Premier Dennis King talks about what easing P.E.I. pandemic restrictions might look like
‘One of our areas of extreme importance are our points of entry’
The calling of a state of emergency by the P.E.I. government Thursday was an important step in easing pandemic restrictions in the province, says Premier Dennis King.
King spoke about discussions provincial officials are having about current measures to control the spread of COVID-19 with Compass host Louise Martin.
The state of emergency comes into effect at 8 a.m. Friday and will last until April 30 at 11:59 p.m. unless it is renewed. King said the key reason for declaring the emergency was to get better control of provincial borders.
"The importance of our borders and enforcing them a little bit more strictly and aggressively from a staffing position was becoming a challenge, and the simplest way for us to respond to that request was to declare a state of emergency," he said.
"One of our areas of extreme importance are our points of entry, so that's the advantage that we have as an Island and we are trying to utilize all those advantages."
Controlling borders is a central part of easing restrictions in the province, said King.
"When we talked earlier in the week about smart ease back, one of the things that we talk about is that would have to happen in P.E.I. first," he said.
"We would have to continue to strengthen our borders, to look at stemming the flow of people coming to P.E.I. for the time being."
The possibility of reopening schools is part of that discussion.
Under a public health order schools are closed until at least May 11. King hinted an announcement regarding schools could be coming relatively soon.
"We're in the conversation period now to make a determination of whether May 11 is a time where we need to extend or call an end to students going back to school," he said.
"We will certainly be announcing whatever that would be a lot sooner than May 11."
COVID-19: What you need to know
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms include:
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 COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.
With files from CBC News: Compass