White Coat, Black Art·THE DOSE

What's a COVID 'circuit breaker' and how can it help get control of the pandemic?

COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Canada — and so does the sense of urgency felt by health-care providers and public health officials. Some physicians are calling for a “circuit breaker” to slow the pandemic surge. Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Lynora Saxinger explains what that means.
Back in the summer, COVID-19 seemed to be relatively under control in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. But cases have surged in all of those provinces in the fall, prompting physicians to issue urgent calls for restrictions to slow the spread of the virus as it threatens to choke the health-care system. (Arthur Raham/CBC)

COVID-19 cases continue to rise across Canada — and so does the sense of urgency felt by health-care providers and public health officials.

It's become clear to many that at this point, the only way to stop the virus from choking the health-care system is to bring in tough restrictions to reduce contact between people and halt community spread. 

Physicians in Alberta are calling for a short, sharp lockdown — known as a "circuit breaker" — to slow the pandemic surge. Dr. Lynora Saxinger, an infectious diseases specialist and associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Alberta, joins The Dose host Dr. Brian Goldman to explain what that means and how it works.  

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