PEI

1 new case of COVID-19 on P.E.I., unrelated to recent clusters

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on the Island Tuesday, but it is not related to two clusters of cases announced in the last week.

Patient is an essential worker who travelled internationally recently

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced one new case Tuesday. (CBC)

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on the Island Tuesday, but said it is not related to two clusters of cases announced in the past 10 days.

The new case is a man in his 30s, an essential worker not in the health-care field who had recently travelled internationally. He has been in self-isolation since arriving on the Island, and Morrison said his symptoms were mild.

Morrison added that no new cases have been reported in connection with a sick medical worker at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital's emergency department.

On the weekend, a Queens County woman in her 80s was confirmed to be suffering from COVID-19. On Monday, Morrison said she had been in contact with the health-care worker, who had flown to Charlottetown from Toronto on WestJet Flight 654 on July 2.

He initially tested negative for COVID-19 after arriving on P.E.I., and went to work at the hospital as scheduled. He was retested after the Queens County woman tested positive for the coronavirus.

As is the protocol for essential medical workers, Morrison said, the man was self-isolating when not at work, and wearing PPE while working.

The case is also unrelated to a cluster of cases connected to a man who tried to travel to P.E.I. from the United States via Halifax in early July. A friend who met him in Nova Scotia contracted the disease, and four of his contacts also tested positive.

One was a worker at Whisperwood Villa, but no other staff and no residents of the Charlottetown long-term care home have tested positive.

Contact tracing underway at QEH

Contact tracing and testing for hundreds of hospital staff and patients connected to the medical worker began Sunday. At Tuesday's briefing, Morrison said the province had conducted 506 tests for COVID-19 on Monday and all came back negative.

This means a majority of patients and staff involved in the situation at the QEH have been tested and are negative.

It will only be after all the negative tests come in from everyone that we can start to breathe a collective, complete sigh of relief.- Dr. Heather Morrison

"We all were anxious about the situation at the hospital yesterday," said Morrison.

"It will only be after all the negative tests come in from everyone that we can start to breathe a collective, complete sigh of relief."

All patients and staff in contact with the health-care worker between July 4 and 10 had already been reached, Morrison said. Some patients who were in contact with the health-care worker on July 11 were still in the process of being contacted.

That day, July 11, was the last day he worked at the hospital before testing positive.

Morrison said the rules for essential workers arriving in the province are a balance of safety and trying to make sure that the health system is functioning. Health-care workers arriving from outside the province are part of keeping the hospital open.

But Morrison said there will be changes in testing protocols for these workers. They will be tested on arrival, and then two more times three and seven days after arriving, if they have come from outside Atlantic Canada.

Warning regarding WestJet flight

The provincial government sent out a tweet Tuesday asking that anyone on the July 2 WestJet Flight 654 who is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 call 811 to arrange to be tested.  

The three most recent cases are among nine currently active cases on the Island. 

All of the people involved are recovering at home. 

Prince Edward Island has reported 36 cases but no deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

More from CBC P.E.I.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story misidentified a health-care worker diagnosed with COVID-19 as a doctor. In fact, the person's position is unknown.
    Jul 14, 2020 1:31 PM AT

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