Enhanced public health measures put in place until January 31; 407 new cases of COVID-19; Positive test results now available online
Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced enhanced public health measures that will remain in place until Monday, January 31, 2022.
“Our numbers are going in the wrong direction and we are facing a serious situation. We have all been doing our best to contain the spread of COVID-19, and while it is helping, we are experiencing concerning trends. Now is the time to increase our measures to balance taking steps to protect those who are most vulnerable to severe outcomes and supporting our hospital system. We need time to reverse some of the trends we are seeing and we can do that by limiting our contact with others.”
- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison
Effective at midnight tonight (Tuesday, January 18), for a two week period ending on Monday, January 31, the following additional measures are in place:
- Personal gatherings are limited to a single household plus up to two other support people, where needed. People who live alone can join another household. Single households may participate in outdoor activities such as snowshoeing, skiing, skating and hiking.
- Organized gatherings are not permitted.
- Funeral and wedding ceremonies are permitted with up to ten people plus officiant.
- Gyms, group fitness classes and all indoor recreational facilities will be closed.
- In-room dining and services at eating establishments or licensed premises will be closed. Take out, drive thru and home delivery are permitted.
- Public and private schools will be closed to in-class learning until Monday, January 31. Respite programming can continue at schools.
- Museums, casinos and bingo halls are closed.
- Retail will remain at 50 per cent capacity with physical distancing.
- Long-term care and community care visitation will be as follows:
- In facilities where there is no outbreak, three partners-in-care can visit their loved ones. In facilities where there is an outbreak, only one partner in care can visit.
- Residents are not permitted to go on community visits, unless it is for essential purposes, including medical or dental services.
“In addition to these measures, we have a personal responsibility to protect ourselves and others, we all need to do our part,” said Dr. Morrison. “We should get vaccinated, including a booster; wear a good quality mask properly; limit our circle of contacts and social activities; and stay home from work and activities if we are sick.”
Dr. Morrison announced 407 new cases of COVID-19 and 129 recoveries, as of 8:00 am today, Tuesday, January 18.
These new cases are still under investigation. There are currently 2,214 active cases of COVID-19 and there have been 4,808 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Over the last seven days there have been an average of 231 cases per day.
There are eight individuals in hospital being treated for COVID-19, including four people in intensive care. In addition, there are three people in hospital who are positive for COVID-19 and are being treated primarily for illnesses other than COVID-19 (COVID-19 was not the reason for admission).
There are three new facility-based outbreaks under investigation:
- Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility
- Bevan Lodge Community Care Facility
- Andrews of Park West Community Care and Long Term Care Facility
There are previously announced outbreaks at the following:
- Atlantic Baptist Long Term Care Facility
- Garden Home Long Term Care Facility
- Miscouche Villa Community Care Facility
- St. Eleanor’s House
- Early Learning and Child Care Centres
- Shelters and Outreach Services
- Provincial Correctional Centre
There are numerous other outbreaks in workplaces across the province.
Since September 2020, Islanders have been able to access their negative COVID-19 test results online through the My Test Results page on the provincial website. Now, they will also be able to receive a positive test result online, allowing them to know their COVID-19 status sooner.
The results will be posted online within four to 24 hours after the test has been completed. If you do not have access to a computer, you can call 1-833-533-9333 to get confirmation of your results.
As the capacity of the Chief Public Health Office and Public Health Nursing continues to be exceeded to contact positive cases in a timely manner, individuals over the age of 50 years who are positive will now be prioritized for public health follow up.
If you are a close contact or have symptoms of COVID-19, you should not leave isolation until you receive confirmation that your test is negative.
“Being vaccinated, including getting your booster when eligible, is the best protection against Omicron. Hospitalizations for serious illness related to the Omicron variant are disproportionately in individuals who are not fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Morrison.
As of Saturday, January 15, 96 per cent of Island residents over the age of 12 years received at least one dose of vaccine and 92.7 per cent were fully vaccinated. 57.9 per cent of children ages 5 to 11 had one dose and over 38,500 individuals have their booster dose. Approximately 23,500 people are eligible to receive the booster dose but have not yet done so.
If your COVID-19 test is positive, there will be important instructions on the website for you to follow, including information about self-isolation and identifying and notifying your close contacts.
In order to preserve the limited capacity of Health PEI testing clinics, until further notice, testing will continue to be limited to the following:
- Symptomatic individuals
- Close contacts of positive cases
- Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive at a point-of-entry
- Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive with a rapid antigen test
Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate until they are able to be tested and continue to isolate after being tested until a negative result is received.
Individuals who do not have symptoms do not require testing (unless in one of the above categories). Those who are presenting for testing related to travel (for example: day 4 tests) will be provided with at home rapid antigen tests, two tests to be taken 48 hours apart.
Islanders are reminded that supports are available for those impacted by COVID-19. The Prince Edward Island Emergency Payment for Workers, Emergency Income Relief for Self-Employed, and the COVID-19 Special Leave Fund programs are now accepting applications. Islanders may also be eligible for programs through the Government of Canada such as the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit or the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.
Individuals who are isolating and require supports are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to be directed to nearby community support systems, or provincial government service offices. This assistance includes help with securing food, personal prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and other emergency situations. A modified school food lunch program is also available to have pre-cooked meals delivered to homes starting this week. The program operates on a self-referral basis. More information is available here.
As always, all Islanders are urged to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even after a previous negative test, and to self-isolate until the results come back.
Anyone age 12 and over can receive their COVID-19 vaccination at one of the Health PEI clinics or at one of the 28 partner pharmacies across the province. Island children between the ages of five and 11 years can now receive their COVID-19 vaccination at Health PEI clinics.
For information on PEI’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including vaccine facts, immunization data and booking an appointment, visit: COVID-19 Vaccines. For answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit: Answers to Common COVID-19 Vaccine Questions.
The Chief Public Health Office continues to work closely with the federal government, provincial and territorial counterparts, government departments and Health PEI to monitor the pandemic situation and prepare for all COVID-19 related impacts to the province, including health, social and economic. The public health risk of COVID-19 is continually reassessed, and Islanders will be updated as new information becomes available.
Everyone is encouraged to follow routine prevention measures:
- Get vaccinated
- Wear a properly fitted, three-layer mask in indoor public places and in outdoor public places where physical distancing from others cannot be maintained
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Physical distance - stay two meters (6 feet) apart
- Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
- Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
- Visit a drop-in-clinic to be tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms
Health and Wellness