COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Wednesday, Dec. 23

More Islanders are seeking help from food banks this Christmas, and people on P.E.I. have been getting creative during the pandemic.

The Moderna vaccine has been approved, and pets are more popular than ever

Hockey P.E.I. has faced many challenges in keeping the game on the ice this year. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

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. 

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. 

P.E.I. is offering a new mental health and addictions resource, a website and app called "Bridge the gapp." 

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. 

Monique Gauthier has knit more than 100 hats during the pandemic and the intellectually challenged woman has donated them to babies at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

In the same vein, a P.E.I. man turned his extra time during the pandemic, and a dead tree, into a striking work of art.

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 continuation of home delivery is a good start, but the province also has to look at taxes, says Jeff Squires. (Nicola MacLeod/CBC News)

Here's a look at some of the challenges Hockey P.E.I. has faced running minor hockey through the pandemic.

In the final planned COVID-19 briefing for Prince Edward Island in 2020, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison laid out more details on the Island's vaccination plan, while Chief of Nursing Marion Dowling said walk-in testing clinics will have reduced holiday hours and urged Islanders to check the province's site before heading out for testing. 

Morrison also gave details on increased pandemic enforcement, including 55 random checks on those in self-isolation over the last few days resulting in three people being under investigation, and the inspection of 32 businesses over the weekend bringing to light problems with six of them.

P.E.I. breweries and cideries say the continuation of home delivery beyond the pandemic will make a big difference to their businesses.

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

  • 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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