Morrison reminds Islanders of 'legal requirement' to self-isolate when ordered
Chief public health officer also clarifies new 'circuit breaker' rules
Dr. Heather Morrison issued another warning Tuesday to anyone who disobeys self-isolation orders: you're breaking the law and you will be charged.
P.E.I.'s chief public health officer acknowledged it is inconvenient, but reiterated the importance of following self-isolation as the "foundation" of the province's ability to contain the transmission of COVID-19.
"Self-isolation is a legal requirement in P.E.I.," she said.
"If public health staff are not getting complete information or incorrect information from cases or close contacts, individuals can be charged with obstruction of a public health official. We will continue to charge people who do not comply with the legal requirement to self-isolate."
Breaking a self-isolation order can come with a $1,000 fine.
According to provincial public safety officials, 62 charges have been laid on P.E.I. as of Nov. 29. Charlottetown police say they have charged 12 people since June, and have a "zero tolerance" for those who do not abide by the rules.
Who must self-isolate
Among those required to self isolate are:
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, or has been identified as a close contact of a positive case
- Anyone who who returns to P.E.I. from out-of-province travel
- Anyone who is symptomatic and awaiting test results
"I am aware that there are people in P.E.I. who do not want to follow self-isolation rules and have chosen to put themselves and others at risk," Morrison said. "When advised to self-isolate you are required to stay at home and limit contact with others."
I am aware that there are people in P.E.I. who do not want to follow self-isolation rules and have chosen to put themselves and others at risk.— Dr. Heather Morrison
Anyone who lives with a person who has been ordered to self-isolate must stay apart from that person, Morrison said. That means no sharing meals together and, if possible, using separate bathrooms.
"If you must share a washroom, it should be disinfected after each use," Morrison said.
Under the new restrictions announced Sunday, personal gatherings are not permitted, and organized gatherings cannot exceed 10 people, excluding staff. Anyone flouting these rules will be fined — and not just the hosts, Morrison said.
Morrison also provided clarification on the new "circuit breaker" rules announced Sunday. While Islanders are encouraged to avoid crowds and limit going out in public, Morrison said outdoor, non-contact recreational activities with no more than two people from other households are permitted with physical distancing.
"This would mean going for a walk, or a run, or a bicycle ride with someone outside your household."