Nov
7
2021

Four new COVID-19 cases; potential exposures to positive cases at Westwood Primary School and Eliot River Elementary School prompts one-day closure of both schools

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced four new cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island. As two of the new cases are linked to Westwood Primary School and Eliot River Elementary School, those schools will be closed on Monday, November 8. 

The four cases are two individuals in their 30s, and two children under the age of 12. The four are members of the same household. All four cases were confirmed late in the day on Sunday, November 7, 2021 and are linked to travel outside of PEI. All four individuals originally tested negative and tested positive on a subsequent test.

One child attends Westwood Primary School and one child attends Eliot River Elementary School. The children, although not symptomatic, attended school on Wednesday, November 3, when they may have been infectious and able to transmit COVID-19.  Although the risk that others have been exposed to COVID-19 is low, both schools will remain closed on Monday, November 8 due to operational concerns and to give time for contact tracing, testing and deep cleaning of the schools. 

Out of an abundance of caution, close contacts, including  students, teachers and staff in the cohorts and on the bus which the children travelled (Bus #81) are being contacted and advised to isolate and be tested for COVID-19 at one of the Health PEI clinics tomorrow. Contact tracing is underway and Public Health is contacting all individuals who need to be tested. All close contacts are being asked to be tested on Monday, November 8, and must isolate until they receive a negative test result.  

All close contacts of the cases will be contacted by public health and advised of testing and isolation requirements. Staff and students who are not contacted by public health do not require testing. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should visit a drop-in testing clinic or if a child is experiencing one mild symptom of COVID-19, an at-home screening test can be used. At-home screening test kits will be available for pick up tomorrow at Westwood Primary and Eliot River Elementary, as well as at Access PEI locations across the province for parents and guardians of children in K-6. 

These school closures are out of an abundance of caution, these are considered isolated cases with a low risk of exposure. This is not considered to be an outbreak at either Westwood Primary School or Eliot River Elementary School. Recognizing the short notice for families, employers are encouraged to be flexible with those families who are affected. 

Prince Edward Island currently has seven active cases of COVID-19 and has had 324 positive cases since the pandemic began.

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. Islanders are also encouraged to download the free national COVID Alert app, which will let them know if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

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.  

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.

For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Prince Edward Island. 


Backgrounder: 
 
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:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a non-medical mask in indoor places
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well
  • Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keep your circle of contacts small
  • 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

 
Media Contact:
Samantha Hughes
Health and Wellness
shughes@gov.pe.ca

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
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105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

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

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca