PEI

New P.E.I. projections show possibility of up to 27 people needing critical care because of COVID-19

New projections show P.E.I. may not be out of the woods yet, with the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and between 11 and 27 people needing critical care.

'We're on the right track, we're doing what we're supposed to do'

New projections released by the province show that P.E.I. could see a second wave of cases. (Shutterstock)

New projections show P.E.I. may not be out of the woods yet, with the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases and between 11 and 27 people needing critical care.

The modelling was updated on the provincial website last Friday and shows two scenarios of how COVID-19 will play out on P.E.I. in terms of hospitalizations.

It shows that under the current restrictions, Islanders are in contact with about 50 per cent of the people they normally are.

Then it gives two sets of data going forward.

The first is if restrictions are eased to increase people's contacts up to 70 per cent, it's possible 11 people could end up in critical care.

Right now, the province has 39 beds available.

In the second scenario, it shows contacts increased to 80 per cent. If that happens, P.E.I. could see a spike in cases, with about 27 people needing critical care because of COVID-19.

System 'able to handle' possible impact

If that happened, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison could bring back some of the restrictions around who Islanders are allowed to see, what they're allowed to do and which businesses can be open. 

"But if we really do our release slowly and gradually, which is what we're doing and we're monitoring it, then our system would be able to handle an impact or a certain number of COVID-19 cases," Morrison said during Wednesday's public health briefing.

"Again just reinforcing that we're on the right track, we're doing what we're supposed to do. Not wanting to just turn on a switch and go back to normal all of a sudden."

Neither model indicates how many cases P.E.I. could see moving forward or how many deaths are possible.

In both scenarios, the number of hospitalizations is within Health PEI's capacity, but some level of restrictions would still be in place next year.   

No hospitalizations, no deaths

The last time the province released its projections, the models showed P.E.I. could see up to 120 hospitalizations and 9 deaths by June 1.

There have been no hospitalizations or deaths from COVID-19 on the Island.

On Wednesday, Morrison clarified the projections are not necessarily a prediction of the future but a possibility of what could happen.

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