COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening the week of March 27

Complaints of a double standard for MLAs over mask wearing, and UPEI makes plans for in-person exams.

Premier tests positive for COVID-19

Some MLAs are wearing masks while seated and others are not. (Province of P.E.I.)

The Opposition is urging the P.E.I. government to maintain requirements that students, teachers and other staff members wear masks in Island schools and on school buses. The province has indicated it will likely lift a province-wide mask mandate on April 7, when it plans to further ease remaining COVID-19 restrictions.

MLAs are creating a double standard regarding mask use by removing masks in the legislature, say Green MLAs.

UPEI is planning to go ahead with in-person exams, but will accommodate students who are sick.

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King announced he had tested positive for COVID-19 in a Tweet published Wednesday morning.

A group of researchers advising the Canadian government is recommending people continue to wear masks in high-risk settings — even if provincial health officials drop mask mandates. Watch video here.

French daycares are struggling to find enough available staff in the pandemic. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

COVID-19 is presenting challenges so dire for P.E.I.'s six French daycares that some are asking parents to volunteer to keep their children home if daycares don't have enough staff.

Charlottetown's Masjid Dar As-Salam will be open for Ramadan celebrations for the first time in two years.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are up this week. (Wayne Thibodeau/CBC)

P.E.I. reported two COVID-related deaths in its weekly update on Tuesday. The two deaths are the first the province has reported since the end of February.

The province is closing its dedicated cough and fever clinics for COVID-19 at the end of the month. See below for more information if you need treatment for COVID-19.

There are signs tourists will be back this summer, but they are going to have trouble renting a car.

Paxlovid is helping to keep Islanders out of the hospital, says Morrison. (Laura Meader/CBC)

The anti viral treatment Paxlovid is helping keep Islanders out of hospital, says Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

Cattle farmers were pleased to have the chance to show off their steers last weekend for the first Easter Beef Show that was open to the public in three years.

Thirteen people were being treated at hospitals for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, including one in the ICU.

Six others who had been hospitalized for other reasons had also tested positive. There was an average of 350 new cases per day over the seven days prior to Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada

  • As of Friday, pharmacists in New Brunswick will be administering nearly all COVID-19 shots after mass vaccination clinics conducted by the regional health authorities were shut down on Thursday. 
  • Nova Scotia announced most elective and non-urgent surgeries at the QEII Health Sciences Centre in Halifax will be cancelled as of Monday because of the number of people with COVID-19 in hospital and the number of staff off from work.
  • With COVID-19 restrictions lifted and cases rising, first responders in Newfoundland and Labrador are bracing for the impact.

Top news from last week

Other helpful stories

When and where to seek care if you have COVID

P.E.I. is closing its specialized cough and fever clinics for COVID-19 at the end of March. Primary care will pass to your doctor, nurse practitioner or a walk-in clinic.

Mild cases can be treated at home with rest.

If you are immunosuppressed or over the age of 50, you can call your primary care provider or 811 within the first five days of your COVID-19 symptoms to see if you may benefit from an antiviral medicine.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, you may also arrange an appointment with your doctor, nurse practitioner or a walk-in clinic. You may also call 811 to consult about your symptoms.

If your symptoms are so severe you don't believe you can wait for an appointment then go to the emergency at your local hospital. If you do not feel you can travel to the hospital safely on your own, call 911.

These Islanders are currently eligible for a vaccine

  • Anyone aged five and up.
  • Third shots are available for Islanders 12 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.

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.