P.E.I. announces five new COVID-19 cases Sunday, new lock down measures
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island is reporting five new COVID-19 cases on the island Sunday, with the active total rising to 18.
In an unscheduled media conference on Sunday, P.E.I. Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said she is concerned about the fact that there does not appear to be a clear source of the recent outbreak.
Sunday’s five new cases involve two males in their 20s, and three females – two in their 20s, and one in her 50s.
Three are from the recent Charlottetown outbreak, one is linked to Summerside, and Public Health is still trying to determine the source for the last.
“I remain concerned about the increasing number of cases in P.E.I., and the fact that we have not been able to identify a link to travel,” she said. “There may be more cases that will be identified in the coming days. “
This comes as P.E.I. announced new measures Saturday, which took effect Sunday.
According to Morrison, there are 190 close contacts of these cases, and more are expected to be announced.
NEW LOCK DOWN MEASURES ANNOUNCED
Prince Edward Island is entering a 72-hour lockdown starting at midnight as the province struggles to contain the outbreak. These measures are a tighter version of the 'circuit breaker' regulations announced just Saturday.
Premier Dennis King says he'd rather go "harder and stronger" with public health restrictions now -- giving health officials a chance to get caught up on contact tracing and testing -- than wait for the outbreak to worsen.
"Yesterday we introduced some new circuit breaker measures,” King said. "I know it’s not what everyone wanted to hear, but it’s what is necessary to keep our province safe -- and today, we have announced we're going a little further."
The three-day lockdown requires residents to stay home as much as possible and will close all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, with post-secondary education moving online only.
Only essential services will be allowed to remain open, at half of their standard operating capacity.
The other new measures are as follows:
- No personal gatherings will be allowed
- Each household can associate with two consistent people, for what Morrison called essential support
- People who live alone can associate with one other household
- No organized gatherings will be allowed
- Funerals can have no more than 10, plus officiants
- All recreational facilities are closed – including gyms, fitness facilities, bingo halls, casinos, musuems, and libraries
- No organized sports or recreational activities will be permitted
- Only essential services and businesses are allowed to be open to the public, and at 50 per cent of their standard capacity
- Examples of services allowed to stay open: medical and dental services, childcare, grocery stores, pharmacies, takeout and food delivery, utility services, manufacturing processing and transportation services, gas stations, banks and essential financial institutions, public safety services and liquor stores.
- For essential retail services, they can operate at half of standard operating capacity as long as entrances and exits monitored
In Sunday's media conference, Premier Dennis King urged cooperation from employees and employers to allow for time off to get tested for COVID-19.
“Your absence at work may cause a minor disruption – I get that, but we are living in a period of distruption," said King. "Missing a day or two at work while you have symptoms while you get tested is a heck of a lot less of a disruption than a circuit breaker.”
NEW POTENTIAL EXPOSURE SITES
Morrison also announced new public exposure sites. She said anyone who visited or worked at the following locations is asked to immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test. After a negative test, Morrison said there is no need to keep isolating, but it’s important to monitor symptoms and seek a second test if any appear.
- Superstore in Montague, P.E.I.
- Feb. 24 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Tailgate Bar and Grill in Montague
- Feb. 25 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
- Domino’s Pizza in Summerside
- Feb. 15 11:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Burger King in Summerside
- Feb. 18 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Charlottetown city bus #1
- Feb. 20 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Taste of India in Charlottetown
- Feb. 22 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Feb. 25 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
- Feb. 26 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Superstore at 465 University Ave. in Charlottetown
- Feb. 23 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Feb. 24 6:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Jungle Market in Charlottetown
- Feb. 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
- Walmart in Charlottetown
- Feb. 24 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Feb. 27 2:00 to 2:30 p.m.
- Christmas Discounters in Summerside
- Feb. 25 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
These potential exposure sites are in addition to those announced Saturday, which are as follows:
- Pita Pit (425 Granville Street)
- Friday, February 19 between 11:00 am to 9:00 pm
- Sunday, February 21 between 11:00 am and 7:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm
- Tuesday, February 23 between 12:00 pm and 9:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 24 between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm
Friday, February 26 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Callbecks Home Hardware (614 Water Street)
- February 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, and 25 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Burger King (511 Granville Street)
- Sunday, February 14 between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 17 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Thursday, February 18 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Saturday, February 20 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Sunday, February 21 between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Wednesday, February 24 between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm
- Thursday, February 25 between 8:00 am and 3:00 pm
- Dominos Pizza (505 Granville Street)
- Wednesday, February 17 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm
- Monday, February 22 between 4:00 pm and 11:00 pm
- Tuesday, February 23 between 4:00 pm and 1:00 am
- Wednesday, February 24 between 4:00 pm and 1:00 am
Late Saturday night, P.E.I. health announced more potential exposure sites. The same recomenddations apply to those who visited or worked at the following: immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test.
- Dollarama in Summerside (454 Granville Street)
- Saturday, February 20 between 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm
- Walmart/Burger King in Summerside (511 Granville Street)
- Saturday, February 20 between 4:00 pm and 5:00 pm
- Shoppers Drug Mart in Summerside (454 Granville Street)
- Sunday, February 21 between 10:00 am and 11:00 am
- Superstore in Montague
- Wednesday, February 24 between 4:30 pm and 5:30 pm
- Thursday, February 25 between 4:30 and 5:30 pm
- Tailgate Bar and Grill in Montague
- Thursday, February 25 between 9:30 pm to 11:30 pm
Morrison said she is expecting more positive cases to be announced in the coming days