P.E.I. reports two new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, lays out reopening plan
HALIFAX -- Prince Edward Island is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, as it lays out plans to reopen its borders.
According to Dr. Heather Morrison, the province's chief public health officer, the two new cases involve a person in their 20s and another in their 40s, who both recently travelled outside of Atlantic Canada. The cases are not linked and both individuals are self-isolating as required.
In connection with Tuesday’s cases, P.E.I. has issued an exposure warning for flight AC 8012 from Montreal to Charlottetown on May 15.
P.E.I. currently has 10 active cases of COVID-19.
Three of the active cases on P.E.I. are connected to the Charlottetown daycare centre.
The province has had a total of 194 positive cases of the novel coronavirus since the pandemic began.
REUNIFICATION AND OPENING TO CANADIAN SEASONAL RESIDENTS
Premier Dennis King said Tuesday that beginning June 8, the province will start processing application for entry of family connections and reunification, as well as Canadian seasonal residents of P.E.I.
Similar to last year, the entries into the province will be staggered. P.E.I. is accepting up to 500 households a week.
Applicants will be required to submit pre-approved travel plans and must isolate for 14-days.
Individuals will also need proof of a negative test and will be tested again upon arrival. The rules are the same, even if individuals are fully vaccinated.
The province is also stepping up its enforcement and will conduct random isolation checks.
Morrison says so far, 172 people have been charged, and eight pending, for violating public health orders. The charges are largely related to not self-isolating.
King says outbreaks in other areas have caused a delay in the Atlantic Bubble but he's optimistic it could reopen by July 1.
"The Atlantic Bubble will open as soon as it's safe to do so, and I'm hopeful that will happen before Canada Day," he said during Tuesday's COVID-19 news conference.
"Although as of today, we have no firm date as to the opening of the Atlantic Bubble."
Following Health Canada's approval of Pfizer for youth aged 12 to 15, P.E.I. will begin vaccinating the age group with the first dose in June.
"Public health nursing staff have been working on plans to administer vaccine to junior high students' grades seven to nine, and they're working with the education system to coordinate consent forms and schedule school visits," says Morrison.
As of Tuesday, P.E.I. has administered 73,978 doses of vaccine, including 11,765 second doses.
Morrison says the province decided on May 11 it would pause giving AstraZeneca as the first dose. All participating pharmacies have been advised to switch any AstraZeneca appointments to Pfizer or Moderna
It will keep some AstraZeneca on hand in the event someone cannot receive the other vaccines due to a medical condition.
Over 44.2 per cent of the population aged 12 and older have received one dose of vaccine and 8.4 per cent have been given two doses.
By June 8, King says 90,000 Islanders will have had one dose of the vaccine.
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.