Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said there were no new cases of COVID-19 in P.E.I. Saturday and the province’s total remains at 22.
Morrison held a daily news conference on the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) during the afternoon during which she said two more of the confirmed cases in P.E.I. are considered recovered, bringing the total to six, while an additional 169 tests came back negative.
With no new cases, Morrison is concerned Islanders may become complacent and ignore public safety measures, she said.
“It is not the time to take comfort in zero cases. We are by no means across the finish line in this pandemic. In fact, the finish line is nowhere on the horizon for P.E.I.”
If public safety measures are not followed, P.E.I. could see what other provinces are already facing: community transmission.
If that happens, the health-care system would struggle to care for those Islanders who need it and the rest of the system would have difficulty maintaining essential services, said Morrison.
“We know we cannot stop the pandemic from coming, but we do know what we can do to slow and limit the spread: stay home, practice physical distancing if you have to go out for essentials and self-isolate if you’re returning from out-of-province travel.”
Morrison thanked most Islanders, who are complying with the measures in place, while urging those not complying to look at what is happening in other parts of Canada and around the world to understand why those recommendations were made.
“It is making a difference. It will make a difference,” she said.
As for how those recommendations could change, Morrison said there is still a lot to learn about the virus and that policies will continue to be re-evaluated every day.
The 16 positive COVID-19 cases on the Island are experiencing relatively mild symptoms and continue to self-isolate at home, said Morrison, but there might be those in the weeks and months ahead who may not be lucky enough to avoid a hospital stay.
“We know there will be many more in this province before this is over…it can happen to any of us and that’s why we’re putting all these measures in place to try to reduce that possibility.”