Student with COVID-19 'doesn't deserve public shaming,' says premier
'Our first response to hearing this should be making sure that he is well and getting better'
The Charlottetown Rural High School student who tested positive for COVID-19 should not be seen simply as P.E.I.'s 72nd case, but rather someone who deserves the province's love and support, P.E.I. Premier Dennis King said Sunday.
"He's a regular teenager who is trying to live a normal life in very abnormal times," King said.
"This is an individual who lives in Prince Edward Island and someone who needs our support, our respect and our love. And in the middle of all [these] crazy times we're living, let's not forget that."
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said she heard the student's name was leaked on social media on the weekend, something she doesn't condone.
She said the Chief Public Health Office does not release names of individuals with any communicable disease, including COVID-19, and there is legislation in place to protect privacy.
'Right to privacy'
"A wonderful part about living on Prince Edward Island is the feeling of closeness, being connected through many social and family ties," she said.
"While this sense of comfort and familiarity makes P.E.I. a very special place, it does not negate our right to privacy, especially when it comes to our personal health information."
Our first response to hearing this should be making sure that he is well and getting better and that he's recovering because that's who we are as Islanders.— Premier Dennis King
King said there is a "certain fear" connected to COVID-19, as well as "a bit of stigmatization."
But he said the teenager did nothing wrong.
"Our first response to hearing this should be making sure that he is well and getting better and that he's recovering because that's who we are as Islanders," King said.
"He doesn't deserve public shaming. He has nothing to be ashamed of. He had symptoms of COVID, he went and got tested. He's isolating. He's working with CPHO to identify his close contacts. He's doing everything he's supposed to be doing."