Two new positive cases of COVID-19 were confirmed on P.E.I. Tuesday.
Dr. Heather Morrison made the announcement during the regularly scheduled briefing on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
One case is a man in his 50s, who had recently travelled internationally. He is an essential worker, but not a health-care worker. He was asymptomatic and was in self-isolation. He was tested as part of routine testing.
“We have been through a lot and we no doubt have a long road ahead of us. We are prepared for what will come next.”
- Premier Dennis King
The other case is a child under the age of 10 years old who is a member of a family who had positive results last week, said Morrison. The child’s test result was questionable, and the swab was sent to the national lab in Winnipeg for further analysis. It came back positive Monday. The child had been treated as a positive case and remained self-isolated with their family. The child is now considered recovered.
There is only one active case of COVID-19 on P.E.I., and 56 cases are considered recovered.
“We know the majority of Islanders continue to be very co-operative, following advice and adapting to our new normal, and most Islanders know we cannot be complacent,” said Morrison.
P.E.I. has completed 30,400 COVID-19 tests so far, including more than 1,000 in the last week, up 22 per cent from the previous week.
P.E.I. ranks second in Canada for testing per capita with 200 tests per 1,000 people; that’s above the national average of 165 tests per 1,000 people.
The fact that P.E.I. has avoided community spread, even with 57 cases, speaks to the success of self-isolation, said Morrison.
She acknowledged that COVID-fatigue is normal but urged people to continue taking precautions.
“Unfortunately, and this is part of COVID-fatigue, many people are no longer seeing the value of self-isolation and instead want to skip self-isolation or do it for less time. But people who chose not to self-isolate are putting themselves, their families and our community at risk. I ask all Islanders who are required to self-isolate to take it seriously and to limit their contact with others.”
Morrison said her team is working on options for rotational workers who are only home for short periods of time.
She’s also expecting updated guidelines for gatherings, sports and recreation, school outbreak guidance, as well as the chief public health office (CPHO) school directive.
As for Halloween activities, Morrison said they may look differently this year, but the CPHO will have more guidelines closer to the date which is still six weeks away.
“Islanders have been so resilient,” said Morrison. “We will get through this, and we will get through this together.”
At a glance
The province has begun to offer testing for international travellers. Following is what's involved as announced by Marion Dowling, P.E.I.'s chief of nursing, during a briefing on Tuesday.
• The process to access the travel testing is different from regular testing, so anyone who needs a negative test before travel to another country can call 1-833-533-9333 or email email@example.com
• Dowling said to contact the province at least five days before departure.
• Travellers will be given a testing appointment time and will need to call the Queen Elizabeth Hospital records department at 902-894-0257 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a record of the test results.
• Dowling said the email subject line should read “urgent flight”, and the body of the email should contain the flight details and the day of the scheduled COVID-19 test.
• The records department will send along the results as soon as they are available.
Also at Tuesday’s briefing, Premier Dennis King reflected on the six-month anniversary of the first positive case of coronavirus on P.E.I. and the subsequent declaration of the public health emergency.
“This week marks an important milestone in the journey we have found ourselves on together,” said King. “Six months ago today, we didn’t know what we had in front of us.”
The premier said he was deeply proud of Islanders for being so resilient in the face of uncertainty and adapting to the new normal.
“We have been through a lot and we no doubt have a long road ahead of us,” said King. “We are prepared for what will come next.”
Speaking at the briefing, Marion Dowling, P.E.I.’s chief of nursing, announced that P.E.I. has received five of the 12 ventilators ordered in the spring. The remaining seven will arrive in the coming weeks, said Dowling.
The new ventilators bring the number on P.E.I. to 34, including 10 from the national emergency stockpile. Its four to five times the number normally in use on P.E.I.
Testing continues to be a priority for her team as the school year begins and the fall, along with a potential second wave, approaches.
Drop-in testing clinics are open in Montague, Charlottetown, Borden, Summerside and O’Leary. Scheduled clinics are still operating in Charlottetown and Summerside.
The swabs from the clinics are tested on P.E.I., and results are usually back within 24 to 48 hours. Negative results are now available online for those with a P.E.I. health card.
Posted by Prince Edward Island Government on Tuesday, 15 September 2020