PEI

COVID-19 testing now available on some ferry crossings to P.E.I.

Some COVID-19 rapid testing will now be offered on ferry crossings to Prince Edward Island. Northumberland Ferries said testing was taking place in a lounge on the MV Confederation on Tuesday.

The rapid testing was taking place in the lounge of Northumberland Ferries' MV Confederation Tuesday

A lineup of cars is shown as people arrive on P.E.I. via the ferry. Some rapid testing for COVID-19 will now take place onboard some Northumberland Ferries crossings to the Island. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Some COVID-19 rapid testing will now be offered on ferry crossings to Prince Edward Island.

Donald Cormier, vice-president and general manager of Northumberland Ferries, said testing and COVID-19 screening was taking place in a lounge on the MV Confederation on Tuesday.

Cormier said although testing is not available on every 75-minute crossing from Caribou, N.S., to Wood Islands, P.E.I., it will speed up the process for some travellers, as they will "likely" not have to present themselves to the testing site at the Island ferry terminal.

Health officials have been testing many people who arrive on P.E.I., at times causing wait times of up to an hour.

"It's another testament to Health PEI's commitment to public safety and offering the best experience possible for people visiting Prince Edward Island," said Cormier in a phone interview Wednesday.

"Whether it's a resident or someone from Atlantic Canada visiting the Island, everybody is motivated to providing the best experience possible."

A lineup of cars, cement barricades and a white tent are shown at a testing site on P.E.I. (Laura Meader/CBC)

Cormier said not everyone on board will be tested, but referred specific questions about testing numbers and future plans for onboard testing to public health.

In an email, a Health PEI spokesperson said the department could not provide an update on Wednesday, but would have more information later in the week.

During a media briefing last week, Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said public health had been looking into onboard rapid testing, but noted Wi-Fi connectivity had prevented the move so far.

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Aly Thomson

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Aly Thomson is an award-winning journalist based in Halifax who loves helping the people of her home province tell their stories. She is particularly interested in issues surrounding justice, education and the entertainment industry. You can email her with tips and feedback at aly.thomson@cbc.ca.

With files from Laura Meader

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