What rules and health guidelines rotational workers on P.E.I. need to know
'We really don't want to become complacent and this really highlights why we shouldn't'
The Chief Public Health Office of P.E.I. is reaching out to those with approvals for rotational work to remind them of the guidelines that allow them to travel into the province from outside the Atlantic Bubble.
Dr. Heather Morrison told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin in an interview Thursday that officials will be contacting those with approval as rotational workers — who are expected to follow special guidelines and testing routines when on the Island.
"I think it's a chance to remind rotational workers — really remind the public — the importance of following these measures," Morrison said.
"That it is a privilege that we're trying to balance out with rotational workers and the need to see their families, too, but that they want to keep the communities safe as well."
The case of COVID-19 announced on Nov. 11 in the province was a rotational worker.
As defined by the province, rotational workers:
- Travel outside Atlantic Canada routinely on a set schedule.
- Spend at least 50 per cent of their time working outside the province.
- Spend 21 days or less in the province when not working.
Those individuals still require testing, but they do not have to isolate from their families.
Rotational workers inside Canada
For residents of P.E.I. who are rotational workers returning to the province from inside Canada, but outside of the bubble, no isolation is required, but additional measures are required while they are in P.E.I.
Those measures include:
- Wear a non-medical mask when in public.
- Avoid all gatherings.
These individuals are tested three times when in the province: the first two days, between days four and seven, and between day 10-12.
If testing is not done, the worker must self-isolate for 14 days.
Rotational workers outside of Canada
For residents of P.E.I. who are rotational workers returning to the province from outside the country, they must self-isolate until their first test result comes back negative.
They also have to adhere to the same additional measures as rotational workers inside Canada.
Morrison said they will be working on enhanced public messaging to make sure people are clear on the guidelines and when they should go get tested.
"People don't necessarily feel unwell, but it is a tricky little virus and … it can spread if we're not careful," Morrison said.
Regarding the new case mentioned Wednesday, the man initially tested negative for COVID-19 on Nov. 6, but tested positive on Nov. 10. The man has six close contacts and will remain in self-isolation for 14 days.
Out of caution, the CPHO is advising people who visited the following businesses to monitor for symptoms and get tested if they experience them:
- Red and White Hardware Store in Ellerslie, P.E.I., on Nov. 9 between 3 and 4 p.m. AT.
- Walmart in Summerside, P.E.I., on Nov. 10 between 9 and 10 a.m.
They are encouraged to monitor for symptoms, and get tested if they develop symptoms.
Morrison said the advisory serves as a reminder that COVID can easily get to P.E.I.
"We really don't want to become complacent, and this really highlights why we shouldn't," Morrison said.
More from CBC P.E.I.
With files from Travis Kingdon