PEI

More preventative measures put in place as P.E.I. prepares for COVID-19

Preventative measures are being stepped up across P.E.I. as concerns over COVID-19 have businesses and municipalities taking extra precautions.

On Thursday, Charlottetown announced extra cleaning would be taking place at all city-owned facilities

Starting this week, Maritime Bus and Atlantic Coach buses are getting extra cleaning each evening. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Preventative measures are being stepped up across P.E.I. as concerns over COVID-19 have businesses and municipalities taking extra precautions.

The city of Charlottetown announced Thursday that additional cleaning will be taking place at all city-owned facilities, including sports centres and arenas. There will also be additional hand sanitizer at entrances.

Scott Adams, Charlottetown's manager of public works, said staff are trained in multiple roles. 

"If we have staff that had to be at home for a time period, we have staff that can step into those roles ... especially on the emergency side," Adams said.

Coach Atlantic, Maritime Bus and T3 Transit are increasing their cleaning schedules as well. Matthew Cassidy, president of Coach Atlantic and Maritime Bus, said they are monitoring the situation closely.

Extra cleaning protocols

Scott Adams, Charlottetown's manager of public works, says they are taking steps to be prepared while updating plans and procedures as more information becomes available. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

This week, they instituted a second disinfecting process on motorcoaches and buses. All common contact surfaces are being cleaned with a disinfectant product recommended on a list from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

"Across our terminal network, with Maritime Bus specifically where the public are coming in and out daily, we've instituted a disinfecting process of all common contact points every 30 minutes," Cassidy said.

They had already developed an internal report on best practices on how to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Matthew Cassidy, president of Coach Atlantic and Maritime Bus, says they are increasing frequency of cleaning on buses and at bus terminals. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

Cassidy said they have seen an increase in chartered bus cancellations.

"The woman's world hockey championship that was going to be in Halifax at the end of the month was the first major cancellation," Cassidy said.

He also said restrictions on school-sanctioned travel put in place by all three Maritime provinces have caused cancellations.

'No Hugs'

Aaron Brown, CEO of Habitat for Humanity P.E.I., says they've put a new policy in place that will increase social distancing. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

For the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Charlottetown, a change had to be made in the way that customers greeted staff.

"We have a lot of regulars, especially in the store, that are friendly with a lot of the staff," said CEO Aaron Brown. "P.E.I. being P.E.I., we're all a close bunch, I guess, but we figure we would cover all of our bases."

They now have a sign posted saying no handshakes and no hugs.

"Elbow bumps, waves, the live long and prosper sign," Brown said. "Any other friendly way of greeting that doesn't involve direct contact."

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.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Be aware of evolving travel advisories to different regions.

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

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Brian Higgins

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