P.E.I. residents urged to limit close contacts; number of active cases drops to 1
HALIFAX -- P.E.I. reported no new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. One previously reported case is now considered recovered, leaving one active case in the province.
On Monday, P.E.I. reported its first new case of COVID-19 in nearly two weeks, involving a woman in her 40s.
The province said Monday the new case is related to travel outside the Atlantic bubble. The individual is self-isolating and contact tracing is underway.
To date, P.E.I. has had a total of 69 positive COVID-19 cases, all related to travel outside of the Atlantic bubble. Of those, 68 cases are considered resolved, leaving one active case in the province.
As of Tuesday, P.E.I. had received 53,287 negative test results.
ISLANDERS URGED TO LIMIT CLOSE CONTACTS
Despite no new cases, Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says she is still concerned about the possibility of importation of the virus from areas of the region that have seen increases in positive cases in recent days.
"COVID-19 may be around our province, and it is likely that P.E.I. will have cases related to the public exposures and outbreaks currently underway elsewhere in Atlantic Canada," said Morrison during a news update on Tuesday.
Morrison is asking Islanders to limit their number of close contacts, especially around the holidays.
"This year we may have to find ways to reduce the risk of transmission and look at holidays at a different way," she said. "I urge Islanders to not travel off the island this holiday season. Please try to find other ways to connect with family and friends who live away."
Any Islanders who will be travelling outside the region for Christmas must apply for re-entry approval by Dec. 1 and indicate when they are re-entering, so that extra monitoring staff can be hired if necessary.
HALIFAX BAR AND RESTAURANT PATRONS URGED TO GET TESTED
Morrison also asked any Islanders who had been in a restaurant or bar in Nova Scotia's Halifax Regional Municipality after 10 p.m. in the past two weeks to get a COVID-19 test.
Earlier Tuesday morning, Nova Scotia Health asked anyone who works in a licensed establishment or went to a bar or restaurant in the Halifax Regional Municipality after 10 p.m. since Nov. 10 to book a COVID-19 test, even if they don’t have symptoms.
HEALTH-CARE WORKERS WHO TRAVELLED SHOULD MONITOR FOR SYMPTOMS
Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said that any P.E.I. health staff who have travelled outside of the province in the past 14 days should monitor for symptoms.
Dowling said P.E.I. health has compiled a list of staff that have travelled outside the province, and they have been given instructions to closely follow, including using PPE, observing physical distancing standards and monitoring themselves for symptoms.
Dowling also says any staff working at long-term care facilities that has travelled outside of the province in the past 14 days should be self-isolating.
CHARLOTTETOWN ISLANDERS BENCHED
The QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders will be suspending games for the next two weeks, in accordance with the province pulling out of the Atlantic bubble.
“They are not able to isolate upon their return, so playing really is not a possibility for them,” said Morrison during Tuesday's news update.
The Islanders were scheduled to play six games between Nov. 23 and Dec. 7 against Maritime competition, including the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, Cape Breton Eagles, Moncton Wildcats, Saint John Sea Dogs and Halifax Mooseheads.
The team says they will re-evaluate after Dec. 7.
P.E.I. PULLS OUT OF ATLANTIC BUBBLE
Health officials in Prince Edward Island announced Monday that they are popping the Atlantic Bubble as COVID-19 cases rise across the country.
Beginning Tuesday at 12:01 a.m., all non-essential travel to the island will be temporarily suspended for a minimum of two weeks.
“Beginning tomorrow, all people who travel to P.E.I. will be required to self-isolate, or they can apply to work-isolate for 14 days,” said P.E.I. Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Heather Morrison.
“Non-island-residents will be required to apply for pre-travel approval prior to coming to P.E.I., including a 14-day self-isolation plan. People coming to P.E.I. to do essential work will continue to be eligible to work-isolate.”
The province’s premier says the decision was made in the best interest of Islanders in order to keep them safe and healthy.
“I don’t believe this is a step backwards for us even though we know it is a tough measure. I feel it is a proactive measure, I feel it is a preventative step,” said King.
“I’ve said before that COVID-19 is knocking at our door, and in recent days, that knocking has become louder and stronger,” said Morrison.
Morrison said the steps taken by the province on Monday are due to the second wave of COVID-19 that Canada is experiencing.
“New Brunswick has 77 active cases, Nova Scotia has 44 active cases, and Newfoundland and Labrador have 21,” said Morrison. “Not all of these cases are related to travel, meaning there is evidence of community spread.”
Morrison said it is likely the island may see new positive cases related to the exposures and outbreaks happening in other parts of the country.
“So, in other words, I am concerned that it may already be here in some people,” said Morrison. “We need to act fast.”
The province’s top doctor says, although the decision to temporarily pull out of the bubble is not an easy one to make, she hopes it will keep life on the island as normal as possible.
“As I noted last week, Islanders should only leave P.E.I. if it is absolutely necessary, such has for work or medical appointments. Only travel off-island if it is for essential purposes, or work,” said Morrison.
“Now is not the time to travel within Atlantic Canada for non-essential purposes such as shopping, or a non-essential visit with family or friends.”