P.E.I. to require anyone entering island to self-isolate for 14 days
HALIFAX -- Anyone entering Prince Edward Island by car, plane or ferry will be screened and required to self-isolate for 14 days, the province's top doctor announced on Saturday.
P.E.I. chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced enhanced screening measures to battle the spread of COVID-19, at all points of entry for the province, including at the Confederation Bridge, the Charlottetown airport and the ferry dock in Souris.
“Today in addition to anyone who has recently returned from international travel, any Islander who has travelled within Canada is being directed to self isolate for 14 days," said Morrison during Saturday's news conference.
Morrison said there has been discussion on how to enforce self-isolation, but no decision has been made yet.
“What is concerning across the country is that in certain parts we are starting to see community transmission," said Morrison during Saturday's new conference. "We have not seen that in Prince Edward Island yet, but based on what we are seeing across the country we are introducing enhanced screening measures that we think will make a difference in this province.”
Morrison says this screening will include asking people questions about symptoms they may have, and where they have travelled to. If someone exhibits symptoms, officials will collect their contact information and direct them to be tested for COVID-19.
There have been no new cases of COVID-19 confirmed since Thursday, and still two positive cases reported, both travel related. Morrison says more than 300 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, with more test results expected later Saturday.
Morrison also announced Saturday that P.E.I. pharmacies will be limiting refills to 30 days at a time, to ensure fair access to medication. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick pharmacies both enacted this policy earlier in the week.
On Friday, Morrison asked announced any passengers who travelled on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Charlottetown on March 11 are being asked to self-isolate after a Prince Edward Island man who was on the plane tested positive for COVID-19.
The Queens County man, in his 40s, returned to Charlottetown on March 11 on Air Canada Flight 7564 from Toronto to Charlottetown. The flight left Toronto at 9:20 a.m. and arrived in Charlottetown at 12:28 p.m.
The man had been travelling in the United Kingdom before returning to Canada. Morrison says the man self-isolated upon his return to Charlottetown, called 811 and got tested, and is now recovering at home.
Morrison says everyone who travelled on Air Canada Flight 7564 on March 11 should be self-isolating for 14 days until March 25.
The first confirmed test in P.E.I. was a woman in her 50s from the Queens County area who recently returned home after travelling on a cruise ship.
It was later revealed that the woman had travelled from Toronto to Moncton on March 7 on WestJet flight 3440.
“They had mild symptoms on that flight and New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are both making sure that not just those who were in the rows near that person, but everyone on that flight is aware," said Morrison during a news conference earlier this week.
Morrison said three other Islanders who had been on the cruise with the patient are in self-isolation and are reported to be doing well.
WestJet says passengers seated in rows 7 – 11 could especially be at risk, but all passengers who travelled on WestJet Flight 3440 from Toronto to Moncton on March 7 are advised to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.