P.E.I. lifts some public health measures 'effective immediately'
New cases down across Canada
With the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic apparently on the wane in Canada, P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced the easing of some pandemic restrictions at a briefing Tuesday.
"We are able to start easing some of the public health measures, effective immediately," said Morrison.
"I'd say P.E.I. is heading in the right direction. We are moving toward the light at the end of the tunnel."
Personal gathering limits are raised to 50 up from 20, and cohorts are no longer required at Vax Pass events.
Morrison provided a long list of signs that the most dangerous part of the fourth wave is over for P.E.I.
That included the declining number of active cases in P.E.I., the region, and the country. The number of new cases was down 15 per cent in Canada last week, and the number of hospitalizations down 11 per cent, she said.
Expanded eligibility for 3rd doses
Following new recommendations from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization released Friday, P.E.I. is expanding the number of people who are eligible for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Islanders who are immunocompromised or residents of long-term care facilities already getting these shots. Morrison said all eligible long-term care residents will receive these doses by Nov. 5.
The new groups added to those eligible are:
- Adults aged 70 and over.
- Adults from Indigenous communities.
- Residents of long-term care and community care facilities who received their second dose at least six months ago.
- Individuals who are moderately to severely immunocompromised
- Individuals who received two doses of AstraZeneca or one dose of Jansen.
- Health care workers who provide direct patient care, received first two doses with an interval 28 days or less, and who received their last dose more than six months ago.
Appointments can be made now at a pharmacy or a public health clinic, Morrison said.
According to the province's website on third doses "moderately to severely compromised individuals should wait at least 28 days after receiving their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine before receiving a third dose.
"Everyone else who is eligible should wait at least six months after receiving their second dose before receiving a third dose."
Youth still lagging
People under 30 remain a soft spot in P.E.I.'s vaccination rate, said Morrison.
As of Saturday, she said, 88.3 per cent of eligible Islanders were fully vaccinated, and the rate for those aged 30 and over was more than 85 per cent.
But the rate was lower for younger cohorts.
- Aged 12-19: 79%.
- Aged 20-29: 76%.
Morrison urged all eligible Islanders to make arrangements to become fully vaccinated as soon as possible.
Since January, she noted, P.E.I. has reported 220 cases of COVID-19, and 81 per cent of those cases were not fully vaccinated.
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