P.E.I. identifies two new cases of COVID-19; five total
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island has identified two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the province's total number of positive cases to five.
P.E.I.'s chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced the two new cases during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.
Morrison says both of the new cases are travel related and involve Queens County men in their 30s.
The fourth positive case is a Queens County man in his 30s who returned from the United States on March 13 and was tested on March 19.
The fifth positive case is a Queens County man in his 30s who returned home from the Dominican Republic on March 19 and was tested on March 23.
Morrison says neither of those two individuals flew into the Charlottetown airport, but further flight details are not available at this time.
Morrison says both cases are self-isolating at home and doing well.
"Both are good examples of people listening to the advice to self-isolate, and in doing so they have protected other people." said Morrison.
Morrison says 539 tests have been completed on the Island, with five positive cases. She says the province has received 326 negative test results, including 97 negative results on Wednesday, while 208 tests are still pending at the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg.
"Patients who have been tested are frustrated at waiting for results, I am frustrated, and it is a difficult thing to wait for results to come back," said Morrison about the pending tests. "Over the weekend, the tests get batched, so depending on what time they reach Winnipeg there can be a delay for the weekend tests."
"I am very hopeful that within the next couple weeks we will have our own testing capacity here," said Morrison. "Once that happens, the only tests we would have to send to the National Microbiology lab would be our positive tests, and that would significantly reduce the number of tests we have to send off, and would allow for a much quicker turn-around time for all of our tests."
During Wednesday's news conference, Morrison also reiterated the importance of physical-distancing.
"This is not over, and I cannot say when it will be over."
Morrison says, as community spread continues to occur across the country, P.E.I. is now asking anyone self-isolating to remain on their own property when outside.
Those who live in apartment buildings must stay on the property of the building while outside.
All three cases on P.E.I. have been travel related:
- Announced Sunday, a woman in her 20s from Queens County. She had been travelling in Spain and arrived back in Canada on March 14, flying into Toronto. She flew from Toronto to Moncton on WestJet flight 3456 on March 16.
- Announced March 19, a man in his 40s from Queens County. He returned to Charlottetown on March 11 on Air Canada Flight 7564 from Toronto to Charlottetown.
- Announced March 14, a woman in her 50s from Queens County. She returned to P.E.I on March 7 after travelling on a cruise ship. She flew from Toronto to Moncton on March 7 on WestJet flight 3440.
Morrison says anyone who travelled on any of those flights must self-isolate for 14 days.
A National Emergency Strategic Stockpile mini-clinic will be opening soon on the Island, according to Morrison. The NESS mini-clinic is one of only four in Canada, a federal asset that has been made available to P.E.I. for use in a provincial emergency.
Morrison said it will function similar to an out-patient clinic, and is meant to be an alternative location to divert people who may not need to go to the hospital away from acute care.
The province is still working on advice for those who co-parent, and the homeless population, said Morrison.
Marion Dowling, Chief of Nursing for P.E.I. Health, said if people need to go to the emergency room during this time, they should not hesitate to go.
Dowling added that P.E.I. currently has 19 ventilators available to patients, but more are on the way. An additional 15 ventilators have been ordered by the Federal government, and 12 more ventilators have been seperately ordered by the province, expected to arrive in late spring.