COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening the week of May 1

Mask mandates were dropped for most places Friday, and businesses are making decisions about what to do with their own locations.

Charlottetown and Summerside begin testing wastewater for COVID-19

With new rules in place, the province has created new posters. (Government of P.E.I.)

The province dropped mandatory masking rules for most spaces Friday morning.

Businesses may still make their own choices regarding mask policies, and different places are going with different options.

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, is urging caution and tolerance when the province's mask mandate ends on Friday.

The antibody therapy Evusheld, which could prevent people with weakened immune systems from getting COVID-19, will soon be available in P.E.I.

Charlottetown begins testing wastewater for COVID-19 Thursday. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

The DiverseCity Festival will return to its pre-pandemic format this summer, with multicultural entertainment, food and crowds, if all goes according to plan.

Sewage facilities in Charlottetown and Summerside will take the first samples of P.E.I. wastewater on Thursday as part of a new provincial strategy for monitoring COVID-19.

As many of P.E.I.'s seasonal residents gear up to come back to the Island this summer, some are feeling frustrated about rising property taxes in certain communities.

It was a cold and wet arrival but Charlottetown Airport CEO Doug Newson was out to greet the airport's inaugural Swoop flight. (Tony Davis/CBC)

P.E.I. is reporting one new death related to COVID-19 during the past week. The person is between the ages of 40 and 59. It is the 26th death related to COVID-19 on P.E.I.

The owner of a grocery store and gas station in Borden-Carleton has pleaded guilty to violating P.E.I.'s Public Health Act with regard to COVID-19 rules. 

Julia Ramsay of the Canadian Mental Health Association's P.E.I. Division speaks with CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin about the decline in empathy during the pandemic.

Health P.E.I. has reduced the operating hours at three of the province's COVID-19 testing clinics.

This wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is about a shortage of health-care workers, says an infection control physician.

Charlottetown Airport's CEO believes the airport could reach pre-pandemic levels of traffic this summer, but it could also mean longer lineups.

A man who was hospitalized for COVID-19 is suing Health P.E.I. for breach of privacy after information about his medical condition was leaked by a hospital employee and published by an Island blogger.

Elsewhere in Atlantic Canada

Nova Scotia continues to report a high number of COVID-19 deaths in its latest weekly report released Thursday.

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 15 more in New Brunswick in the past week and the province reports hospitalizations because of the virus dropped by six, to 81, including 10 people in intensive care. On Friday, a committee of MLAs voted to end mandatory masking at the provincial legislature.

Newfoundland and Labrador said in its COVID-19 update Friday there were no COVID-related deaths in the province since Wednesday. There are 17 people hospitalized due to the virus, with five in critical care.

Top news from last week

  • Some masking requirements will end in P.E.I. schools when restrictions are lifted across the province, but not all of them.
  • The Chief Public Health Office said it plans to officially drop its mandatory mask mandate as of Friday, May 6. Masks will no longer be required in indoor public spaces. However, the CPHO "highly recommends" people continue to wear them.
  • Officials are asking Islanders to be patient as the province tries to meet demand for the antiviral COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid. P.E.I. says physicians have now prescribed more than 1,200 courses of the medication.
  • More than 100 long-term care beds are sitting empty on P.E.I. due to staff shortages caused by the pandemic.

Other helpful stories

When and where to seek care if you have COVID

P.E.I. closed 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.