P.E.I. schools to reopen as province moves out of COVID-19 lockdown

P.E.I. will on Thursday move out of the red-level lockdown that was imposed early this week in response to a COVID-19 outbreak that led to mass testing.

One new case of COVID-19 announced

Extensive testing has given provincial officials confidence to move out of the red phase, says Premier Dennis King. (CBC)

P.E.I. will on Thursday move out of the red-level lockdown that was imposed early this week in response to a COVID-19 outbreak that led to mass testing. 

Premier Dennis King said a record number of tests performed on the Island over the last five days, about 11,000, gave him comfort that the lockdown could end at midnight as scheduled.

Chief Public Health Officer Heather Morrison estimates PEI has tested about 7% of its total population over the past week. 

One new case was announced Wednesday, and one case is now considered recovered, so there are 22 active cases — the most since the pandemic started.

At Wednesday's briefing, Morrison also announced one more site of potential public exposure, at Scotiabank at 274 Water St. in Summerside at the following times:

  •  Feb. 17 and 25  between 2:30 and 4 p.m.
  •  Feb. 18, 22 and 24 between 1:30 and 3 p.m.

A full, searchable list of the potential public sites the province has released since the current outbreak began last week appears here: 

The new case and four cases confirmed Tuesday were all clearly connected to previous cases or related to travel, giving officials confidence that any community spread is under control.

"These are decisions we're comfortable in making because of the information we have gathered through the testing," said King.

"We will continue to monitor things closely."

All Island public schools that closed as part of the lockdown will be open again for classes on Thursday.

King noted that Three Oaks High School in Summerside, which had been used as a pop-up testing site, is receiving a deep cleaning Wednesday.

"COVID remains a bit of a tangled mystery," the premier said. "We need Islanders and encourage Islanders to be extremely vigilant."

P.E.I. has now had a total of 137 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.

More from CBC P.E.I.


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