P.E.I.'s Chief Public Health Officer urges Islanders not to travel for holidays

Dr. Heather Morrison says there are no new COVID-19 cases to report in P.E.I. today, and the number of active cases has fallen to just one.

Night patrons at licensed establishments in Halifax in the past 2 weeks told to get tested

There were no new COVID-19 cases to announce on Prince Edward Island at the weekly briefing, today involving Dr. Heather Morrison and Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling. (Ken Linton/CBC)

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is urging Islanders not to travel during the upcoming Christmas holidays. 

During her weekly COVID-19 update Tuesday, Morrison also asked Islanders to limit their number of close contacts as new cases of COVID-19 climb across Canada. 

She said while there are no new cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. to report at the moment and the number of active cases has fallen to just one, it is likely the Island will have cases related to public exposure in Atlantic Canada as the days go on.

For now, Morrison is advising people to travel off the Island only for essential purposes. Those reasons include:

  • Medical and dental appointments off the Island
  • Court dates
  • Specialized animal care
  • Delivery of goods
  • Child custody arrangements
  • Compassionate visitation

Those who must travel to P.E.I. for work do not need to apply for pre-travel approval, said Morrison, adding that they will be automatically eligible to work-isolate. 

Picking up off-Island students

Families of students attending university elsewhere in Atlantic Canada can still go pick them up without having to isolate on return as long as it's a short trip, Morrison said.

She said everyone in the car must be masked and the driver should not stop for meals or gas while away from the Island. Upon returning home, the students will still need to isolate for 14 days. Parents and other family members should follow all health measures carefully. 

She said more information will be provided online about how to do this safely.

Testing advised for patrons of N.S. bars

Morrison is also recommending testing for anyone who has been to a licensed bar or restaurant in Halifax after 10 p.m. in the last two weeks — even if they don't have symptoms.

Health PEI Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling was also at the briefing. She said a list has been compiled of staff who have travelled outside of the province within the past 14 days. 

Dowling said they have been given instructions to closely follow, including using PPE, observing physical distancing standards and monitoring themselves for symptoms.

Those scheduled for non-urgent procedures but have travelled outside P.E.I. within the last seven days will also be called to discuss and possibly postpone the procedures for now, she said. 

Sign language interpreter present

Of special note for Islanders who are deaf or hard of hearing, a sign language interpreter was at this week's briefing for the first time. She was visible for those monitoring the government's stream of the event. 

For the first time, a sign language interpreter was also helping those hard of hearing during the COVID-19 update. (PEI government livestream image)

During an unscheduled COVID-19 briefing Monday, Premier Dennis King announced that P.E.I. is leaving the Atlantic bubble for at least two weeks because of an upsurge in cases diagnosed in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 

There is one active COVID-19 cases on P.E.I. The province has seen a total of 69 cases, with no deaths and no hospitalizations.

More from CBC P.E.I.


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