Another case of COVID-19 detected on P.E.I., bringing total to 6

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says the Island has one more case of COVID-19 in a young man who was a close contact of someone from an existing cluster, bringing the active number of cases on P.E.I. to six.

The latest case is a close contact of people in a weekend cluster of 5

There are now six active cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says Prince Edward Island now has one more case of COVID-19, a young man who was a close contact of someone from an existing cluster, bringing the active number of cases on P.E.I. to six.

Morrison made the comments during an unscheduled update on the province's COVID-19 situation at noon Thursday.

The man, in his 20s, is at home with mild symptoms, she said. He had originally tested negative and was self-isolating.

"He developed symptoms yesterday and was retested and the positive result came in last evening," Morrison said.

"It is a close contact, so not other community spread. And a close contact could include a partner, roommate or close friend. It's also why we continue with self-isolation for 14 days as a close contact, even if the initial test is negative."

Morrison said the young man was a close contact of someone in the existing cluster of cases that emerged last weekend, after an Island man travelled to Nova Scotia and had contact with a friend who had arrived in Halifax via Toronto on a flight from the United States.

Morrison emphasized the latest confirmed case is not related to either seasonal residents or the Atlantic travel bubble that began last Friday.

Public will be told results

Meanwhile, officials started retesting Whisperwood Villa residents and staff Wednesday, after a worker started experiencing symptoms and later tested positive for COVID-19.  

Officials confer outside Whisperwood Villa in Charlottetown as residents and staff are tested during an outbreak of COVID-19 connected to the facility. This photo was taken July 6. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Initial results from the Charlottetown long-term care home were negative. Morrison said Thursday that retesting continues and will wrap up Friday, and added a public statement will be issued when results come in.

The Whisperwood worker who fell ill was one of 5 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed on the Island over the July 4-5 weekend. 

She was a close contact of one of the Islanders who had travelled to Nova Scotia.

"We know that COVID-19 is most easily transmitted by using the three C's: close contact for a continuous period, usually at least 15 minutes, in a closed environment," Morrison said. 

"I ask Islanders and visitors to keep the 3 C's in mind and keep their circle of contacts small. Wearing a mask indoors in situations where social or physical distancing cannot be maintained is strongly recommended," she said. 

Officials are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the 20-39 age group and learning young people are susceptible to the virus.

"Age does not protect anyone from getting COVID-19," Morrison reminded.

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