Latest COVID-19 cases in P.E.I. reveal pandemic not over on island: public health
CHARLOTTETOWN -- Prince Edward Island's chief medical officer of health is warning that the five new cases of COVID-19 discovered over the weekend indicate the province is still susceptible to the novel coronavirus.
"After 67 days without a case we knew a resurgence of COVID-19 was possible at any time," Dr. Heather Morrison said Monday. "We all hoped the virus would not come back and many Islanders were beginning to feel that life was getting back to normal."
There were no new cases to report Monday, however, leaving the provincial total at 32.
Four of the five people recently infected are all in their 20s. Three of them had come into contact with a fourth islander who had travelled to Nova Scotia.
Morrison said the infected islander came into contact with a man who was travelling from the United States to P.E.I. but was denied entry to the province at the Confederation Bridge.
Premier Dennis King told reporters: "With our screening process, we have turned dozens of individuals around in the last number of weeks because they didn't make (an) application or didn't have proof of residence or all the documentation that we require."
Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, told a news conference Monday that the person had flown from the United States to Toronto and then to Halifax.
"He was legally allowed to get on a plane and flew here to Halifax," Strang said. "What didn't happen is he didn't follow the requirement for a 14 day isolation period."
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil said the person has a student visa and was headed to P.E.I., but turned around because he didn't have a form filled out. McNeil said the person is now quarantined in Halifax for 14 days.
The infected traveller, who was identified Sunday, is one of four active cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia.
"We have worked hard together and sacrificed so much in this province to help flatten the curve," McNeil said, "only to have some people come into our province to think they are above it all, who think the rules don't apply to them. Guess what? They do."
Beginning Tuesday, the premier said, anyone entering Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic bubble will have to fill out a form indicating where they will be self-isolating for 14 days and provide a phone number where they can be reached at all times.
The Atlantic bubble refers to the network of P.E.I., New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador, in which residents may travel without having to self-isolate for 14 days.
McNeil said self-isolating travellers will be called each day, and after three unanswered calls, police will be notified.
One of the positive cases on Prince Edward Island is a woman who works at Whisperwood Villa, a seniors' residence in Charlottetown. Morrison said so far, all staff and residents have tested negative.
"A small number of staff still need to be tested and we are working with Whisperwood Villa to arrange for this testing to occur. All staff and residents will be retested beginning July 8," she said.
Morrison said the five infected people are doing well self-isolating at home and all their contacts have so far tested negative.
Both New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases of COVID-19 Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.
-- By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.