COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What you need to know about red stage restrictions, testing, exposures
Schools and non-essential businesses to close, no gatherings or in-room dining
A new "circuit breaker" on P.E.I. evolved into even tougher measures late Sunday in the face of two COVID-19 outbreaks with no known source in Summerside and Charlottetown.
As of 6 p.m. AT Sunday, P.E.I. has had 17 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past five days, with five new cases announced late in the day.
Here's what you need to know, based on information from the Chief Public Health Office.
Schools and businesses
There will be no classes for at least 72 hours for Island students in kindergarten through Grade 12, as Dr. Heather Morrison imposes a three-day modified red-stage status for P.E.I.
Holland College and UPEI classes can go on if they are held virtually, but younger students won't have online classes. That's to give staff time to prepare to hold Friday's parent-teacher interviews virtually.
Businesses and services can open to the public only if they are considered essential, and only with COVID-19 control measures in place. That includes grocery stores, gas stations, medical and dental offices, banks, childcare centres, pharmacies and liquor stores.
Other businesses can operate as long as they deal with customers online or over the phone, and offer contactless pickup or dropoff service.
If you had dinner reservations at a restaurant, they've been cancelled. Restaurants are closed to indoor dining. Takeout and delivery is still an option.
Gatherings not allowed
You can no longer have guests in your house, except for two people for essential support reasons. If people are living alone, they can associate with one other household.
Hand-washing, hand sanitizer, masks, physical distancing — all are crucial if you have to be out in the community. But as much as possible, Morrison wants Islanders to stay home this week.
Only 10 people will be allowed to attend a funeral.
Given that residents and staff of P.E.I.'s care homes were recently vaccinated, there will be "no changes for long term care, residents are still permitted to have up to three partners in care and up to six visitors," a provincial news release notes.
Sports games, practices and tournaments are not permitted, and gyms, fitness centre, bingo halls, casinos, museums, and libraries are to close.
People in the Summerside area between the ages of 14 and 29 were being asked to get tested for COVID-19 at Three Oaks High School — if they don't have any symptoms. The temporary clinic will be open until 8 p.m. Sunday.
For people of any age with symptoms, or a history of visiting one of the public exposure sites at the times listed below, the Slemon Park testing centre will be open until 8 p.m. Sunday, the Borden-Carleton will be open until 4 p.m. and the Park Street (Charlottetown) testing site will stay open until 8 p.m.
As well, testing will be available at the Montague Legion until 8 p.m. Sunday.
On Monday, the province is planning more testing clinic capacity in all the above locations, starting at 8 a.m., and will also open a testing centre at Stratford Town Hall for people with no symptoms. Here are the details as outlined in a provincial news release late Monday:
Morrison said Sunday that they are strongly encouraging young people to get tested if they are working in food service establishments, meat and fish processing facilities and call centres, as well as those employed as public transit workers and delivery staff. This applies even if they have no symptoms.
Public exposure sites
Here is a list of newly announced sites and times of potential public exposure, as of Sunday evening. Anyone who has visited the locations within the times provided should self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible.
Reminder about symptoms
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
- Sore throat.
- New or worsening fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
- An earlier version of this story said there had been a Feb. 27 exposure at the Walmart in Summerside. That was actually at the Walmart in Charlottetown, as was another exposure on Feb. 24.Feb 28, 2021 9:13 PM AT