2 restaurants, gym named as potential COVID-19 exposure sites in Summerside

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison gave more details Friday morning about three places where people in Summerside may have been exposed to COVID-19.

With lineups at Slemon Park, 2 new testing sites added in Summerside and Borden

Drivers seeking COVID-19 tests in faced a long wait in line at the Slemon Park testing centre near Summerside Friday. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison gave more details Friday morning about three places where people in Summerside may have been exposed to COVID-19.

But in contrast to the circuit-break tightening measures imposed after a cluster of cases in Charlottetown in December, Morrison did not announce any new public health restrictions in relation to the five new cases and four public exposure sites this week.

Morrison's office confirmed Thursday that there were three new cases in the Summerside area, all men in their 20s with no known recent history of travel outside Prince Edward Island.

On Friday she said people who were at the Iron Haven Gym at the County Fair Mall in Summerside during the following times are considered close contacts of one of the cases. They must self-isolate immediately and get tested as soon as possible.

  • 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 20.
  • 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

People who were at the gym during these times are also being asked to contact public health.

Morrison said it has been hard to contact some of the people who were using the gym on those two days because phone numbers attached to their names were inactive when tracers tried them.

This Domino's Pizza location in Summerside is one of three sites where members of the public may have been exposed to the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in the past week. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Two Summerside restaurants, the Breakfast Spot and Domino's Pizza, were also identified as places of potential exposure.

In the case of the restaurants, diners are not being considered close contacts, but these people should get tested as soon as possible and be vigilant in watching for any symptoms.

Breakfast Spot potential exposure time:

  • Saturday, Feb. 20, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Domino's Pizza potential exposure times:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 19, 11 a.m.-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 21, 4 p.m.-1 a.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Anyone living in Summerside who is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 is being urged to get tested and self-isolate until results come back.

Close contacts must stay in self-isolation regardless of any negative test results, Morrison stressed.

She added that it is difficult for people to hear they have come in close contact with a COVID-19 case.

If you know someone who is self-isolating please reach out, from a distance, to offer support.- Dr. Heather Morrison

"It impacts businesses, it impacts families, people's income, and day-to-day life," she said.

"If you know someone who is self-isolating please reach out, from a distance, to offer support."

Morrison said that given what is happening in neighbouring Atlantic provinces, this new cluster is not unexpected, but its origin is a concern.

"At this point, these cases have not been linked to travel," she said. "We know there must be a travel link in some way related to these cases, but we do not know the source."

New testing sites, hours added

As well as contact tracing, Morrison said another big focus is testing people in the Summerside area. The testing clinic in Slemon Park, just outside Summerside, opened at 8 a.m. Friday, and there was a long lineup of vehicles already at opening time.

Dr. Heather Morrison says members of the public may have been exposed to COVID-19 at a Summerside gym and two Summerside restaurants. (CBC)

It will stay open until 8 p.m. and Morrison said hours for the weekend are still being finalized. An announcement on those hours will come later Friday.

The testing centre in O'Leary is also open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday for people who have COVID-19 symptoms.

At midday Friday, the province said two new testing sites were being added because of long lineups at Slemon Park. They are: 

  • Harbourside Health Centre at 243 Heather Moyse Drive in Summerside, open from 2 to 8 p.m.  
  • Borden Testing Site at 20 Dickie Road in Borden-Carleton, open from noon to 8 p.m. 

Two charges laid in separate case

On another note, Morrison said one of two women diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier in the week is being charged with two infractions of the Public Health Act in relation to a public exposure at Toys R Us in Charlottetown. 

Both women had travelled within Atlantic Canada, and those doing so are supposed to be self-isolating upon their return. 

Morrison said contact tracing has been completed in connection with the two women, and all tests conducted so far have been negative. Their close contacts will remain in self-isolation and will be retested in few days, she added.

Five new cases of COVID-19 have been reported on P.E.I. this week, bringing the current total of active cases to six. In total,  the province has seen 120 cases since the pandemic began, but no hospitalizations or deaths.

Reminder about symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • New or worsening fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose.

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