COVID-19 FAQs

For the most up-to-date information visit www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19

Recommendations for Individuals, Families and Workers

How do I practice social distancing?

People must stay at least two (2) meters, or six (6) feet apart and avoid unnecessary close personal contact. Learn more about social distancing.

I live in an apartment building. Are there special precautions I should take? 

Yes, there are steps you should take to help maintain a safe living space for you and your neighbors. Learn more at Apartment Building Tenant Safety: COVID-19 FAQs.

What is being done to protect health care workers on the front lines?

The health and safety of all health care workers is a priority of the COVID-19 Joint Response Team of the Chief Public Health Office and Health PEI. Staff are closely monitoring and responding to the issue.

How can parents and caregivers support children and youth during this time?

In the midst of a pandemic, many parents and caregivers are faced with questions regarding how best to support their child or youth. Read these guidelines for information about how to respond. You may find other helpful information at:

I am pregnant. Should I take special precautions and am I more at risk?

At this time, there have been published reports of over 40 pregnant women with this disease who have gone on to deliver their babies. We recommend that pregnant women follow the same practices as other adults to prevent infection: wash hands often with soap and water, avoid touching your face, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands, avoid others who are unwell, and stay home when you are sick. Find a summary of what we understand at this time about pregnancy and COVID-19.

What is being done to keep public servants and public buildings safe?

All provincial government employees who can work from home will do so for at least two weeks. Special leave will be available for those without access to childcare and for staff who are required to self-isolate. Other measures include cancelling public consultations and non-essential travel, enhanced cleaning in all government buildings, and limiting public entry into public buildings.

What are the guidelines for travellers outside Canada? 

For the most current information regarding travel outside of Canada, visit the Government of Canada web page for all current resources and advisories.

I am a trucker who travels between Canada and the US, what does this mean for me?

Learn more at Risk Mitigation for Essential Service Workers that Cross Borders

Advice on Protective Measures

Should I wear a mask?

Masks should be used by sick people as advised by a healthcare professional to prevent transmission to other people.

Masks may give a person a false sense of security and are likely to increase the number of times a person will touch one's own face (e.g. to adjust the mask).

Health-care workers will wear surgical masks, eye protection and gowns in order to protect themselves and other patients.

Do homemade masks work?

At this time, Health Canada is advising the public, as well as health care professionals (HCPs), to use caution when considering the use of homemade masks to protect against COVID-19. These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures. Homemade masks do not provide complete protection vrom COVID-19 because of a potential loose fit and materials used.

Is it save to handle cash and documents?

The risk of COVID-19 transmission by cash and documents is low and is expected to be similar to other common surfaces such as doorknobs and handrails. It is safe to handle cash and documents. However, it would be advisable to wash your hands immediately following handling. Hand Hygiene is also encouraged frequently, before eating, after using the washroom, and before touching your face.
Refusing cash could put an undue burden on people who depend on cash as a means of payment.

Is there a vaccine for Covid-19?

When a disease is new, there is no vaccine until one is developed. It can take many years (months) to develop a new vaccine.

Is there a treatment for Covid-19?

There is no specific treatment for COVID-19. Many of the symptoms are mild and can be managed at home.  Most people recover from .COVID-19 on their own. For people with more serious illness supportive care in or out of hospital may be needed.

Will this year's flu vaccine protect me from Covid-19?

No, the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19.

Self-Isolation for You and Your Family

What does self-isolation mean?

Self-isolation means you should voluntarily stay at home and not attend school or work. Learn more at self-isolation

If someone I live with has traveled out of the province, do I need to self-isolate too?

If the person who has traveled and is self-isolating is not showing symptoms, those living with them can continue daily activities as normal and follow good hygiene practices. If the person self-isolating is experiencing symptoms, everyone in the household should also self-isolate and monitor symptoms until test results are confirmed. 

If someone in a family returns from travel how does that person self-isolate and what does the rest of family have to do?   

For more information on self-isolation, check out the self-isolation guide

Should I go to a cough and fever clinic if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

Cough and fever clinics are by appointment only. Use the online self-assessment tool to help determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19.

Primary care providers (e.g. a family doctor or nurse practitioner) will refer patients with coughs or fever to these clinics to be assessed for COVID-19. NOTE: Any child, two years-old or younger, with a cough or fever should be taken to the QEH or PCH emergency department.

If you do not have a family physician or nurse practitioner or are unable to reach your practitioner's office, call 8-1-1.

If you require assessment, a staff person will contact you with an appointment for the nearest assessment site.

When should I call 811?

Find out when you should call 811 about COVID-19.


Impacts on Services

Non-essential government services and non-essential businesses will remain closed indefinitely as the situation continues to be re-evaluated on a regular basis. Employees should continue working from home wherever possible, and only essential workers should be on site. Essential services are services that, if they were stopped, would endanger the life, health or personal safety of the whole or part of the population. Non-essential services are services that, when not offered to the public, will not impact life, health or personal safety. Get more information and a sample list of services that are, and are not, essential.

Are the courts in Prince Edward Island open?

Yes, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal in Prince Edward Island are open. However, all non-urgent matters are being rescheduled. The courts remain available to deal with urgent and emergency matters. For full details, visit Court FAQs.

Are daycares and child care facilities closed?

All public licensed child care centres will remain closed until, at minimum, May 11. This will be re-evaluated closer to the date. 

Are post-secondary schools and institutions closed?

For the most up-to-date for information regarding UPEI please visit
https://www.upei.ca/

For the most-up-to-date for information regarding Holland College please visit https://www.hollandcollege.com/

For the most upt-to-date information regarding College de l’ile please visit https://www.collegedelile.ca/fr/

Are schools closed?

All schools across Prince Edward Island are closed for in-person classes until, at minimum, May 11. This will be re-evaluated closer to the date. To learn more, visit Parents and Students - School Closure FAQ.

Do teachers have to go into school while it's closed?

While schools remain closed, teachers are not to go into schools however, they must remain available to work. Starting April 6, teachers will be taking the lead on home learning activities for their students.

Are hospitals closed to all visitors? 

All health facilities, excluding long-term care facilities, are restricting visitors to only those who are predesignated, with a limit of just (2) visitors, in order to ensure the continued safety of patients, and those that visit them, as additional measures to protect our most vulnerable.

Can I access provincial government services?

If you require government services and have travelled internationally, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you should not visit any government offices, and only interact with government by phone or online options, where applicable.

Are public libraries closed?

All libraries Island-wide have been closed in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19. 

Are mental health programs available?

If you or someone you know are having a strong reaction to the COVID-19 situation, you may need more help to cope with anxiety and other reactions. The Strongest Families and ICAN Adult Anxiety Programs are available to assist. Learn more about these mental health programs and others.

Information is also available about Taking Care of Your Mental Health.

Is there any support available for Island workers and businesses?

Premier Dennis King announced on March 16, 2020, an initial $25 million Emergency Contingency Fund to support Island workers, including the self-employed, and small businesses who are affected by COVID-19. See more details about these measures.

What does it mean now that PEI is under a state of public health emergency?

Under the Public Health Act, a state of public health emergency has been declared for the province effective immediately. While under a provincial state of public health emergency, the Chief Public Health Officer will be able to: 

  • order Islanders to refrain from attending any public gatherings;
  • align resources to where they are needed most; and
  • manage hospitals and other health care facilities and ambulance services.

Where can I find more information?

Find contact information related to COVID-19

Published date: 
April 3, 2020
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca