PEI

How P.E.I. did the 1st weekend of eased COVID-19 restrictions

P.E.I. had a "strong start" to Phase 1 of the province's ease-back plan this weekend, the premier and chief public health officer said during their COVID-19 briefing Monday.

'We've said one step at a time and we definitely made a couple of steps on the weekend'

Volunteers with P.E.I. Ground Search and Rescue have been patrolling provincial parks to remind people of public health orders. (Ken Linton/CBC)

P.E.I. had a "strong start" to Phase 1 of the province's ease-back plan this weekend, the premier and chief public health officer said during their COVID-19 briefing Monday.

Premier Dennis King said he was pleased to see Islanders physical distancing while they were out and about on Sunday.

"I drove around a bit, I saw a lot of people fishing on the banks of the streams and ponds and they were all distanced more than what they would have needed to be," he said.

"I think we've seen people walking out and about and I just think, overall, the response has been good.… It's great to see we are off to a strong start."

Dr. Heather Morrison said there were a few calls over the weekend from concerned citizens but "we're all learning" and it's encouraging to make the first steps.

"We've said one step at a time and we definitely made a couple of steps on the weekend."

Continue to provide clarity

She said ground search and rescue volunteers were patrolling some provincial parks to remind people about the rules around physical distancing, including avoiding groups of more than five and remaining at least two metres apart.

Morrison said they continue to provide clarity on issues — carpooling and back-to-work protocols, for example — as questions arise throughout the different phases of the ease-back plan.

Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, said her office has gotten mixed reactions to the ease-back plan. (Ken Linton/CBC)

She said everyone should feel comfortable going back to work, and adjustments can be made to the plans if necessary. 

The plan, called Renew P.E.I. Together, comes in four phases with three-week intervals. Morrison said there has been mixed reaction by residents, businesses and other organizations about the three-week intervals.

"We've had some organizations email saying, 'Please don't go too fast, we've done so well and we want to keep our Island protected so be careful,'" she said.

"We've had others saying, 'Look, we've done so well here, why can't we go faster?'"

Morrison said the three-week intervals are reasonable because it takes into account the virus's two-week incubation period and allows time for testing and processing.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

Health Canada has built a self-assessment tool.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call 811. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested. A health professional at 811 will give you advice and instructions.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Clean regularly touched surfaces regularly.
  • Practise physical distancing.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More from CBC P.E.I.

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