COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Friday, July 10

Health PEI says all staff who come in contact with patients and who aren't able to physically distance must now wear masks, and nurses are feeling the strain of understaffing during the pandemic.

Making masks mandatory for Health PEI front-line staff will mean use of about 100,000 masks per week

Politicians physically distanced at the announcement Friday afternoon of a new facility to replace the aging North Star Arena, in the background. (Travis Kingdon/CBC)

Health PEI told employees in an email earlier this week that all staff who come in contact with patients and who aren't able to physically distance must now wear medical masks. Officials say the province has enough masks to last eight or nine weeks, if staff use an estimated 100,000 masks per week.

Also on Friday, the government announced details on the reopening of a testing site for truckers and other essential workers in Borden-Carleton. It'll open at noon on Monday, July 13 and will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

Education Minister Brad Trivers gave more details to CBC News on how schools will operate in the fall — students will not be required to physically distance in classrooms or on buses, he said, but may have to wear face masks in hallways.

Trivers was also part of an announcement Friday afternoon that federal, provincial and municipal governments will spend about $10 million for a new sports and community complex to replace the aging North Star Arena in North Rustico. The governments say this is the first of several announcements on the way to create jobs and boost the economy in the wake the COVID-19.

The unemployment rate for P.E.I. climbed to 15.2 per cent from 13.9 per cent in May, and more women were unemployed than men, according to Statistics Canada. 

The Education Department is considering adding mobile classrooms at some schools including Montague Consolidated and Eliot River Elementary, since the schools need extra room for spacing due to COVID-19 restrictions. (John Robertson/CBC)

Nurses on P.E.I. said they are are starting to feel the pressure of there not being enough of them to go around, says the president of the P.E.I. Nurses' Union.

The P.E.I. Humane Society says dog bites are on the rise this year, and believe it's likely linked to more people staying at home because of the pandemic. 

If you're having trouble getting a face mask following the Chief Public Health Office's strengthened recommendation for them, the Rotary Club gave some away free Friday.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison gave an unscheduled briefing Thursday at noon to announce P.E.I. has one more case of COVID-19, a young man who was a close contact of someone from an existing cluster, bringing the active number of cases on P.E.I. to six.

P.E.I. has had a total of 33 COVID-19 cases, with 27 considered recovered.

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Further resources

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


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