatry) 
  • Vanessa Maclean MD, CCFP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Eunice Chow, MD, FRCPC (Dermatology) 
  • Akinyele Iyiola, MBBS, MMSc , FRCPC , FAPA (Psychiatrist) 
  • Michael Savard, MD, (Family Medicine) 
  • Aalo Duha, MD FRCP (Diagnostic Imaging) 
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  • Mireille Kattar, MD, FCAP, D(ABMM) (Pathologist & Medical Microbiologist) John Holland MBChB, FRCPC (Pediatrics) 
  • Stan Houston MD DTM&H FRCPC (Infectious Diseases, General Internal Medicine and Public Health) 
  • Sayra Khandekar, MD, FRCPC, FACC (Cardiology) 
  • Aliyah Kanji, MD, FRCSC, FASMBS (General Surgery) Graeme Brassard, MD, FRCSC (Obstetrics/Gynecology) Hythum Elharathi MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Andrew Spak, BA, BSc, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) Dorothy Hardy MD, FRCPC (Anesthesia) 
  • Aisha Mirza, MD, CCFP(EM), FCFP (Emergency Medicine) Thomas G. Salopek, MD FRCPC (Dermatology) 
  • Tara Rimmer, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesiology) 
  • Stanley Greenspan, MBBCH, FFRAD (Radiologist) 
  • Peter Kruger, MD, FRCSC, (Obstetrics/Gynecology) 
  • JP DE B Grobbelaar , MB CH B (Family physician- Rural) Mariel Fogel, RN,BN, RGH (Emergency) 
  • Adil Ladak, MD, MSc, FRCSC (Plastic Surgery) 
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  • Jennifer Coppens MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Michelle Jung, MD, FRCPC (Rheumatology) 
  • Christine East, MD, CCFP (Emergency Medicine) 
  • Smitha Yaltho, MBBS, CCFP, FCFP, CMD (Family Medicine) Wendy Dawson MD CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Christina Bakir, MD, FRCSC (Orthopedic Surgery) 
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  • Cara Robertson, MBChB (Palliative Care) 
  • Melanie Purtzki, MD, FRCPC 
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  • Todd Chaba, MD, FRCPC (Anatomical pathology and internal medicine). Felix Soibelman MD, FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) 
  • P.Y. Billie Au, MD, PhD, FRCPC (Genetics) 
  • Kathleen Baergen, MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • James Bell MD. ( Family Medicine) 
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  • Andrew Walsh MD FRCPC (Radiology) 
  • Jacqueline Holm Jhass, MD, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Aniket Bankar, MD (Hematology) 
  • Scott Johnson, MD MSC FRCSC (Thoracic Surgery) 
  • Jackie Kassam, MD, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Natashka Pollock, MD, PhD, FRCSC 
  • Cecile Phan, MD, FRCPC (Neurology) 
  • Jennifer Guillemaud, MD, FRCSC 
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  • Shelley Smith MD, CCFP, FCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Robert Wittmeier MD, CCFP (Emergency Medicine) Jessie Breton, MD FRCPC (Emergency Medicine) Rebecca Lee, MBChB, MRCP (Geriatric Medicine) Tais da Costa São Pedro, MD (Pediatric Intensive Care) May Sanaee, MD MHScEd FRCSC (Obstetrics/Gynecology) Riley Boyle, MD, FRCPC (Anesthesiologist) 
  • Ben Macedo MD, CCFP (Family Medicine) 
  • Elisabeth Thompson, MD, FCFP 
  • Andrea Estey, MD, FRCPC (Pediatric Emergency Medicine) Melissa Setiawan, MD, FRCPC 
  • Liza Noonan, MD, MSc, FRCPC 
  • Amy Chow, MD, FRCPC 
  • Andrea Opgenorth, MD, PhD, FRCPC (Endocrinology) Devika Dixit, MD, MSc, FRCPC (Pediatric Infectious Diseases) John Kachope, MB ChB, FRCPC, FACP (Internal Medicine) Thirza Carpenter, MD, FRCPC (Internal Medicine) 

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COVID-19 kills 11 more B.C. residents, as hospitalizations return to record level – North Shore News

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While the number of serious cases of COVID-19 in B.C. remains high, with a record 338 people in hospital – 13 more than yesterday – the number of those people in intensive care units fell by four overnight, to 76.

Deaths continue to mount, with 11 more individuals succumbing to the virus overnight, making the death toll 492, since the first COVID-19-related death in the province on March 9.

There were 711 new cases identified, for a total of 36,132 since the first case in B.C. was detected on January 28. 

“Currently, 10,957 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 25,658 people who tested positive have recovered,” provincial health officer Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said in a joint statement. 

They broke the newly identified cases down by health region, as follows: 
• 143 in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 427 in Fraser Health;
• 10 in Island Health;
• 81 in Interior Health; and
• 50 in Northern Health.

While Fraser Health remains the hot spot in the province for infections, all regions are battling outbreaks. Northern Health’s 50 new infections is a high number for that remote region, and more than double the 23 cases that were identified yesterday. 

Two new outbreaks at health care facilities are at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in Surrey, and at Richmond Hospital in Richmond.

The outbreak at Youville Residence in Vancouver is over.

Dix yesterday made clear that despite the high number of people in hospital, scheduled surgeries are being done.

Scheduled surgeries are sometimes referred to as “elective” or “non-urgent” surgeries, although no one elects to have surgery if it is not necessary. 

Since the B.C. government restarted these surgeries on May 18, there have been:
• 49,100 completed in Fraser Health;
• 32,919 completed in Interior Health;
• 10,458 completed in Northern Health;
• 42,516 completed in Vancouver Coastal Health;
• 37,543 completed in Island Health; and
• 7,266 completed in the Provincial Health Services Authority.

“There have been some questions about acute care capacity in recent days,” Dix. said. “In terms of our base bed capacity, it’s at 87.8%.”

When Dix added what he called “surge beds,” which would be extra beds added to the system, the province’s hospitals are now at 70.6% capacity. 

“That’s the level of beds that are occupied overall in hospitals,” he said. “Just to put that in context, last year at this time, [bed occupancy] was at 103.5% of base-bed capacity.”

Dix said ICU base-bed capacity is at 76%, although when new beds that have been added are included, ICU wards across the province are at 54.6% capacity. 

Dix has noted that what is needed in addition to beds is staff, and that this is one of the stresses in the system. 

There are now nine hospitals in the province with active outbreaks:
• University Hospital of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
• West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni;
• Saanich Peninsula Hospital in Saanichton;
• Burnaby Hospital in Burnaby;
• Langley Memorial Hospital in Langley;
• Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver;
• Richmond Hospital in Richmond;
• Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge; and
• Surrey Memorial Hospital in Surrey.

In total, there are 56 seniors’ living facilities that have active outbreaks, and below is a full breakdown by health region.

There are 14 active outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and they include:
• Arbutus Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Banfield Pavilion, in Vancouver;
• Revera Capilano Care Centre in West Vancouver;
• Columbus Residence in Vancouver;
• German Canadian Care Home in Vancouver;
• Lakeview Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Little Mountain Place in Vancouver;
• Renfrew Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Ascot Care Centre in Vancouver;
• Royal Arch Masonic Home long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• St. Judes Anglican Home in Vancouver;
• Three Links Care Centre long-term care facility in Vancouver;
• Villa Cathay Care Home in Vancouver; and
• Windermere Care Centre in Vancouver.

The 35 outbreaks at seniors’ facilities in the ​Fraser Health region now include:
• Agassiz Seniors Community in Agassiz;
• Agecare Harmony Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Agecare Court Estates in Burnaby;
• Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock;
• Amenida Seniors Community in Surrey;
• Amica White Rock in White Rock;
• Baillie House long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Belvedere Care Centre in Coquitlam;
• CareLife Fleetwood in Surrey;
• Chartwell Langley Gardens in Langley;
• Fellburn Care Centre long-term care facility in Burnaby;
• Finnish Manor in Burnaby;
• Fleetwood Villa Retirement Residence in Surrey;
• Fort Langley Seniors Community in Fort Langley;
• George Derby Centre in Burnaby;
• Good Samaritan Delta View Care Centre 2 long-term care facility in Delta;
• Harrison Pointe retirement home in Langley;
• Harrison at Elim Village in Surrey;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community long-term care in Port Coquitlam;
• Hawthorne Seniors Care Community assisted living in Port Coquitlam;
• Hollyrood Manor long-term care home in Maple Ridge;
• Jackman Manor in Langley Township;
• Laurel Place long-term care facility in Surrey;
• Menno Home in Abbotsford;
• Morgan Place Care Society in Surrey;
• Northcrest Care Centre in Delta;
• Peace Arch Hospital Foundation Lodge in Surrey;
• PICS Assisted Living in Surrey;
• Queen’s Park Care Centre in New Westminster;
• Sunset Manor in Chilliwack;
• Tabor Home in Abbotsford;
• The Residence at Clayton Heights in Surrey;
• The Residence in Mission;
• Valley Haven Care Home in Chilliwack; and
• White Rock Senior Village in White Rock.

There are three outbreaks at seniors’ homes in Northern Health:
• North Peace Seniors Housing Society buildings in Fort St. John;
• Rotary Manor Dawson Creek in Dawson Creek; and
• Gateway House long-term care home in Prince George.

Two outbreaks are at seniors’ living facilities in the Island Health region: Tsawaayuss-Rainbow Gardens in Port Alberni and Veterans Memorial Lodge at Broadmead in Victoria.

The Interior Health region has two seniors’ facility outbreaks, at Mountainview Village in Kelowna and Sun Pointe Village in Kelowna.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom

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Manitoba extends state of emergency by 30 days – CTV News Winnipeg

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WINNIPEG —
The provincial government announced on Friday it would be extending Manitoba’s state of emergency by another 30 days.

The extension will take place on Sunday, December 6 at 4 p.m.

“Our province is constantly adapting to this evolving situation and taking the necessary steps to help flatten the curve and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and our health-care system,” said Infrastructure Minister Ron Schuler in a news release. “Manitobans need to work together to protect their families, friends and themselves.”

Manitoba first entered a state of emergency on March 20. Since then, the province has extended it eight times.

The news comes after Chief Provincial Public Health Office Dr. Brent Roussin announced another 320 new cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths.

So far, 18,069 Manitobans have been infected with COVID-19—9,172 cases are considered active, leaving 8,535 people listed as recovered, although this figure could be higher due to a backlog in data entry.  

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B.C.'s top doctor says be festive but with your own household to avoid COVID-19 – Times Colonist

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VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor and the health minister are urging the public to slow the spread of COVID-19 this weekend by limiting any festive gatherings to immediate households.

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix say 711 new infections have been recorded in the province and 11 more people have died, for a total of 492 fatalities.

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They say in a joint statement that B.C. is continuing to see a significant surge in community transmission so all public health orders must be followed as more than 36,000 people have tested positive for the virus.

Henry has said it’s important to remain vigilant in containing the virus for the next few months and that everyone in the province who wants to be vaccinated could be immunized by September.

Nearly 11,000 people who have been identified as being exposed to the virus are being monitored and 25,658 people who tested positive have recovered.

The latest public health orders have meant the cancellation of adult indoor and outdoor team sports, though children can continue participating in local games without spectators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2020.

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