COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening the week of Jan. 23

Ten people with COVID-19 have died on P.E.I.

Students return to in-class learning Jan. 31

Staff at Spring Park school handed out new masks and COVID-19 test kits to parents Thursday afternoon. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

P.E.I. reported its 10th COVID-related death on Saturday. Nineteen people were in the hospital, including three in the ICU.

Health P.E.I. vaccination clinics are taking some appointments for next week, including some walk-ins.

Health P.E.I. is reducing some non-urgent procedures and services at Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital as the province grapples with its largest COVID-19 surge since the beginning of the pandemic.

The province will resume in-class learning on Monday, Jan. 31, and other restrictions will be eased, Premier Dennis King and Dr. Heather Morrison announced Wednesday.

Parents should expect COVID-19 cases in schools when students return to in-class learning next week, and on Thursday Dr. Heather Morrison and Education Minister Natalie Jameson outlined what will happen when a child tests positive.

Some parents are excited, while others are apprehensive as in person school is set to resume. As well, reaction from groups involved in P.E.I.'s education system is mixed as students prepare to head back to class Monday for the first time in 2022. 

School bus drivers will be picking up new masks and COVID testing kits before hitting the road. They will be tested 48 hours prior to starting out on Monday morning.

Two Island siblings have demonstrated how to use those COVID-19 testing kits ahead of a return to school. 

Prince Edward Island and the rest of the Maritime provinces have done "extraordinarily well" keeping COVID-19 in check, says a member of the Ontario Science Table. But Omicron has changed the playing field, says Dr. Fahad Razak, and now P.E.I. and even the territories need to be prepared for what comes after COVID: long COVID.

Health P.E.I. on Tuesday reported the Island's ninth death related to COVID-19.

Friendly Calls, a program that pairs lonely adults with volunteers so they can chat about their mental-health struggles especially during COVID-19, is expanding in P.E.I.

A seniors' home in Tignish, P.E.I., is compiling a list of people in the community who could step in if there are staffing shortages because of an outbreak. 

The number of passengers flowing through the Charlottetown Airport in 2021 was an improvement from the "abysmal" year that was 2020, according to CEO Doug Newson.

COVID-19 restrictions have meant major losses for P.E.I. arenas.

The UPEI senate held a special meeting and decided that teaching and learning will continue to be delivered online until Feb. 27

The union that represents school education support staff on P.E.I. is asking the province to put a pause on the respite care programs in schools when conditions are not safe. 

People who run a women's shelter in Charlottetown say they are concerned because of a recent, sharp drop in crisis calls.  They said the need still exists - but women just might be too afraid of COVID-19 to ask for help. 

Health officials say a plan is in the works to end the constant closures at Western Hospital in Alberton, P.E.I. Staff shortages, often due to workers out sick, were to blame for most of the closures.

The province has purchased 175 HEPA filters for schools, which were delivered over the past two weeks. The portable air-filtration systems will go in all classrooms that don't currently have mechanical ventilation systems. 

Teachers in training are learning how to work differently, now that it looks like remote classrooms will be sticking around for a while. 

Fitness and restaurant industry workers are only some of the people who are looking to apply for new COVID-19 aid programs now that their businesses are being shut down for at least two weeks.

Public exposure and flight notifications have been paused by the provincial government. Under current conditions, the province says all public places should be considered potential exposure sites.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada

  • New Brunswick reported five COVID-related deaths on Sunday. There are 164 people in hospital because of the virus with 13 in ICU and five on ventilators.
  • Nova Scotia reported 92 people were in designated COVID-19 units on Sunday. Fifteen people are in intensive care.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador said 23 people were in the hospital as of Sunday, a record high.

Top news from last week

Other helpful stories

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.

These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine

  • Anyone aged five and up.
  • Third shots are available for Islanders 18 and older, six months following their second shot.
  • 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:

  • New or worsening cough.
  • Fever and/or chills.
  • Sore throat.
  • Runny nose, sneezing or congestion.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle, joint or body aches.
  • Feeling unwell or unusually tired.
  • Acute loss of sense of smell or taste.


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