COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Tuesday, March 23

Prince Edward Island has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row, and Dr. Heather Morrison speculates on what this tourism season could look like.

Two more cases, and more groups poised to qualify for vaccine appointments

With spring temperatures, discarded masks are emerging from melting snow and ice. (Julie Clow/CBC)

Dr. Heather Morrison says 39 children are among 54 Islanders isolating as close contacts of a cluster of COVID-19 cases first reported on Friday. P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer gave out those numbers as she confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 during her regular weekly briefing Tuesday. 

Morrison and Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling also gave more details of who's next in line for vaccines. Beginning Thursday, people 60-69 with certain specific serious underlying health conditions and their primary caregivers can book a vaccine appointment, along with people 18-29 who cannot work from home and have jobs in which they must interact with the public.

What will the summer tourist season look like? More Atlantic than usual, Morrison said at her weekly briefing. 

Speaking of tourism, Prince Edward Island hotels that were open last week experienced a nice bump from March break staycationers, says the president of the Hotel Association of P.E.I. 

The only traffic on the Confederation Bridge these days is essential workers such as trucks carrying supplies to and from P.E.I. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

The P.E.I. government says the number of businesses and not-for-profits that applied to be part of the province's Jobs for Youth wage subsidy program in 2020 was double that of previous years

The Charlottetown Islanders are on a 12-game winning streak, and are currently the top team in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. However due to pandemic restrictions, for most of the season they have played only two teams, Halifax and Cape Breton. 

P.E.I. has had 152 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, with no deaths or hospitalizations. There are still eight active cases, after Tuesday's two new cases and two additional recoveries.

Nova Scotia reported one new case Tuesday, and gave details of who will receive COVID-19 vaccinations next in that province.

Newfoundland and Labrador reported no new cases for the fifth day in a row on Tuesday. 

New Brunswick has seven new cases Tuesday, for a total of 56 active. 

Also in the news

  • Police in Charlottetown released details of another $1,000 fine for hosting a large gathering, which they called "disappointing."
  • In an opinion column, clinical psychiatrist Dr. Heather Keizer offers suggestions to build resilience during the pandemic and beyond.
  • The four Atlantic premiers announced last week they plan to reopen their provincial borders for freer travel by residents of the region by April 19, barring any further serious outbreaks of COVID-19.

These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine

  • People over 75.
  • People 70 to 74, with birthdays from January to April.
  • People 18 to 29 in food and beverage service, food delivery, convenience store and gas station attendants and grocery store clerks.
  • Firefighters, police officers, power-line workers.
  • Residents and staff of long-term care homes.
  • Adults living in Indigenous communities.
  • Residents and staff of shared living facilities.
  • Truck drivers and other rotational workers.

Further resources

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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