COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening the week of Dec. 12

The spread of Omicron has led to new restrictions, cancelled events and concern at restaurants.

P.E.I. announced 13 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday. 

Band teacher Brian Langille recorded the Birchwood Intermediate Christmas concert so families could watch at home, after an in-person performance was cancelled. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

P.E.I. issued over 50 public exposure site notices, most in Charlottetown. The Public Schools Branch also announced on the weekend that a case had been confirmed at the Colonel Gray Senior High School in Charlottetown.

Earlier that day, the province had announced 13 new COVID-19 cases. One of those cases is an individual at Whisperwood Villa, which was reported on Friday. Testing clinics at Borden-Carleton and Charlottetown closed due to high demand.

On Friday, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced 31 new cases of COVID-19, what she called a "record high" for the province. One of those cases is confirmed to be the Omicron variant.

She also announced several new restrictions that will come into effect at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and continue until at least Jan. 8. These include a reduction in personal gatherings to 10 people plus household members, a pause on all sports, visitor restrictions at long-term case homes, and more.

A resident at Charlottetown's Whisperwood Villa Seniors Home has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a post on the Whisperwood Facebook page. 

Businesses on P.E.I. are bracing for a hit to pre-Christmas revenues. The Greater Charlottetown Chamber of Commerce said its members find the new COVID-19 restrictions "unfortunate and frustrating."

Students at UPEI in the midst of final exams will now write any remaining exams virtually, at a later date or not at all, the university said in an emailed message late Friday.

More home testing could ease the strain on public health testing clinics, says the Green Party. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

Psychologist Nadine DeWolfe shared some tips on how to cope with this week's bad pandemic news.

With new restrictions in place, Islanders are having to make quick adjustments to their holiday plans.

Events are being cancelled, including Jack Frost Winterfest, and restaurants are concerned as the Omicron variant continues to spread around the Maritimes.

Eleven new cases were announced on Wednesday. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a release it is "very important" for those who were at public exposure sites announced in the last week to monitor closely for symptoms.

Islanders should have more access to rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests, says the Green Party.

P.E.I. had already announced a series of new public health measures Tuesday after the province confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant. The measures included new informal gathering limits, masking measures and more stringent testing requirements for incoming travellers. 

Wait times at testing centres have recently been as long as three hours. (Anthony Davis/CBC)

Parliament is working to pass a new COVID-19 support bill before the winter break, says Island MP Heath MacDonald.

Charlottetown police are considering whether the actions of protestors who gathered outside the home of Dr. Morrison over the weekend warrant charges of criminal harassment.

Current cases

As of Friday, there were 75 active COVID-19 cases on P.E.I. However, there were 13 new COVID-19 cases announced Saturday.

The CPHO said the total number of active cases on P.E.I. will be updated Monday. There have been 488 COVID-19 cases on P.E.I. since the pandemic began. 

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada

  • New Brunswick New Brunswick reported 108 new COVID-19 cases and 1,258 active cases on Sunday. The province had announced 133 new cases and two deaths on Saturday. 
  • Nova Scotia announced 476 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, a new daily record and the 10th day in a row the province has reported more than 100 cases. There were 426 new cases on Saturday.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported 61 new cases on Sunday, over half of which are presumed or confirmed to be Omicron variant cases. New restrictions were announced, including self-isolation requirements for all travellers who enter the province. 

Top news from last week

The P.E.I. Vax Pass

The P.E.I. Vax Pass is now required at a number of businesses and events. Here's a look at how to get the pass, and how it works.

Here's a list of where you need to show proof of vaccination on P.E.I.

And, here's a look at how the vax pass can protect you.

These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine

  • Anyone aged five and up.
  • Islanders can book an appointment to receive the vaccine at a pharmacy or a public health clinic.
  • You can find more information about how to get a vaccine here.

Further resources

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.