P.E.I. reports 14 people treated in hospital for COVID-19; students to return to class Monday
Prince Edward Island’s top doctor says Islanders are experiencing the most difficult leg of the COVID-19 pandemic, but there is an end in sight.
“It feels like we’re in for sort of a rough landing or a really tough road ashore as we get there, but I am optimistic that we will get there,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, the province's chief public health officer, during a news conference on Wednesday.
“I am hopeful and I am optimistic. It’s really one of the first times I know that, really, there is an end in sight. We’ve talked about it so many times, it’s hard to have that certainty, but I really think that based on what we’re seeing internationally, nationally and even regionally, that we will be in a very different place as a province a few weeks from now than we are now presently.”
STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CLASS
Premier Dennis King confirmed that students will return to class on Monday.
“We know that’s where they need to be,” said King. “They’ve been out of school for well over a month and that’s brought its own challenges. It’s time and we need to get them back into school.”
More details about the back-to-school plan will be provided during a news conference on Thursday.
CASES AND HOSPITALIZATIONS
The province reported no new deaths on Wednesday. A total of nine Islanders have died as a result of COVID-19.
“It’s always a difficult time when you hear that and sometimes I think that we as Islanders look at those as statistics as opposed to what they really are, and that is that families and individuals lost somebody who is important to them and that is difficult,” said Premier Dennis King.
Morrison clarified how it is determined whether a person’s death is related to COVID-19, stating that if the attending physician believes COVID-19 was the cause or a contributing factor, it is classified as a COVID-19 related death.
The province reported 255 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 2,640 active cases. P.E.I. has reported 6,800 cases since the pandemic began.
Morrison said the province has seen an average of 242 cases per day over the last seven days.
Almost 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported over the last week.
Fourteen people are being treated for COVID-19 in hospital, including two people in intensive care.
Morrison said two people in hospital who have COVID-19 are being treated for illnesses other than the virus.
There are now outbreaks in seven long-term care facilities:
- South Shore Villa
- Andrews of Park West
- Atlantic Baptist
- Beach Grove Home
- Clinton View Lodge
- Garden Home
- Summerset Manor
There are outbreaks in the following community care facilities:
- Bevan Lodge
- Miscouche Villa
Seventeen early learning and child care centres are experiencing outbreaks. Two of those are open, two are closed, and 13 are open with modified or limited services.
Other congregate settings with outbreaks include:
- Population that accesses shelter and outreach services in Charlottetown
- Prince County Correctional Centre
- Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility
- Provincial Correctional Centre
- St. Eleanor’s House
Morrison noted there are also outbreaks at numerous workplaces across the province.
As of Saturday, 96.3 per cent of Island residents aged 12 and over had received at least one dose of vaccine, while 93.1 per cent were fully vaccinated.
Among children ages five to 11, 64 per cent have received at least one dose of vaccine. This age group began getting their second doses last week.
"Getting your children aged five to 11 vaccinated will protect them from serious consequences related to COVID-19, including hospitalization and multi-system inflammatory syndrome, " said Morrison. "I urge parents and guardians to get their children vaccinated to protect them against COVID-19."
More than 48,000 Island residents have received their third dose.
"Getting a booster improves your level of protection against COVID-19 and if you do get it you'll be much less likely to require hospital care," explained Morrison.
She said 24,000 Islanders are eligible to get their boosters, but have not done so, and she is urging those people to book their appointments soon.
"This is not the time to be complacent about being vaccinated. It continues to be the time to roll up your sleeve and get immunized against COVID-19," said Morrison.
Morrison says the province will loosen some health measures next week. Beginning Monday, indoor dining and fitness facilities will be able to operate at 50 per cent capacity and organized gatherings will be permitted with a limit of 50 people.
With files from The Canadian Press.
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