PEI

No new cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. Sunday; schools to remain open

P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. More than 1,100 tests were conducted in a 24-hour period, a record for P.E.I. since the pandemic began.

'I am reassured that we do not have widespread community transmission in P.E.I.,' Dr. Heather Morrison says

Dr. Heather Morrison says more than 1,100 people on P.E.I. were tested in the past 24 hours. (Ken Linton/CBC)

P.E.I. has no new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, made the announcement Sunday in the second previously unscheduled briefing of the weekend.

On Saturday, two new cases that are unrelated were confirmed.

One is a 15-year-old male student at Charlottetown Rural High School. The other is a male between the ages of 10 and 19 who travelled to P.E.I. from Toronto. He is not a student on P.E.I.

Morrison said the student has no history of travel outside of P.E.I., and health officials are working to identify the source of the infection.

"We have been fortunate with all our previous cases in being able to identify a source or linkage giving us confidence that all our previous cases were related to out-of-province travel," she said.

"Given the amount of testing completed in P.E.I., including 3,000 tests in the past week alone, I am reassured that we do not have widespread community transmission in P.E.I."

School will be cleaned

Charlottetown Rural will be thoroughly cleaned and will remain open Monday, said Norbert Carpenter, acting director of the Public Schools Branch.

Carpenter said the school system is committed to making sure students, staff and parents feel comfortable about going to the school.

P.E.I. has had 72 cases of COVID-19. Four remain active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations.

More than 1,100 people on P.E.I. were tested in the past 24 hours, Morrison said. It's the largest number since the pandemic began about eight months ago.

About 70 close contacts of the positive cases were tested and must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of a negative test result. Many are students who will be set up for online learning during that period.

I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts.— Dr. Heather Morrison

Other "casual" contacts — people who may have been in the proximity of the case — were also tested.

"I want to assure Islanders that our system responded appropriately and efficiently to this case that involved 353 contacts," Morrison said.

"Our system is ready to respond to cases when necessary, and the results of our collective efforts in the last 36 hours is further evidence that we continue to be poised to respond and take the necessary steps to contain the transmission of COVID-19 in our province."

'Privilege we've earned'

Beginning Monday, all high school students in the province will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside school.

Premier Dennis King praised the health-care system and thanked Islanders for their co-operation.

"It's a privilege we've earned because we've followed these protocols," he said.

The other Atlantic provinces announced new cases Sunday: 14 in New Brunswick, 10 in Nova Scotia and four in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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