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UPDATE: One new case of COVID-19 in P.E.I. on Feb. 26, 2021

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison provided an update Friday morning during an unscheduled briefing after five positive cases were identified in the last two days.
Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison provided an update Friday morning during an unscheduled briefing after five positive cases were identified in the last two days. - Screen grab
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Public health officials in P.E.I. are racing to identify the sources of an outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer, held two unscheduled briefings on Friday following six positive cases in three days this week.

“We certainly have concern about community spread in P.E.I.,’’ Morrison said following her second briefing of the day on Friday.

“I am worried.’’

There are a total of seven active cases in P.E.I.
Late Thursday afternoon, three cases were identified in the Summerside area, all of which were males in their 20s, who were close contacts of each other.

Morrison said those cases have not been linked to travel. There have been 61 close contacts of those cases identified, and all of them have been directed to get tested and self-isolate for 14 days. She said those people must remain in self-isolation regardless of their test results.

As of Friday, public health officials haven’t been able to reach all close contacts.

Later Friday, Morrison confirmed another positive case, a woman in her 20s.

Public exposure
Morrison said anyone who attended the Iron Haven Gym in Summerside between 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 20 and Feb. 23 is considered a close contact.

Anyone who was at the gym between those times and hasn’t been contacted should self-isolate, get tested and identify themselves to public health by calling 1-800-958-6400.

Morrison also listed public exposure notices for The Breakfast Spot in Summerside on Saturday, Feb. 20, 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Domino’s Pizza in Summerside is also listed as a public exposure site. The dates and times are as follows: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, Feb. 18, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 19, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m. and 1 a.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Our focus today is testing,’’ Morrison said. “Close contacts are being tested. Individuals who were at the above locations at the times noted should be tested, even if they do not have symptoms. Anyone in the Summerside area with any symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate until they receive a negative result.’’


Public exposure notices for Dominos Pizza in Summerside:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 17 between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 between 4:00 pm and 11:00 pm
  • Friday, Feb. 19 between 11:00 am and 6:30 pm
  • Saturday, Feb. 20 between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm
  • Sunday, Feb. 21 between 4:00 pm and 1:00 am
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 between 5:00 pm and 1:00 am
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 between 11:00 am and 6:00 pm
     

The Breakfast Spot:

  • Saturday, Feb. 20 between 7:00 am and 2:30 pm

Taste of India:

  • Feb. 20 between 4-10 p.m
  • Feb. 21 between 4-9 p.m.
  • Feb. 22 between 3-9 p.m.
  • Feb. 23 between 10:30-3:30 p.m.

Around the region
Following are the COVID-19 cases reported in Atlantic Canada on Friday:
• P.E.I.: 4 new cases (all reported late Thursday; 1 new case reported Friday).
• Nova Scotia: 10 new cases.
• Newfoundland and Labrador: 4 new cases.
• New Brunswick: 1 new case


Targeted testing

With the latest cases, Morrison said they are conducting targeted testing this weekend of people aged 14 to 29 in Summerside, even if people are asymptomatic.

Additional staff will be on hand to test people at Three Oaks Senior High School.

On Saturday, those between the ages of 14 and 21, born between Jan. 1 and June 30, will be tested from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Those born between July 1 and Dec. 31, will be tested from 2-8 p.m.

On Sunday, those in the 22-29 age group will be tested at the high school. Those born between Jan. 1 and June 30 go from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and individuals born between July 1 and Dec. 31 will be tested from 2-8 p.m.

Also late Friday afternoon, Morrison confirmed an additional public exposure site – Taste of India in Charlottetown. Anyone who was at the restaurant during the following time periods is asked to get tested — Saturday, Feb. 20, 4-10 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 21, 4-9 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 22, 3-9 p.m.; and Tuesday, Feb. 23, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

As far as an impact on schools in the Summerside area, Morrison said that’s why they are conducting targeted testing this weekend. She expects a quick turnaround on test results.

The three cases confirmed on Thursday follow two cases confirmed on Wednesday. Those two cases – a woman in her 20s and a woman in her 30s – were related to travel within Atlantic Canada. Contact tracing is complete for those cases, and all tests to date are negative.

On Friday morning, Morrison confirmed the matter had been referred to law enforcement, and one woman had been charged with two infractions under the Public Health Act.

At the time, the chief public health officer said the new cases are not unexpected given what is happening in neighbouring provinces.

“Public health will be working diligently in the coming days to identify a source for the cluster of cases in the Summerside area,’’ she said. “We know that there must be a travel link in some way to these cases, but we do not know the source. In the coming days, as individuals are tested, we will know more about the potential spread of COVID-19 in P.E.I.’’

Some companies have taken it upon themselves to close. The Breakfast Spot posted a notice on its Facebook page Friday that said it will be closed until Wednesday at 8 a.m. after one of its part-time employees tested positive. Domino’s Pizza also posted to its Facebook page on Friday that it was closing immediately after one of its employees tested positive. The restaurant plans to clean and renovate the facility and reopen in March.

The Summerside Western Capitals also postponed a weekend doubleheader with Yarmouth.


Watch a livestream of Morrison's briefing at 4:30 p.m.


Watch Morrison's 10:30 a.m. briefing

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