HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the island to 26.

This is the first new case the island has identified in a week.

P.E.I.’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the new case involves a man in his 30s from Queens County. He travelled internationally and is an essential worker. However, she said he did not go back to work since returning to the province.

Morrison said she spoke with the man Wednesday morning and he is self-isolating at home and doing well. Close contact tests will be completed Wednesday afternoon in relation to the newest case.

“We also received an additional 92 negative test results since yesterday, and P.E.I. has done more than 2,000 tests,” said Morrison.

All cases on the island have been connected to travel. Eighteen of the cases are located in Queens County, with the other eight in Prince County. No cases have been identified in Kings County.

The individuals with positive cases on the island range in age from 20 to 79. Out of the 26 cases, 11 are women, and 15 are men.  Twenty-three of the 26 cases are considered recovered.

The province says cases are considered recovered if it has been 14 days since symptoms began, and the patient's symptoms have improved significantly and they do not have a fever. If the case was asymptomatic, they use the date of the test to start that 14-day period.

“While I know we’ve been very fortunate to have had so few cases, my concern is that Islanders will become complacent and we can ease up too quickly on the measures we’ve put in place,” said Morrison.

“I do feel we need to stay the course, and this is difficult for everyone, but we should be really proud of what we have accomplished so far. I am proud of Islanders.”

Health P.E.I. continues to offer essential services, however, since they are on their essential services plan, any services that can safely be put on hold will be rescheduled.

“We know this is difficult for everyone. It’s difficult for patients and families who are waiting for important services and we cannot provide those right now,” said Prince Edward Island's Director of Nursing Marion Dowling.

“It’s difficult for the staff and physicians who want to provide those services, however, we are not yet at a point where we can relax our preparedness and increase services.”

Dowling said the island needs to keep current measures in place to limit the virus spread on P.E.I. or risk losing any headway they’ve been able to make.

“I’m also happy to report that yesterday we received 10 ventilators from the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile and this is in addition to our current supply of 19 ventilators that we have on hand, in addition to the other 12 that are on order from our vendor, and the additional order of 15 that we have put through the federal purchase process,” said Dowling.

Dowling said, normally, there would be four to five times the number of ventilators needed for patient care on standby in case of emergency. With these additional ventilators, it provides a significant increase in that capacity.

“But our threshold is low and as the modelling showed yesterday, we are overall a small system that it does not take much to become overwhelmed if we were to have an outbreak on P.E.I.,” said Dowling. 

According to Dowling, the cough and fever clinics and drive-thru clinics continue to operate seven days a week in Summerside and in Charlottetown.

“Yesterday we had 83 patients seen in Charlottetown and 37 at our Summerside clinic,” she said.