COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Christmas Eve

A news release from the Chief Public Health Office says people who travelled to Charlottetown this week on a trio of different Air Canada flights should monitor themselves for symptoms after 3 new COVID-19 cases were confirmed.

3 new travel-related cases have been confirmed on P.E.I., and Santa's approved for entry

Santa Claus comes to town tonight, after answering a COVID-19 screening questionnaire and receiving his final approval for travel to the Island. (Submitted by Donna Lewis)

The Island has three new cases of COVID-19, all related to travel outside the Atlantic region and all in people who have been self-isolating, says the province's Chief Public Health Office. Passengers on three Air Canada flights are being advised to monitor themselves for symptoms and report for a test if any appear. 

Premier Dennis King made it official early Thursday morning: Santa Claus is free of COVID-19 and has his final approval to visit P.E.I. tonight. 

A Summerside couple is brightening up the darker-than-usual holiday season for the seniors across the street through a Christmas light display that's been supplemented by donors.

Prince Edward Island Lt.-Gov. Antoinette Perry is home in Tignish for Christmas and will play the pipe organ at Christmas Eve mass as she has done for decades.

The Summerside Christmas display includes a rooftop Santa, toy soldiers and a "Merry Christmas" sign. (Travis Kingdon/CBC News)

After being put on hold due to the pandemic, the former Smith Lodge building in downtown Charlottetown is finally set to open its transitional housing beds

An Island teacher reflects upon the 'enormous responsibility' of keeping students safe during the pandemic. 

So long, 2020: Charlottetown's iconic waterfront sign welcomes the new year. 

In her last interview with CBC P.E.I. before the holidays and the end of 2020, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison reflected on the tough past year, and looked ahead to some possible changes to pandemic protocols in the new year. 

As Charlottetown's sign comes down, Islanders remember 2020 as a year hijacked by COVID-19. (Danny Arsenault/CBC)

The Cornwall Lions Club handed out twice as many Christmas hampers this year as last year, and that need is being seen elsewhere on P.E.I. too as the pandemic continues to affect Islanders' bottom lines. 

Health Canada has approved the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, and doses should arrive in Canada by the end of this year. 

The popularity of pets has soared during the pandemic, and some Islanders looking for a pet from the P.E.I. Humane Society say they're frustrated at the lightning-fast adoptions — they aren't even seeing notices of new pets online before they are taken down. 

Many older adults have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic in ways from which they may not be able to recover, says a P.E.I. geriatrician.

The Island has had 91 positive cases, with seven still active. There have been no deaths or hospitalizations in the province.

Also in the news

  • A P.E.I. woman tackled pandemic boredom by making more than 100 tiny hats for newborns.
  • CBC P.E.I. launched the first in a series of stories with Islanders who've made a difference in the lives of others during the pandemic, starting with the CEO of P.E.I. Seniors Homes, Jason Lee, who said that at one point he slept in his barn for fear of spreading the virus to his family. 
  • It won't be the Christmas they hoped for, but residents of long-term care homes on P.E.I. are pleased that visitor restrictions have been lifted somewhat in time for Christmas.
  • The province is offering cash to community halls to help them get through COVID-19 in the New Year.
  • P.E.I.'s COVID-19 vaccination clinic is going smoothly, vaccinating 250 to 300 people a day, said Karen Ellis, the program lead for public health nursing on P.E.I., in an interview with CBC News: Compass
  • Organizers with the volunteer group Santa's Angels say demand for Christmas-morning visits from Santa, complete with presents and food, is up again this year on Prince Edward Island.
  • Afraid of needles, including the COVID-19 vaccine? It's more common than people think, says clinical psychologist Katie Birnie, who offered suggestions for coping with needle fear.

Further resources

  • Here is information for living with the COVID-19 pandemic on P.E.I. — including information on government relief programs, physical distancing measures and essential health services.
  • Here is a look at how coronavirus is spreading across Canada.

Reminder about symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • New or worsening fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose.

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