P.E.I. reports 5 new COVID-19 cases Monday; province investigating possible community transmission
Prince Edward Island is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, four of which involve individuals under the age of 19.
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, says one of Monday's cases involves an individual in their 60s who has a history of travel outside of Atlantic Canada. Morrison says this person is self-isolating and contact tracing is complete.
Three cases are linked to the West Royalty Elementary School in Charlottetown. These cases are all close contacts of previously reported cases.
Morrison says the investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School continues.
One of Monday's cases involves a student at Charlottetown Rural High School. This case is a close contact of a previously reported infection.
Morrison says there are now eight positive COVID-19 cases linked to West Royalty Elementary School and two positive cases linked to Charlottetown Rural High School.
"Many of the students at Charlottetown Rural are fully vaccinated, which provides more protection to the entire school population," said Morrison.
All close contacts of the new cases will be contacted and directed on the next steps to take.
"In addition, any staff or students at Charlottetown Rural who are not fully vaccinated should be tested tomorrow at one of the Health P.E.I. testing clinics," advised Morrison.
"At this point, we have not been able to link this outbreak or the cases at Charlottetown Rural to the West Royalty school or from being outside of the province. We are considering these situations to be associated with community transmission."
Morrison says Public Health will know more about the extent of transmission in the coming days and expects to see more cases.
There are currently no hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on P.E.I.
P.E.I. has 19 active cases of the novel coronavirus. To date, there have been 252 positive cases of the virus.
Since Friday, Morrison says P.E.I. has identified 16 new cases, 11 of which involve individuals under the age of 19. She added many of these cases involve individuals who are not eligible to be vaccinated because they are under the age of 12.
As of Monday morning, more than 270 close contacts of positive cases have been identified by Public Health. Morrison expects that number to rise close to 400 by the end of Monday.
Since January 2021, 93 per cent of P.E.I.'s cases involve individuals who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against the virus.
Morrison says seven per cent of the cases since January involve people who are fully vaccinated.
As of Saturday, over 247,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered on P.E.I.
In total, 92.2 per cent of the eligible population has received one dose of vaccine, while 83.7 per cent have received two doses.
"Approximately 42,000 people in P.E.I., however, are not fully vaccinated and that includes 30,000 who have not received even one dose of vaccine," said Morrison.
Morrison says the province received information from the school system regarding the vaccine status of staff.
She says an average of 90 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated – a number she would like to see higher.
"However, it is not 100 per cent and it is not high enough for me to be comfortable," said Morrison. "So, we have now initiated discussions this morning with education for next steps and those next steps include discussions around being fully vaccinated or undergoing regular testing."
P.E.I.'s top doctors says other areas of discussion include enhanced testing at points of entry and masking.
FOOD SUPPORT FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY SCHOOL CLOSURES
In a news release on Monday, P.E.I. says the Department of Social Development and Housing is offering food support for Island families impacted by the school closures in Charlottetown.
"We provide pre-cooked, reheatable meals for children that are delivered directly to your home for the week of Sept.14 to 17, 2021," read the release.
Public health says the meals will be delivered between 2 p.m. to 4 p.m from Tuesday to Friday to the provided address.
"Please provide detailed delivery instructions pertaining to your type of accommodation," the release said. "We can also make arrangements to deliver to childcare locations or workplaces as necessary."
Health officials say any family facing food security troubles is eligible to receive meals for children. Public Health says the program is on a self-referral basis and children must be able to consume solid food.
Meals for families that sign up will be delivered in the Charlottetown area to varied types of homes, including apartments, house, day programs, duplex's and more.
Registration for the food support program can be found on P.E.I.'s government website or by calling 902-213-5506.
POTENTIAL COVID-19 EXPOSURES
Prince Edward Island also announced several potential COVID-19 exposures in Charlottetown.
Anyone at the following locations should monitor for symptoms. If symptoms develop, you should self-isolate and schedule and COVID-19 test.
- Angel Nails & Spa on Sept. 8 (75 Kensington Rd. in Charlottetown)
Between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Trailside Music Hall on Sept. 8 (155 Kent St. in Charlottetown)
Between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- Brighton Clover Farm on Sept. 10 (20 Century Terrace in Charlottetown)
- Between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.