PEI

1 new case of COVID-19 confirmed on P.E.I., bringing total to 26

One new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed on P.E.I. bringing the total to 26, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said at Wednesday's afternoon briefing.

The case involves an essential worker who recently returned from international travel

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, gives a COVID-19 update on Wednesday. (Ken Linton/CBC)

One new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed on P.E.I. bringing the total to 26, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said at Wednesday's afternoon briefing.

The new case is a Queens County man in his 30s returning from international travel. He is an essential worker but has not worked since his return to the Island, Morrison said.

Morrison said he returned near the end of March and is not considered "a public-facing" essential worker and is not a health-care worker.

She said 23 of the cases on P.E.I. are considered recovered. There have been no hospitalizations.

False-negative rate

Morrison said there's an ongoing discussion about the idea of testing asymptomatic health-care workers, long-term care facility workers and people who have been in contact with a case.

Officials, she said, plan to meet later Wednesday to further explore testing.

One factor that needs to be considered, Morrison said, is the high false-negative rate of the tests.

While this is not the finish line, it means we're on the right track.— Dr. Heather Morrison

Because of this, she said testing everyone, including those without symptoms, could lead to people thinking they aren't infected when they are. 

"The issue with testing is, if you're testing people who do not have symptoms, the test has a false-negative rate meaning that it's not as sensitive if people do not have symptoms," she said. 

"They may think they can walk around, thinking they have a negative test, which is not the case and they may develop symptoms." 

By the numbers

The province has conducted more than 2,000 tests so far, with 92 more negative test results returned.

If Islanders continue to adhere to public health advice, Morrison said the province gets closer to arriving at a place where easing restrictions is a feasible option.

"While this is not the finish line, it means we're on the right track," Morrison said.

It does not take much for us to become overwhelmed if we were to have an outbreak on P.E.I.— Marion Dowling, Health PEI chief of nursing

Across the globe, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen to about two million, with 128,000 deaths, Morrison said. 

In Canada, she said the number of cases has reached 27,000, with a total of 903 deaths. 

Canada's COVID-19 fatality rate is at 3.1 per cent, with five per cent of cases across the country occurring in people younger than 19. 

Ventilators 

Health PEI's chief of nursing Marion Dowling said the Island's health-care system is not yet at a point where it can begin to relax restrictions. 

Health PEI's Marion Dowling spoke to the health-care system's preparedness in response to COVID-19 at an afternoon briefing Wednesday. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Dowling said the province received an additional 10 ventilators on Tuesday from the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile, which brings the Island's current total to 29. 

The new ventilators significantly increase the Island's capacity to respond to COVID-19, she said.

"It does not take much for us to become overwhelmed if we were to have an outbreak on P.E.I.," she said.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 news from CBC P.E.I.

About the Author

Sam Juric

Reporter

Sam Juric is a digital reporter with CBC Sudbury and can be reached at samantha.juric@cbc.ca.

With files from Malcolm Campbell

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