P.E.I. reports 1 new case of COVID-19, bringing total number of cases to 22
"Yet again, this is another important example of why people need to self-isolate," said Prince Edward Island's chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison.
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 22.
The newest case involves a man in his 50s who lives in the Queens County area. His case is said to be related to international travel. He is self-isolating at home and doing well.
"Yet again, another important example of why people need to self-isolate," said Prince Edward Island's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.
Morrison also re-explained the proper way for households to self-isolate.
"If you are self-isolating following travel outside the country or province, it's also important that other members of the household maintain social-distancing, ensure enhanced cleaning of all shared spaces, and designate, for instance a separate bedroom and bathroom, for the person who has travelled," said Morrison. "If this cannot be ensured, all members of the household should self-isolate for 14 days."
Morrison said, over the last few days, the province has doubled its testing at the cough and fever clinics. So far, the province has received 144 negative test results. Three cases on the island are considered recovered.
Childcare for essential workers
Government is expected to implement emergency childcare services for essential workers who still require those services.
"For essential workers, this is a time to lean on friends and family members to help out with childcare," said Morrison. "We have received feedback that this might not comply with physical-distancing guidelines, but these are exceptions."
"Essential workers need to go to work and their children need to be cared for ... those children will be screened daily, small number of children, and lots of consideration about staggering lunch times and spaces," said Morrison.
Safety for correctional officers
Morrison also spoke on the extra precautions correctional facilities are taking throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our correctional facilities are closed to volunteers and visitors, enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols are in place, every new client admitted to a provincial custody will be placed in a one-person per-cell for 14 days with extra cleaning, and clients will be permitted to be out of their cell one at a time," said Morrison.
Self-isolation for essential workers
Prince Edward Island's top doctor also said any essential workers should be self-isolating while they are not on the job.
"This is an important message we are trying to give to people who may be in construction, or driving trucks, or healthcare workers. If they're not working, they should self-isolate," said Morrison.
Flattening the curve
"I recognize that so many Islanders, and by far the majority, are practising excellent physical-distancing, as well as self-isolating if they've recently returned from travel, and I thank you," said Morrison. "I thank you personally for all you are doing as part as flattening the curve, and preventing the spread of COVID-19 here on the island."
"Going forward we'll be following up daily with everyone who is supposed to be self-isolating to ensure they're complying," said Morrison. "If they're not, we will refer to law enforcement to help us in making sure people are self-isolating if they need to."
Morrison said she's been asked a lot about how long the virus will last. She said although it's hard to tell, she assumes at least a few months.
"I can say, the more we comply with these public health measures, practising physical-distancing, self-isolating when you need to return from travel, the better chance we have of flattening the curve and slowing down the spread of COVID-19 in our province," said Morrison.
COVID-19 care in hospitals
Prince Edward Island's director of nursing, Marion Dowling, said there are multiple places to get treated for COVID-19 for cases who require hospital care.
"They will be cared for at Queen Elizabeth and Prince County," said Dowling. "If they need intensive care they’ll be admitted to Queen Elizabeth and if capacity at that hospital is reached, Prince County will provide them with care."
Dowling said the cough and fever patients continue to test patients through appointment made by a family physician, or through 811.
On Wednesday, 83 patients were seen in Charlottetown, and 57 were seen in Summerside, P.E.I.
Dowling is reminding anyone visiting one of the designated clinics to stay in their vehicle until asked to come in for their appointment.