Tag Archives: recalls

Lab tech who found B.C.’s 1st case of COVID-19 recalls ‘sheer terror’ of discovery

In the early days of the pandemic, Rebecca Hickman would carefully watch each sample being tested for the novel coronavirus in her lab at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

“I was so afraid of getting a positive,” the public health laboratory technologist told CBC this week.

That meant she was paying close attention as the first test came back positive at about 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 27, 2020.

“I actually started to see it get positive within a few seconds,” Hickman recalled. “My first feeling was sheer terror, from a personal point of view.”

The co-designer of B.C.’s test, medical laboratory technologist Tracy Lee, was in a meeting as the results were coming in. She remembers getting a call from Hickman and rushing to the lab to watch the test complete.

Lee felt “both fear and relief” as the test came back positive — fear for what this meant for the people of B.C., but relief that the test was working as planned.

Hickman shared those mixed emotions.

“To design, validate and implement a molecular laboratory test usually takes months if not years, and so to do that in the span of days is a huge achievement,” Hickman said.

There was also some excitement. She said she “felt like I was a part of something huge.”

Hickman spent the rest of that first afternoon sequencing a portion of the genome from the positive sample, and by midnight the lab had confirmed it was SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

B.C. CDC laboratory technologists Tracy Lee and Rebecca Hickman worked together to design the initial COVID-19 test to detect the virus in B.C. It is still being used today. (Michael Donoghue/BCCDC)

It had been a 16-hour workday.

“I went home and slept for five hours, then came back,” she recalls.

The next day, British Columbians watched as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry confirmed the inevitable. The virus was here in B.C.

“This is the first time in my life I’ve ever found things out before I read it in the news,” Hickman said.

‘Instability and craziness’

A year later, B.C. has confirmed 66,779 cases of the novel coronavirus and 1,189 people have died.

Hickman has gone from anxiously checking the totals after the daily afternoon update from health officials to barely noticing as B.C. records hundreds of cases each day. She says COVID fatigue is real.

There have been difficult times, like in the spring when lab supplies and personal protective equipment began to run out.

“The instability and craziness of it all has been the hardest part,” Hickman said.

Watch: Rebecca Hickman recalls finding B.C.’s first case of COVID-19

Rebecca Hickman was just nine months into her new job at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control when she confirmed B.C.’s first case of the novel coronavirus. 1:11

Today, much of her time is spent doing whole genome sequencing for about 15 to 20 per cent of COVID-19 cases.

That work helps health officials track the new, more infectious variants that have popped up in different parts of the world. It’s also used for outbreak response — scientists can determine how the virus is spreading through a community or health-care facility and whether cases are being introduced from new sources.

Hickman was just nine months into her job at the B.C. CDC when she discovered the first case.

She said she’s proud to have played a part in such a major moment in history.

“It has been easily the most difficult year of my life but also the most fulfilling. What we have achieved here over the last year is huge,” Hickman said.

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CBC | Health News

Health Canada recalls some hand sanitizers over industrial-grade ethanol content

Health Canada says some hand sanitizers are being recalled because they contain industrial-grade ethanol.

The agency says industrial-grade ethanol contains chemicals that may not be approved for use in hand sanitizers.

It warns that frequent use of these products can result in dry skin, causing irritation or cracking.

The products on the recall list include Eltraderm Hand Sanitizer, Gel 700 Hand Sanitizer, Sanilabs Hand Sanitizer and Walker Emulsions Hand Sanitizer.

Consumers are advised to stop using the products immediately and return them to their local pharmacy for proper disposal.

Health Canada says it’s monitoring the effectiveness of the recalls.

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CBC | Health News

Jennifer Jones recalls celebration of final curling event with her dad

Jennifer Jones says it was one of the most emotional moments of her illustrious curling career — a confluence of events seemingly fated to coincide with one another.

Jones’ rink had won the 2018 Scotties in dominant fashion, losing just two times all tournament. It was her sixth championship, tying Colleen Jones for the national record.

Accolades followed at the 2019 event in Calgary. A Jones victory vaulted her into second all-time on the Tournament of Hearts wins list. She currently sits at 200. 

Then, a TSN panel of broadcasters, reporters and top curlers voted the Winnipeg native the greatest Canadian women’s curler of all time. Jones remembers celebrating the moment with her parents at their AirBnB in Calgary.

It would be the last time Jones’ father, Larry, watched her curl in person.

“I remember coming back to where they were staying and he said to me, ‘you’re pretty good at curling, eh?'” Jones told CBC Sports’ Anastasia Bucsis on the Player’s Own Voice podcast on Tuesday. “‘Not bad, dad.’ And that’s one of the last memories I have with my dad, so I’ll always remember that day for the rest of my life.”

Larry Jones died May 21, 2019 at 80 years old. Jennifer says it was her father who first put her on the ice and taught her about curling.

“He’s the one who had this love of curling that was infectious in all my family and who, I think, he lived vicariously through me every time I played,” Jones said.

Jones, 45, also won Olympic gold at the 2014 Games in Sochi. She said she grew up a shy kid, but found solace on the ice.

“I loved the smell of the ice. I loved the feeling I had when I was out there. I felt like I was safe and I was at home and that’s why I played,” Jones said.

Thus, the Canadian women’s curling GOAT moniker carries with it a hint of irony.

“I started curling because I love to play and it was an outlet for me and then all of a sudden to be recognized as one of the greatest of all time, it’s crazy. It’s mind boggling to me,” Jones said.

Striving to be the best

For Jones, the moment and the title were too difficult to reconcile then. In fact, she says that may not ever happen.

Jones is married to fellow pro curler Brent Laing. The couple plays mixed doubles together. They have two kids – Isabella, 7, and Skyla, 3. It was Isabella who hammered home to her mother what that TSN poll truly meant.

Isabella heard the news, and asked in the simplest terms: “Mom, are you one of the best ever out of everybody?” Mom replied that yes, that’s what they voted on.

“Well I wanna be the best at something one day, mom,” Isabella responded.

WATCH | Jones wins record-tying 6th Scotties title:

Jones and Team Manitoba beat Team Wild Card in extra ends to win the 2018 Scotties Championship in Penticton, BC. 1:27

The elder Jones said that was all the perspective she needed.

“So I see how we can be role models and mentors for our kids and if in some small way that helps her achieve one of her dreams, then it’s almost like another dream come true for me,” Jones said.

For Larry Jones and Jennifer Jones and now Isabella Jones, curling is a family affair.

And so for Larry to be there for Jennifer to accept the title as the greatest Canadian women’s curler and for Isabella to acknowledge the true meaning of that bestowment, of course the Olympic gold medallist would be emotional.

“For [dad], it was just watching his daughter doing what she loved to do. And then when he reflected sometimes he’d shake his head and say ‘I can’t believe all that you’ve accomplished,'” Jones said.

“So I think for him it was just like any parent just seeing your kids happy and seeing their dreams come true.”

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CBC | Sports News

Jamie Lynn Spears Tearfully Recalls Daughter’s Life-Threatening ATV Accident 3 Years Later

Jamie Lynn Spears Tearfully Recalls Daughter’s Life-Threatening ATV Accident 3 Years Later | Entertainment Tonight

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Oprah Winfrey Recalls the Moment She Discovered She Was Trending for an Ugly False Accusation

Oprah Winfrey Recalls the Moment She Discovered She Was Trending for an Ugly False Accusation | Entertainment Tonight

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Demi Lovato Recalls Having an Eating Disorder, Being Overworked & More During ‘Sonny With a Chance’ Reunion

Demi Lovato Recalls Having an Eating Disorder, Being Overworked & More During ‘Sonny With a Chance’ Reunion | Entertainment Tonight

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‘The fear hadn’t set in’: Senators head coach Smith recalls fateful California trip

D.J. Smith noticed something when his Ottawa Senators arrived in northern California last month.

There weren’t many people around.

“At that point, no one knew what we know now,” the team’s rookie head coach recalled Wednesday. “The fear hadn’t set in.”

That fear, of course, is over the COVID-19 pandemic that’s swept the globe, leaving both personal and economic hardship in its wake.

Six members of the Senators’ organization, including five players, would eventually test positive, making the team the NHL’s epicentre for the disease.

At the beginning of March, however, there were still a lot unknowns.

Sure, officials in Santa Clara County, where the San Jose Sharks play, had advised against holding large public gatherings, but three game went ahead anyway at the SAP Center — one was against Ottawa — before the NHL suspended its season March 12.

“In San Jose it was kind of weird,” Smith said on a video conference call with reporters. “Guys were aware, but there [was] no way of telling that it would have got to this level, certainly for us anyways.”

WATCH | Can these wacky ideas really save sports?

Ever since Donald Trump talked to a handful of sports commissioners, plans seem to be leaking about possible return scenarios. Rob Pizzo looks at a few.  2:31

The Senators played March 7 against the Sharks, then had two days off before a back-to-back against the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings further south.

“Everyone in Anaheim and L.A. was living life as normal,” Smith said. “You saw the odd person with a mask on.

“But the world as we know it today was nowhere near [the same] back then.”

There’s also no way of knowing for sure exactly when the Senators in question contracted the novel coronavirus, but they played at the Staples Center against the Kings on March 11, some 24 hours after the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets — who had four players test positive for COVID-19 — suited up at the same venue against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Colorado Avalanche, who had three players test positive to bring the total number of NHLers to eight, faced off in San Jose on the March 8 and in L.A. on March 9.

‘They all got through it’

The Senators announced last week that everyone affected in the organization had recovered, while the team’s radio colour commentator, Gord Wilson, revealed March 27 his test also came back positive.

NHL staff and players have been advised by the league to self-isolate since March 13, a directive that’s been extended through April 15 and is likely to be pushed back even further.

“The good thing is that everyone that had it didn’t have horrible symptoms,” Smith said of his players. “Being athletes, they all got through it and they’re all on the other side of it now.”

As for hockey, Smith was asked if he’d had time to reflect on his first 71 games behind the bench as an NHL head coach. Ottawa is in the midst of a full rebuild after tearing its roster down to the studs, but has promising young talent led by Brady Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot, and should have two picks at the top of this year’s draft — whenever that takes place.

“You always want to be better,” said Smith, who’s back home in Tecumseh, Ont., with his wife and two kids. “I’m proud of how hard our team played. We were physical. We didn’t back down to anyone. We worked.

“The culture changed. Guys realize to be an Ottawa Senator it involves work ethic, it involves being team-first.”

WATCH | Svechnikov’s lacrosse goal voted best of season.. so far:

After a week-long fan vote bracket on Hockey Night in Canada, Carolina Hurricanes forward Andrei Svechnikov was voted as having the best goal in the NHL this season, scoring the first-ever lacrosse goal in league history 0:59

Smith added that whenever his players return to the ice, whether it’s to close out this season or ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, it will be time to move forward after putting up the league’s 30th-best record at 25-34-12.

“Our mentality has to change,” he said. “When you watch the best teams in the league … the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins, they expect to win every night.

“I’ve talked to some of the young guys that are going to be leaders in the future. There will be a point where we’ve got to take a step. We want it to be sooner [rather] than later, but it starts in your own mind.”

Surreal experience

What could turn out to be Smith’s final game of 2019-20 was also the last game before the NHL pressed pause — and a surreal experience.

“Guys were aware that an NBA player tested positive,” Smith said. “There were some questions whether we were going to play. We listened to President Trump on TV that night. There certainly was a different atmosphere than any other game I’ve been a part of.

“Once the NBA cancelled their games, we knew that we wouldn’t be far behind.”

He also had no idea how much the world — both for himself and his team with all the positive tests — would be changed in short order amid the pandemic.

“I realize way more today how much more serious it is the way it’s spreading, the way it’s hitting, ” Smith said. “This disease doesn’t spare anyone.

“It doesn’t matter — actors and actresses, rich, poor — you’ve got to make sure that you stay safe.”

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CBC | Sports News

Jameela Jamil Recalls Feeling ‘Too Fat’ While Sharing Photo From When She Had an Eating Disorder

Jameela Jamil Recalls Feeling ‘Too Fat’ While Sharing Photo From When She Had an Eating Disorder | Entertainment Tonight

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Rumer Willis Recalls Calling 911 When Mom Demi Moore Had a Seizure After Doing Drugs

Rumer Willis Recalls Calling 911 When Mom Demi Moore Had a Seizure After Doing | Entertainment Tonight

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Costco recalls infant formula due to possible Cronobacter bacteria contamination

Costco is recalling some of its Kirkland Signature brand infant formula due to possible Cronobacter contamination.

The affected products include:

  • Kirkland Signature Non-GMO Infant Formula for Babies Sensitive to Lactose in the 1.36-kilogram size, UPC code 96619 26926 6, Code EXP 2020 NO 05 T05DVBV.
  • Kirkland Signature Non-GMO Infant Formula for Babies Sensitive to Lactose in the two-pack 1.36-kilogram size, UPC code 96619 23600 8, Code EXP 2020 NO 05 T05DVBV.

The products were distributed across the country.

People should not consume the infant formula. It should be thrown out or returned to the store where it was purchased.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said food contaminated with Cronobacter may not look or smell spoiled. The bacteria isn’t usually linked to illness, but it can on rare occasions cause serious or fatal infections including bloodstream, central nervous system or intestinal infection and blood poisoning, especially in newborns.

No illnesses have been reported in connection with the recalled Kirkland Signature products.

The CFIA said the product recall is an update to a previous recall affecting a President’s Choice infant formula.

The new concern about the Kirkland Signature products was discovered through the CFIA’s food safety investigation.


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CBC | Health News