PEI

COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Sunday, March 22

The P.E.I. government has scheduled a news conference for 5 p.m. Sunday with chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

The P.E.I. government has called a 5 p.m. news conference with the chief public health officer

A message on the marquee at the MacKenzie Theatre in Charlottetown captures the sentiment of many on P.E.I. (John Robertson/CBC)

A third case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in P.E.I., Dr. Heather Morrison said in a news briefing Sunday evening. 

Morrison said the case is a Queens County woman in her 20s who returned from Spain.

On March 16, the woman flew from Toronto to Moncton on WestJet 3456, departing Toronto at 8:35 a.m. and arriving in Moncton at 12:05 p.m. All passengers on that flight are being asked to self-isolate.

There was originally no scheduled news briefing for Morrison on Sunday, but she said she did not want to wait until Monday to share the information of the third case with Islanders.

In her daily briefing on Saturday, Morrison announced that new COVID-19 screening measures will be put in place at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown Airport and Souris ferry terminal.

She also said anyone entering P.E.I. as of March 21 from anywhere in the world, including other parts of Canada, should self-isolate for 14 days. Exceptions will be made for individuals who are considered essential workers.

She said using law enforcement to implement the new measures has been discussed.

The City of Charlottetown closed playgrounds Friday, and the Public Schools Branch followed suit Monday. (John Robertson/CBC)

On Friday, she asked passengers on a flight from Toronto to Charlottetown on March 11 to self-isolate until March 25. P.E.I.'s second confirmed case of COVID-19 was on Air Canada flight 7564, which left Toronto at 9:20 a.m.

Morrison also clarified that children are required to socially distance as well. She said it is important for children to get outside, but warned to stay away from sports such as basketball, where items are touched by everyone. Morrison suggested ball hockey instead. Charlottetown closed its playgrounds Friday.

Schools, daycares and many businesses and services remain closed. Grocery stores are open, but on reduced hours. The P.E.I. Humane Society is closed to the public, but still accepting donations and processing adoptions.

Island Waste Management is moving to essential services: household pickup of compost, waste and recyclables, and disposal facilities open to businesses and institutions only, and only for compost and waste.

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

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  • Dr. Heather Morrison confirmed a third case of COVID-19 in P.E.I. in a news briefing Sunday evening. Morrison said the case is a Queens County woman in her 20s who returned from Spain.

  • Blood donation is still needed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Peter MacDonald, head of donor relations for the Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada, says their location at 85 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown has the goal of collecting 32 units of donated blood each day.

  • Enhanced screening measures, including checkpoints at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown Airport and Souris ferry terminal will soon be put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, P.E.I. chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced Saturday.

  • A P.E.I. woman who lives with cystic fibrosis is hoping Islanders will heed Morrison's warnings and recommendations. Karen Adams of Alberton, P.E.I. says a common cold is enough to send her to hospital, and is worried about what COVID-19 could do. 

  • The P.E.I. Humane Society, though closed to the public, is still accepting donations and processing adoptions. The dog park remains open.

​​​Financial relief

  • 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 required to be closed. The fund is expected to cover the next six weeks. 
  • 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. 
  • Maritime Electric is suspending disconnection for non-payment for two weeks.
  • P.E.I.'s Minister of Education 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

  • 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 said it will restrict 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. will close until further notice, the physiotherapy association announced Wednesday, 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. 

Schools, colleges and university

  • Education Minister Brad Trivers announced optional "home-learning resources" will be posted online for students to learn at home after March break is over. 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 have essential personnel only on campus.

  • UPEI and Holland College have suspended in-person classes for the remainder of the semester. Holland College revised the date online learning will be available to students to Wednesday, March 25.

  • The government has closed P.E.I. schools until at least April 6, but online learning could begin as soon as March 23.

  • Child-care centres are also closed.

Travel

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

  • P.E.I. recommended Islanders cancel all non-essential travel outside Canada.

  • Any Islanders who have travelled inside or outside Canada — whether experiencing symptoms or not — are recommended to self-isolate for 14 days following their return if they travelled after March 8. Screening checkpoints will be set up at the Confederation Bridge, Charlottetown airport and Souris ferry terminal.

The federal government announced last week there will be a ban on 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.

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

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