Flight passengers asked to seek tests as new COVID-19 case reported on P.E.I.

P.E.I. public health officials are asking everyone on a Feb. 16 Air Canada flight from Montreal to Charlottetown to report to a testing clinic, after a new COVID-19 diagnosis.

Man in his 20s had no symptoms but routine test came back positive

Air Canada flights 8302 and 8303, linking Montreal and Charlottetown, are now the only scheduled commercial flights using the Charlottetown Airport. (Kirk Pennell/CBC)

P.E.I. public health officials are asking everyone on a Feb. 16 flight from Montreal to Charlottetown to report to a testing clinic, after a new COVID-19 diagnosis.

The latest case, the Island's 115th since the pandemic began last March, was confirmed in a man in his 20s who was on Air Canada flight AC8302 from Montreal on Tuesday. 

He was not showing any symptoms but a routine test came back positive, according to a news release from Dr. Heather Morrison's office.

The man was self-isolating after landing on Prince Edward Island, and contact tracing is underway. 

A release from Morrison's office said everyone on the same flight Tuesday should be self-isolating anyway in according with public health orders.

But in a departure from previous advice, which suggested passengers monitor themselves for symptoms and get tested if any appear, all those on the flight are being asked to ensure they are tested even without symptoms. 

"Out of an abundance of caution, anyone on this flight who is not tested regularly for COVID-19 should be tested at a drop-in testing clinic within the next 24-48 hours," the news release said. "Individuals such as rotational workers or work isolators on the flight that are part of a regular testing regimen do not need to undergo additional testing."

In an interview with Compass host Louise Martin that is set to air Thursday evening, Morrison said advice in such situations is changing due to mounting evidence that some new variants of COVID-19 are more contagious than the original virus.

For example, an outbreak in eastern Newfoundland this month, linked to the B117 variant that first appeared in the United Kingdom, has left the province with 380 active cases as of Thursday afternoon.  

One person on Prince Edward Island who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 has now moved to the "recovered" list, meaning that there are only two active cases in the province at the moment. 

As well as the newest case, the man who tested positive for the B117 variant of the virus after arriving on the Island Feb. 1 is still classified as recovering. 

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.

More from CBC P.E.I. 

With files from Louise Martin


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