New public health measures announced
Four new cases of COVID-19 in PEI
New public health measures announced for Prince Edward Island as Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, confirms four more positive cases of COVID-19 in the province and additional public exposure locations.
The new cases are all women – three are in their 20s and one is in her 30s. They are all close contacts of the positive cases announced yesterday, and none are related to the student from Charlottetown Rural High School who tested positive on November 28. The women are all at home in self-isolation and are being followed by public health. Contact tracing is underway and all close contacts will be tested, remain in self-isolation for 14 days and also be followed by public health daily. At this point, the source of this outbreak is unknown as the Chief Public Health Office continues its investigation.
There are two additional public exposure locations in Charlottetown related to this outbreak:
- Dollarama in the Charlottetown Mall (670 University Avenue):
Thursday, December 3 from 4:30pm to 10:30pm; and, Saturday, December 5 from 8:00am to 1:00pm
- Walmart (80 Buchanan Drive):
Thursday, December 3 from 2pm to 3pm and 6pm to 7pm
Anyone who was at these locations during these times should closely monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and, if symptoms develop, get tested and isolate until they receive the results. A full list of active public exposure locations is available online.
As a result of the increase in cases and unidentified source of the outbreak, Dr. Morrison outlined new “Circuit Breaker” measures to aggressively curb and contain the spread of virus in the province as Prince Edward Island’s COVID-19 Alert Level moves to an enhanced caution phase. These measures will be in place for a two-week period.
Effective 8am on Monday, December 7 until December 21, the following public health measures will be in place:
- Islanders should stay at home as much as possible, only going out for essential purposes.
- Households should designate one person to do essential errands such as grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, and banking.
- No personal gatherings. A household can only associate with two persons outside of their household. Persons living alone may choose to interact with one designated household.
- Organized gatherings, including faith gatherings, are limited to 10 people maximum indoors or outdoors (excluding staff).
- Funerals and weddings are limited to 10 people maximum (excluding officiants).
- No in-room dining at restaurants. Take-out and delivery can continue with enhanced precautions.
- No organized recreational or team sports.
- Gyms, fitness facilities, museums, libraries, bingo halls and casinos will be closed.
- Personal services will remain open for appointments only and non-medical masks must be worn at all times by staff and patrons.
- Retail stores and markets must operate at a maximum 50 per cent patron capacity.
- Daycares will continue to operate as they currently do.
- High schools in the Charlottetown area are moving to remote learning. This includes Colonel Gray, Charlottetown Rural and Bluefield High Schools, as well as students in grades 10 through 12 at École François-Buote.
- In-person mental health and addiction services and programs, including residential day programs, will continue.
- Long-term care and community care facilities will limit partners in care to one designated person. There will be no other visitors during this time.
Dr. Morrison firmly stated that enforcement efforts will be stepped up across the province to ensure these circuit breaker measures are being followed for the next two weeks. In the event a gathering exceeds the new capacity limit, a fine will be issued to every person in attendance, not just the host.
Individuals 20 to 29 years of age living in the capital region (greater Charlottetown area) are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19. Individuals in this age group experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested as soon as possible and self-isolate until they receive the results. Individuals in this age group who are not experiencing symptoms can get tested in the coming days, can attend school/work, and do not need to self-isolated while awaiting the test result.
Dr. Morrison is also reminding all Islanders of the importance of getting tested if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, and to self-isolate until the results come back. Islanders are also encouraged to download the free national COVID Alert app, which will to let them know if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Prince Edward Island currently has 11 active cases of COVID-19 and since the onset of the pandemic there has been 80 positive cases of COVID-19 in the province. Information about the province’s COVID-19 cases is available online.