PEI

COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Friday, April 3

Four of P.E.I.'s 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are considered recovered, P.E.I. chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced at the afternoon briefing Friday.

P.E.I. has now seen 22 people test positive for COVID-19

Farmers should be looking for other markets for their potatoes, says Cavendish Farms. (CBC)

Four of P.E.I.'s 22 confirmed cases of COVID-19 are considered recovered, P.E.I. chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced at an afternoon briefing Friday.

She also said P.E.I. is working to double the local testing capabilities on the Island every three to seven days going forward.

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King noted at a 4:30 p.m. briefing Friday that COVID-19 has not only affected the health of Islanders but has also caused economic damage.

Finance Minster Darlene Compton announced a $15 million increase to the emergency contingency fund bringing the total funding to $40 million in anticipation of the increasing needs of Islanders financially affected by COVID-19.

Compton also outlined additional financial measures to help Islanders with property tax relief, including the option to defer property tax payment.  

Property owners will now have the option of deferring all property taxes owing until Dec. 31, 2020.

Dwindling demand for frozen potato products has prompted Cavendish Farms to tell farmers to look elsewhere to sell their potatoes.

The closing of restaurant dining rooms during the COVID-19 pandemic is being blamed for the drop in consumption.

Taxi companies on P.E.I. are also seeing a drop in demand. Some companies report most drivers have decided to stop working.

Transportation Minister Steven Myers announced a new support fund that will try to fill any gaps from other programs. (Shane Hennessey/CBC)

Government also announced in a release that at the request of the Retail Council of Canada, it is allowing retailers to distribute single-use paper bags free of charge to customers if they so choose citing health concerns as the reason.

In a briefing from the province Thursday, Minister of transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Steven Myers announced a $1 million fund that will be available to individuals, businesses and non-profit organizations for do not qualify for any other previously announced provincial or federal support program.

Recent stories

  • A full list of COVID-19 cancellations can be viewed here. You can report closures on our cancellation hotline at 1-877-236-9350.

​​​Financial relief

  • P.E.I. increased the emergency contingency fund from $25 million to $40 million for Island families, workers and businesses struggling financially because of COVID-19.
  • P.E.I. announced a $1 million COVID-19 Special Situation Fund for those who did not qualify for any other provincial or federal support programs.
  • IRAC has suspended rental hearings indefinitely in response to the pandemic.
  • Ottawa has agreed not to claw back money provided under the employment insurance program, and some Islanders not currently eligible for EI will be able to get it, says Premier Dennis King.
  • The Charlottetown water and sewer utility is offering options for flexible payments to people suffering financial difficulties during COVID-19.
  • The province announced $2 million to support early learning centres, staff and parents. The funding will ensure families won't have to pay fees while the centres are closed. The fund is expected to cover the next six weeks, starting March 20. 
  • The province announced $500,000 in relief, including money for United Way, food banks, the Salvation Army and other helping organizations.
  • Innovation PEI is providing self-employed Islanders $500 a week.
  • Small businesses affected are eligible for loans of up to $100,000.
  • Workers who continue to work but on reduced hours due to COVID-19 are eligible for a temporary $200 allowance per week. 
  • The province's largest landlord, the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, suspended evictions for six weeks as of March 17. 
  • Maritime Electric has suspended disconnection for non-payment for two weeks. It began March 17.

Health

  • Health PEI's chief of nursing Marion Dowling who confirmed that the province will be receiving an additional 26 ventilators through the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile.
  • The P.E.I. government says more mental health and addictions services are coming. Mental health and addictions support is moving from in-person to virtual connections.
  • Emergency mini-clinic to monitor coughs and fever, funded by the federal government, have been set up.
  • The P.E.I. government has created an Islanders Helping Islanders volunteer directory on its website for anyone looking for help during the pandemic. 
  • Blood donation is still needed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Blood Services' location at 85 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown has the goal of collecting 32 units a day.
  • P.E.I. has launched an online self-assessment for COVID-19 to alleviate high call volumes to 811.
  • Seniors homes and community care facilities across the province remain closed to outside visitors.
  • All dental clinics on P.E.I. are closed until further notice. Some clinics can manage emergency care, patients must first call to have emergencies evaluated.
  • Health PEI is rescheduling non-essential appointments, and said those affected will be contacted directly.

Education

Travel

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 stories from CBC P.E.I.

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