Everyone in Summerside, P.E.I., aged 14 to 29 urged to get tested for COVID-19

Everyone from age 14 to 29 in the city of Summerside, P.E.I., is being urged to get tested immediately for COVID-19, whether or not they have any symptoms. The news came Friday afternoon in a rare second briefing in one day from Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

News comes in rare 2nd COVID-19 briefing in same day

Anyone in the Summerside area experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is asked to get tested at the clinic in Slemon Park as soon as possible. (Brittany Spencer/CBC)

Everyone from age 14 to 29 in the city of Summerside, P.E.I., is being urged to get tested immediately for COVID-19, whether or not they have any symptoms. 

The news came as Islanders got an update on a worrisome new cluster of three COVID-19 cases in the Summerside area from P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison.

"We certainly have concerns about possible community spread in P.E.I., this is why we are focused on increased testing," Morrison said Friday, during a rare second briefing for the day. 

"I am worried."

Morrison said Three Oaks Senior High School in Summerside will be open for testing throughout the weekend. Officials hope not to disrupt school for the coming week, she said.

Morrison asked 14- to 21-year-olds without symptoms to come to the school on Saturday; those born Jan. 1 to June 30 from between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.; those born July 1 to Dec. 31 between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. 

Those 22 to 29 years old can go to on Sunday, following the same schedule. 

"Increased testing will allow us to know if COVID is circulating in the 14-to-29 age group," Morrison said.

Anyone with symptoms should immediately go for testing at Slemon Park or two new sites, prepared quickly Friday, at Harbourside Health Centre at 243 Heather Moyse Dr. and the Borden Testing Site at 20 Dickie Rd. in Borden-Carleton. All are open until 8 p.m. AT Friday. The site at Slemon Park will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and stay open until 4 p.m.

Circuit-breaker being discussed

Earlier Friday, Morrison listed three locations in Summerside as possible exposure sites, alerting those who had frequented them to take measures to protect themselves and others. 

She said introducing circuit-breaker measures similar to those put in place on P.E.I. before Christmas is always a possibility.

The circuit-breaker put a temporary end to gatherings and sports, and closed gyms, libraries and restaurant dining rooms. It was also introduced in response to a cluster of cases for which the source was unknown. 

"We are discussing it and thinking about it," she said, adding officials will review test results and information gleaned from contact tracing tonight to make that decision.

Morrison promised an update on the situation Saturday.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • New or worsening fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Runny nose.

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