2 new cases confirmed as P.E.I. marks 'a difficult 6 months' of pandemic
‘Even though we are tired, we have to keep going’
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King appeared at the weekly pandemic briefing Tuesday, as the province marked six months of COVID-19 on the Island, and another two cases.
King noted that P.E.I. had its first case of COVID-19 six months ago Monday, and announced a state of emergency six months ago Wednesday, which remains in effect today.
"Six months ago today we didn't know what we had in front of us," said King.
"We have endured a difficult six months. There's no doubt there is fatigue with COVID-19. I know I feel it."
King said he looking forward to the day he could say that the pandemic is over for Islanders.
Number of cases rises to 57
P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison followed the premier, and announced two new cases of COVID-19:
- A man in his 50s, an essential worker not in the health care field, who recently travelled internationally, has been self-isolating and is asymptomatic.
- A child who is a relative of people involved in last week's cluster of cases. That child is now considered recovered, as are the rest of that family's members.
P.E.I. now has just one active case. There have been no hospitalizations and no deaths.
COVID 'fatigue' coming into play?
Morrison acknowledged that the last six months have been difficult, and said there is evidence that COVID fatigue is starting to affect people's behaviour.
"The people who are doing our Operation Isolation calls are hearing people more unhappy about self-isolating and there have been more complaints about people not self-isolating," she said.
"Most Islanders know we cannot be complacent."
P.E.I.'s success in controlling community spread is connected to its policy of self-isolation for people arriving from outside the Atlantic bubble, Morrison said, and it is important that people continue to respect that.
"Unfortunately, and I think this is part of the COVID fatigue, people are choosing not to self-isolate. They are putting people at risk," she said. "If we don't do, as a collective, a really good job, then we will have community transmission."
Between March 24 and Sept. 14, a total of 47 charges have been laid in relation to violations of public health orders, a provincial official told CBC News on Tuesday.
Restrictions being tightened elsewhere
In the morning briefing, Morrison noted that B.C. and Quebec have had to reimpose some restrictions as community spread continues.
The last six months have been a grind, said King, and taken a toll on everyone.
"It's still important, as Islanders, to remember how we've gotten here and how we are going to get through this," he said. "Even though it is hard, even though we are tired, we have to keep going."
King said Islanders have taken on the responsibility to look out for one another more than anywhere else.