PEI

COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Wednesday, March 25

There are two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I., chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced at a news briefing Wednesday evening. That brings the total number of cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. to five. 

2 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. bringing total to 5

Marion Dowling is Health PEI's chief of nursing. (CBC)

There are two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I., chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced at a news briefing Wednesday evening.

That brings the total number of cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. to five. 

Both of the new cases are men in their 30s who have recently returned from international travel. Neither of the men flew into Charlottetown airport. 

Morrison said further details on the flights the men were on will be made available Thursday.

So far, 539 tests have been conducted with five returning positive, 326 negative and 208 still awaiting results.

On Wednesday afternoon, Morrison announced the deployment of an emergency mini-clinic on the Island, ahead of an expected rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Health PEI's chief of nursing Marion Dowling said an order for 12 more ventilators is expected to arrive by late spring. This is in addition to the 15 ordered through the federal government. 

Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital has modified its emergency room to treat COVID-19 patients. A negative-pressure respiratory treatment area, COVID-19 in-patient ward and COVID-19 ICU have been created.

CBC News: Compass, P.E.I.'s supper hour news program, is scheduled to return to CBC-TV Thursday.

P.E.I.'s provincial parks have delayed this year's reservation launch until May 5 in light of the pandemic. Officials said people are free to be in provincial parks, but they must continue to practise social distancing while on trails and beaches. They noted that playgrounds at provincial parks will be closed until further notice.

The City of Charlottetown passed a resolution on Wednesday to open the inside lane of the Victoria Park Roadway to be used as an active transportation lane. 

The move would allow people more room to participate in physical activity outdoors, while practising social distancing. Officials said the roadway will open to pedestrians and cyclists on April 1.

Dr. Heather Morrison warned of an increase in COVID-19 cases soon during her afternoon media briefing Tuesday. (Ken Linton/CBC)
  • A full list of COVID-19 cancellations can be viewed here. You can report closures on our cancellation hotline at 1-877-236-9350.

Recent top stories

​​​Financial relief

  • IRAC suspends rental hearings until April 6 in response to the pandemic.

  • Ottawa has agreed not to claw back money provided under the employment insurance program under these special circumstances, and some Islanders not currently eligible for EI will be able to get it, says Premier Dennis King.

  • The Charlottetown water and sewer utility is offering options for flexible payments to people suffering financial difficulties during the public health emergency.
  • 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. Education Minister 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

  • Blood donation is still needed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Canadian Blood Services' location at 85 Fitzroy St. in Charlottetown has the goal of collecting 32 units a day.

  • A social media researcher is advising parents that with children spending more time online during the pandemic, it's important to talk to them about what they're doing there.

  • 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. 

Education

  • The Island's university and college students are beginning to return to class, but all online.

  • While spending more time at home, Islanders are taking advantage of resources at provincial libraries, again, all online. The physical libraries are closed.

  • Education Minister Brad Trivers announced optional "home-learning resources" will be posted online for students to learn at home after March break is over. Schools are closed. 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 classes have resumed online.

  • UPEI and Holland College have essential personnel only on campus.

  • Child-care centres are also closed.

Travel

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

  • In a previous version of this story, we identified Steven Myers and the minister responsible for the P.E.I. Liquor Control Commission. IN fact, he spoke Tuesday in his capacity as chair of the Government Operations Special Cabinet Committee.
    Mar 25, 2020 11:44 AM AT

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