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P.E.I.'s chief public health officer 'strongly recommends' wearing a mask when physical distancing is not possible

P.E.I.’s chief public health officer has issued a strong recommendation to wear a mask when physical distancing is not always possible.
P.E.I.’s chief public health officer has issued a strong recommendation to wear a mask when physical distancing is not always possible. - 123RF Stock Photo
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —



P.E.I.’s chief public health officer has issued a strong recommendation to wear a mask when physical distancing is not always possible.

Dr. Heather Morison strengthened a previous recommendation on Tuesday at her regularly scheduled news briefing.

“I’m strongly recommending that individuals wear non-medical masks or face coverings in indoor public settings when they are unable to maintain a physical distance of six feet,” said Morrison. 

However, it remains a recommendation and is not mandatory, said Morrison. 

“International evidence on the effectiveness of face masks and face coverings has evolved during this pandemic,” she said.

“We know masks are effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19 and serve to protect others around us." 

P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, strongly recommends people wear non-medical face masks when maintaining social distancing is not possible.
P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, strongly recommends people wear non-medical face masks when maintaining social distancing is not possible.

 


The newest cluster of cases announced this past weekend surrounds two men who did not feel sick, said Morrison on Monday.

“Some people with COVID-19 have no symptoms, adding further support to the need for people to wear masks,” she said. 

Morrison commended all of the staff who worked to mitigate the spread of the virus once the new cases were discovered on the weekend.

As well as extensive contact tracing completed by public health staff, more than 850 COVID-19 tests were completed at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, a record high number, said Morrison.

Marion Dowling, P.E.I.’s chief of nursing, also spoke at the briefing to reassure patients that services have not changed since last week; it is still safe to attend appointments.

“We do have screening in place and the measures in place to make sure people can access our services safely,” said Dowling.

“People are afraid of catching this virus and coming out into some public places with the opening up … we have the right processes in place, our plans are working, we are able to keep people safe.” 

Marion Dowling, P.E.I.’s chief of nursing, spoke at a July 8 briefing where she reassured patients that services have not changed since last week and that it is still safe to attend appointments.
Marion Dowling, P.E.I.’s chief of nursing, spoke at a July 8 briefing where she reassured patients that services have not changed since last week and that it is still safe to attend appointments.

 


Also at the briefing, Morrison updated the number of travellers arriving on P.E.I. inside the travel bubble.

Since July 3, the Confederation Bridge has welcomed 5,719 people to the Island, Northumberland Ferries dropped off 794 visitors and 164 people flew into the Charlottetown Airport. 

“Traffic has been flowing smoothly for a number of reasons,” said Morrison.

“Very few people are showing up at the points of entry without a completed self-declaration form. And we anticipated a large number of visitors in the first few days, and I think we were well-prepared in terms of logistics and staffing.”

During the briefing, Morrison also noted that cinemas have submitted an operational plan and will likely re-open soon.

“At this point, there are relatively few activities that are not able to proceed with modifications,” said Morrison.

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