PEI

COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Friday, March 27

Morrison recommended that non-essential businesses and government services remain closed indefinitely, and that only essential staff should be on-site.

Schools, daycares to remain closed until at least May 11

The City of Charlottetown has placed a reminder for people to practise social distancing near the Charlottetown Event Ground. (Brian McInnis/CBC)

P.E.I.'s chief public health officer announced two new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 11.

Both cases are Prince County women — one in her 20s, the other in her 50s. They both travelled internationally.

The province has released the list of all impacted travel currently suspected for being at risk for COVID-19. All Island passengers on the flights are being asked to self-isolate following their return. 

Members of cabinet provided an update on financial relief programs rolled out over the past two weeks.

Morrison says Island schools and daycares will remain closed to in-person learning until at least May 11.

She also recommended that non-essential businesses and government services remain closed indefinitely, and that only essential staff should be on-site.

The P.E.I. Department of Health says it's received 41 complaints on its COVID-19 information line related to potential risks at Island businesses — most of those from employees.

The previously announced National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) mini-clinic is set up and near completion. 

In her briefing early Friday afternoon, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said too many people are still travelling in and out of the province and that people should only be travelling out of necessity.

Morrison said the exemptions to this are out-of-province medical appointments, workers in the trade and transportation sector who are essential to the delivery of goods, health care and other essential workers commuting for work, and on compassionate grounds.

P.E.I. chief of mental health and addictions Dr. Heather Keizer spoke with CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin about how her team moved patients to prepare for COVID-19.

The Western Hospital Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) will be temporarily closed from Saturday, March 28 to Thursday, April 2, due to lack of nursing coverage.

Some P.E.I. parents will be going into isolation with their new babies. (Submitted by Heather Elia)

The Indian River Festival, a summer-long music series in East Prince, is cancelled this year. Festival organizers say with the uncertainty of the pandemic and the long lead-times required to organize it it was not possible to proceed.

Meals on Wheels is looking for more volunteer drivers, as it has lost about a quarter of its drivers over COVID-19 concerns.

Health PEI is restricting visitors to maternity wards. Some expecting P.E.I. mothers are saying it could be some time before families get to meet the new arrivals

The UPEI ergonomics lab is offering advice on setting up home offices.

City Cinema, Charlottetown's alternative cinema, is offering streaming access to this month's shows.

Red Shores has temporarily laid off 220 casual, part-time and full-time employees after COVID-19 brought about the closure of the Charlottetown and Summerside locations.

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

Recent top stories

​​​Financial relief

  • IRAC suspended rental hearings until April 6 in response to the pandemic.

  • Ottawa has agreed not to claw back money provided under the employment insurance program under these special circumstances, 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 the public health emergency.
  • The province has announced $2 million to further support early learning centres, staff and parents. Minister of Education Brad Trivers said the funding will ensure that families will not have to pay fees while early learning 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 non-government organizations that help Islanders.
  • Innovation PEI will provide self-employed Islanders $500 a week, and provide loans of up to $100,000 to small business affected by the pandemic.
  • Workers who continue to work but have had their hours cut due to COVID-19 will be eligible for a temporary $200 allowance per week.
  • The province's largest landlord, the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, will suspend evictions for six weeks, as of March 17. 
  • Maritime Electric is suspending disconnection for non-payment for two weeks starting March 17.
  • P.E.I. Education Minister Brad Trivers announced licensed daycare staff will be eligible for employment insurance. Grants and subsidies will continue for licensed daycares. The province will provide emergency child-care services to essential workers who have no other options. 

Health

  • P.E.I. Firefighters Association members are still going on medical calls, but looking at ways to keep firefighters safe.

  • The Western Hospital Collaborative Emergency Centre (CEC) will be temporarily closed from Saturday, March 28 to Thursday, April 2 inclusive, due to lack of nursing coverage.

  • Morrison announced the deployment of an emergency mini-clinic on the Island, ahead of an expected rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

  • The province is closing the addictions transition unit at Mount Herbert in the expectation of more demand for hospital beds.

  • 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.

  • A social media researcher is advising parents that with children spending more time online during the pandemic, it's important to talk to them about what they're doing there.

  • The College of Physicians and Surgeons of P.E.I. is fast-tracking its licensing process in response to COVID-19.

  • P.E.I. has launched an online self-assessment for COVID-19 to alleviate high call volumes to 811.

  • P.E.I. Family Violence Prevention services is concerned social isolation could bring on more domestic violence.

  • Health PEI is restricting all visitors to its facilities except palliative care, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, obstetric and pediatric units. In these units, only one designated visitor is permitted — a member of the patient's immediate family or their care partner within the hospital.

  • Seniors' homes and community care facilities across the province remain closed to outside visitors.

  • The P.E.I. government is publishing the number of positive, negative and pending test results on its website. 

  • 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.

  • Physiotherapy clinics across P.E.I. are closed until further notice, says the physiotherapy association, while chiropractors and optometrists said they are scaling back services.

  • Health PEI is rescheduling non-essential appointments, and said those affected will be contacted directly.

  • People who are ill or showing any symptoms of illness are being asked to call 811 and stay away from any P.E.I. health-care centres, unless they are seeking treatment. 

Education

  • Upon the recommendation of Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I. schools and daycares will remain closed until at least May 11.

  • The Island's university and college students are beginning to return to class, but all online.

  • While spending more time at home, Islanders are taking advantage of resources at provincial libraries, again, all online. The physical libraries are closed.

  • Schools are closed. "Home-learning resources" have been posted online for students to learn at home now that March break is over, and officials are working on curriculum-based resources to roll out online If schools remain closed after April 6.

  • P.E.I. and Canada Student Loan repayments have been suspended for six months. 

  • UPEI and Holland College classes have resumed online.

  • UPEI and Holland College have essential personnel only on campus.

Travel

  • The province has released the list of all impacted travel currently suspected for being at risk for COVID-19. All Island passengers on the flights are being asked to self-isolate following their return. 

  • Any Islanders who have travelled out of province — whether experiencing symptoms or not — are required to self-isolate for 14 days following their return. This applies to people who have travelled internationally since March 8, and anyone who travelled to another province since March 21.

  • Screening checkpoints are set up at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown airport and Souris ferry terminal.

  • Some Islanders abroad are still having trouble finding a way home.

  • The federal government has banned boats and cruise ships carrying more than 500 people from docking at Canadian ports until July.

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 social distancing.

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

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

Corrections

  • In a previous version of this story, we identified Steven Myers and the minister responsible for the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission. IN fact, he spoke Tuesday in his capacity as chair of the Government Operations Special Cabinet Committee.
    Mar 25, 2020 11:44 AM AT

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