PEI

P.E.I. chief public health office keeping coronavirus in perspective

There have been some tests for COVID-19 on P.E.I. but no positive results yet, says the province's chief public health officer.

‘Things like hand hygiene, cough etiquette, staying home when you're sick are really important’

P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison says officials are working to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

There have been some tests for COVID-19 on P.E.I. but no positive results yet, says the province's chief public health officer.

"We have tested a small number of people for COVID-19," said Dr. Heather Morrison.

More than 80,000 cases of illness from the novel coronavirus have been reported worldwide, with outbreaks in East Asia, Iran and Italy. There are 12 confirmed cases in Canada, all in Ontario and B.C.

Morrison said the focus in Canada is containing the spread of the disease. Part of that will be keeping people, especially travellers, informed about how they can help. Canadian Border Services will be talking to people arriving from areas suffering from outbreaks.

"If they have been travelling to China, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, South Korea, Iran or Japan they will be asked to monitor for signs and symptoms of cough and fever for 14 days when they return from travel," said Morrison.

Prevention is for everyone

For others, preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be much like other recommended practices for this time of year.

"Things like hand hygiene, cough etiquette, staying home when you're sick are really important to protect yourself from any respiratory illness that may be circulating at this time of year," Morrison said.

"Whether it's influenza, whether it's COVID-19, or whether it's another respiratory virus."

The COVID-19 story continues to evolve, said Morrison, and the chief public health office will update Islanders as things change.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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