Premier addresses Islanders on COVID-19 concerns in video from self-isolation
'A time to remain calm, yet vigilant'
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King provided an update about COVID-19 from self-isolation Saturday evening, releasing a video online after the province's first confirmed case was announced.
On Saturday afternoon, P.E.I's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced the Island's first confirmed case of COVID-19 was as a Queens County woman recently returned from aboard a cruise ship.
The woman is in her 50s and is in self-isolation. Morrison said the woman and her family are doing well.
In his address to Islanders, King said while the news of the province's first case is not "unexpected" it remains "concerning."
"We are facing an unprecedented challenge in COVID-19 and the health and safety of Islanders is our primary concern. This is a time to be cautious and rightfully concerned as we have never experienced anything like this in our province, in recent times," King said.
"However, this is also a time to remain calm, yet vigilant, and to follow the expert advice of our chief health public office."
Continue to live life normally
King did not announce any wide-scale closures of public schools, daycares, libraries or public spaces as other provinces have done in recent days.
"Islanders should continue to live their lives as they normally would if they are feeling well and have not recently been travelling out of country."
King said he spoke with Morrison earlier Saturday to discuss the province's current status surrounding the coronavirus.
He also chaired a virtual meeting with the provincial COVID-19 situation table to discuss P.E.I.'s readiness with regard to dealing with the virus and its mitigation and management plans ahead of potential impacts on the province.
"I want Islanders to know that we are working across government and with our partners every day to ensure that we have a coordinated and responsive approach to addressing COVID-19."
- A full list of COVID-19 cancellations can be viewed here. You can report closures on our cancellation hotline at 1-877-236-9350.
King added that he held an emergency cabinet meeting on Saturday in addition to an all-party briefing with Morrison.
He also had a teleconference with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "to discuss the supports we need to put in place immediately to address the health and economic impacts we are just starting to experience."
'The Island way'
King noted he and his family are continuing to self-isolate and are currently not showing any symptoms. No one in his household has been tested for the virus.
"I encourage all Islanders returning to the province from international travel to follow the advice of the public health office as we have, to help ensure the best coordinated efforts to contain COVID-19."
"Islanders are very resilient and we will get through this the Island way. By taking the necessary precautions, by working together and by looking for one another," he said.
Morrison is scheduled to address Islanders on the latest updates on COVID-19's impact at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.