PEI

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

Prince Edward Island has its second case of COVID-19, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced Thursday.

2nd case of COVID-19 on P.E.I. is confirmed

Under the state of public health emergency, Islanders are being asked to work from home and stay at home whenever possible. (Julien Lecacheur/CBC)

Prince Edward Island has its second case of COVID-19, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced Thursday.

He is a Queens County man in his 40s, recently returned from the United Kingdom who self-isolated upon returning home and then tested positive for the disease. Morrison spoke with the man Wednesday evening.

Morrison said, "if there is any need for the public to become concerned at all," more information about the second case's travel, such as the flight he took to return home, will be shared with the public. 

The first case, announced Saturday, was a Queens County woman in her 50s who had returned from a cruise. 

P.E.I.'s tourism industry is worried about the coming season, with the Tourism Industry Association of P.E.I. expecting the season to be both shorter and quieter.

A Facebook group, Caremongering P.E.I., has come together quickly to share ways people are offering to help during the crisis, services that are available, and even just some good news.

Morrison has asked all non-essential businesses to close.

Air Canada is shutting down some services out of the Charlottetown Airport, cancelling flights to Toronto for April. Flights to Halifax, Montreal and Ottawa will continue. 

Liquor and cannabis stores have closed, and alternate ways to get Islanders those products are being discussed.

Essential businesses being asked to stay open are grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, gas stations and auto repair shops. Takeout and delivery at restaurants is permitted to continue.

Health PEI has further restricted visitors at all of its facilities, not just seniors' homes.

The City of Charlottetown has extended all tender deadlines by two weeks, it said in a news release Thursday. 

Under the state of public health emergency, Islanders are being asked to work from home and stay at home whenever possible. 

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

Today's top stories

Financial relief

  • 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

  • On Thursday evening P.E.I. launched an online self assessment for COVID-19 to alleviate high call volumes to 811
  • Health PEI said Wednesday 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. 
  • Western Hospital emergency is closed until March 20 because of a lack of nurse coverage.
  • 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

  • UPEI and Holland College are moving to 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.
  • Sunday evening, Morrison and Education Minister Brad Trivers announced the closures of child-care centres and schools in response to COVID-19.

Travel

  • Saturday, Canadians abroad were advised to return home as soon as possible while commercial flights remain available. Some Islanders in Europe have already had their flights cancelled, and are having trouble rebooking.
  • P.E.I. recommended Islanders cancel all non-essential travel outside Canada.
  • Any Islanders who have travelled outside Canada — whether experiencing symptoms or not — are recommended to self-isolate for 14 days following their return if they travelled after March 8.
  • 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.

Corrections

  • A previous version of this story said funerals and wakes would be allowed with fewer than 20 people. In fact, funerals have to be postponed or delayed and wakes are allowed with fewer than 20 people.
    Mar 19, 2020 1:24 PM AT

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