5 new COVID-19 cases confirmed; Eastern P.E.I. daycare cleared after new test

Prince Edward Island is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, and the province now says a daycare in Eastern P.E.I. can reopen after an inconclusive test was followed by a negative one.

3 cases are adults in close contact with Charlottetown daycare worker who tested positive last week

A child-care facility in Eastern P.E.I. will reopen Thursday after being closed for the day Wednesday so children and staff could be tested. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

P.E.I. is reporting five new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday.

Three of the new cases are close household contacts of a case at a Charlottetown child-care centre last week. They are all in their 20s. The other two, individuals in their 30s, are related to travel outside of Atlantic Canada.

All five people are self-isolating, according to a news release from Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

In a second statement late in the day, the province said a child-care centre in Eastern P.E.I. is no longer considered a potential exposure site and can reopen on Thursday as usual.

Earlier Wednesday, the province had said the unnamed centre had closed temporarily, and it was recommending all children and staff be tested "out of an abundance of caution."

Just after 5 p.m., a new provincial provincial release said that was because "an inconclusive test result was received for an individual linked to the centre.… The individual was tested again and a further negative COVID-19 test confirmed that there is no risk of exposure at the location." 

Earlier daycare case in Charlottetown

Last week, Leaps and Bounds Childcare Centre in Charlottetown was shut down when a worker tested positive for COVID-19.

The 38 children and seven other staff members were sent home and told to self-isolate.

Because of their young age, some family members also had to self-isolate with the children.

Initial testing on the children and staff came back negative. Protocols called for a second round of testing on days four to six, which was Monday to Wednesday.

There have been 199 cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. and 14 are considered active.

At the province's regular weekly briefing on Tuesday, Morrison said testing has confirmed P.E.I. has experienced 19 cases of the B117 variant of concern, first identified in the United Kingdom, and two cases of B1617, the variant first identified in India. 

Because the new variants are considered more contagious than the original form of coronavirus, Morrison said her officials must act on the assumption that all new cases are variants, when it comes to public health measures drafted in response.

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