Omicron variant identified in PEI; new temporary public health measures; three new cases of COVID-19

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has confirmed one case of the Omicron variant in PEI. 

The National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg has identified the case linked to the Omicron variant as one associated with the outbreak at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish. 

“We are seeing COVID-19 spread faster than ever before, which is consistent with the Omicron variant. The best thing we can all do to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 and its variants, including Omicron, is to be fully vaccinated and to follow public health measures.” 

- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison

As an added layer of protection to reduce risk of importation and transmission, effective 8:00 am on Friday, December 17 until early January the following temporary measures will be in place: 

  • Travel – Everyone travelling to PEI will be asked to wait for two hours for their result of their point of entry test, before joining their family or going to a public place. Individuals arriving in PEI are strongly recommended to test on day 4 and to follow modified isolation during those first four days. This means not attending large gatherings, larger personal gatherings, or visiting those in long term care, community care or other congregate settings. They should also avoid visiting with immune compromised or elderly individuals until their day four test if possible.  
  • Masks – Masks will continue to be required in indoor public places, preferably a medical grade or three-layer mask worm properly over both the nose and mouth. Masks can be removed when actively eating or drinking and can no longer be removed when seated at organized gatherings like worship services or concerts. Masks should be worn in workplaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained and in any outdoor spaces when you are in close contact with people from outside your household. 
  • Personal gatherings – The limit for personal gatherings is reduced to a maximum of 20 people (including those in your household). 
  • Worship services – Worship services can continue with physical distancing between people of different households. Masks must be worn at all times, including when seated and singing. 
  • Long term care, community care, acute care – Residents should be fully vaccinated, including a third dose booster, to go out on community visits. 

Visitors should continue to wear medical grade masks at all times when with residents and avoid visiting long term or community care, and acute care settings if they are feeling unwell. 

Individuals who travelled within Canada are not permitted to visit in long term care, community care or acute care facilities until they have had at least two negative tests, including a test on day four. 

Staff and volunteers who travelled within Canada need at least one negative test prior to returning to work and will be required to strictly adhere to the medical mask policy and follow an enhanced testing schedule. Ideally, staff and volunteers should not return to work until a second negative test on day four. 

  • Schools – Schools will remain open for the next three days, adhering to the current measures, including cohorting and masking. A recommendation will be made in early January regarding the reopening of school in 2022. 
  • Travel for organized activities – There will be no travel to or from PEI for people to participate in organized recreational activities, including sports, arts and culture events, regardless of age. The Maritime Junior Hockey League and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League are exempt from these travel restrictions, at this time. 
  • Tournaments – There will be no tournaments of any sort, regardless of the age of participants in PEI. Regular practices and league games can occur involving a maximum of 50 participants per day (not including spectators).
  • Businesses and restaurants – Every business, eating establishments and organization should take steps to establish physical distancing between patrons of different households. There should be no more than 20 people at a table in a restaurant and no standing receptions where food and drink is served.
  • Dancing – Close activities, such as dancing at weddings, can occur in cohorts of 50 provided masks are worn at all times.

Dr. Morrison announced three new cases of COVID-19. Two of the cases are related to travel outside of the province and one is a close contact of a previous case. One individual is in their 60s, one is in their 30s and one is under the age of 12 years. 

There are currently 36 active cases of COVID-19 in PEI and there have been 423 cases since the pandemic began. 

There are new public exposure notifications:

  • Wednesday, December 8
    • Maid Marion’s Diner (7 Ellis Road, Charlottetown) between 10:30 am and 11:30 am
    • Best Buy (191 Buchanan Drive, Charlottetown) between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm
    • Spartan Fitness (306 University Avenue, Charlottetown) between 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm
  • Friday, December 10
    • Linda’s Coffee (32 Queen Street, Charlottetown) between 10:00 am and 11:15 am
    • Lawton’s Sherwood Centre (100-161 St. Peter’s Road, Charlottetown) between 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm

Anyone who was at these locations during these times who is not fully vaccinated should visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure. If any symptoms develop, individuals should be re-tested.

Anyone who was at these locations during these times who is fully vaccinated should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date of exposure and if any symptoms develop, they should visit a drop-in testing clinic.

There are also new flight exposure notifications:

  • Air Canada flight 8332 from Toronto to Charlottetown on Friday, December 10

Anyone who travelled on this flight should monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any symptoms develop, visit a drop-in testing clinic. 

As of Saturday, December 11, 95 per cent of Island residents age 12 years and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 91.8 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses. 23.8 per cent of children age 5-11 years have received their first dose. Over 9,700 people have received their third dose or booster of COVID-19 vaccine. Approximately 7,500 individuals are eligible for a booster and have not yet received their third dose. 

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 and those age 18 years or older can visit 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.

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


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

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