P.E.I. reports no new cases of COVID-19, six active cases remain
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island reported no new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, with the island's number of active cases dropping to six.
“We can be proud of how well we’re doing,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief public health officer. “And for demonstrating why P.E.I. is such a special place – one where people show how much they care about each other.”
P.E.I. has had 110 cumulative cases since the start of the pandemic.
“This week marks the first reported case of COVID-19 in our country,” added Morrison. “We have learned so much about this virus in the last year.”
PLANS TO LOOSEN MEASURES
As of Jan. 23, P.E.I. eased public health measures, loosening restrictions on organized gatherings such as concerts, worship services and movie theatres.
Morrison says there are plans to ease more measures, including visits to long term care homes.
"We do look forward to further easing visitations in long term care, soon after all the residents receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in mid-February," said Morrison.
Morrison also added that Islanders are responsible for much of the province’s success during COVID-19.
"We are in this position, in large part, due to the adaptability, cooperation and support of islanders," said Morrison. "Residents of this province have shown tremendous respect for the public health measures every step of our COVID-19 journey."
Morrison said there are no current plans to re-enter the Atlantic bubble.
"We will continue to assess the epidemiology and trends in Atlantic Canada to inform our decision on re-joining the Atlantic bubble," she said, adding a reminder not to travel outside the province unless it is "absolutely necessary."
PREPARING FOR MORE VACCINATIONS
Marion Dowling, P.E.I.’s executive director and chief of nursing officer, says more vaccine doses are on the way.
“Staff are ready and prepared to provide vaccines as soon as we have them available,” she said. “It remains very important that everyone continue to follow COVID-19 precautions, to keep the spread low on the island as we move through this vaccine phase.”
On the topic of precautions, Dowling reminded islanders about a specific policy within hospitals - no food or drink from visitors.
“We know it’s common to bring coffee or a snack into a hospital to visit a loved one,” said Dowling. “But removing your mask to eat or drink is not permitted, and can be one of the ways that this tricky virus spreads to others.”
Dowling says testing will continue to be available, and those getting tests before travel are encouraged to plan ahead, adding that only essential travel is recommended.
Dowling added that mental health and addiction services are available, with more information on the P.E.I. government’s website.
Morrison said last week was a “glimmer of hope” for Canada, with an overall 20 per cent reduction in cases. However, deaths were up ten per cent.
"It is too early to say with certainty that we are coming out of the second wave of this pandemic," said Dr. Morrison. "The reality remains that Canada is struggling with an aggressive second wave of COVID-19."
COVID ALERT APP
Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Prince Edward Island.
The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Prince Edward Island provides a list of possible COVID-19 symptoms on their website, which include:
- new or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- sore throat
- runny nose, sneezing, congestion
- muscle/joint/body aches
- feeling unwell/unusual tiredness
- acute loss of sense of smell or taste
Other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea have been reported, but typically along with other COVID-19 symptoms, and may be seen more often in children.