Nov
2
2021

PEI eases public health measures; home self-screening kits available for children; booster doses; Remembrance Day

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced the easing of some public health measures, effective immediately.

“Given the declining number of active cases in PEI, the region and country, increased access to rapid tests, and limited community transmission, we are able to ease some of our public health measures. The easing of measures is a positive sign that we are able to move in the right direction.”

- Dr. Heather Morrison

The personal gathering limit is now increased to 50 people and cohorts are no longer required at Vax Pass events. 

Cohorts at activities that are exempt from the Vax Pass, such as church services and youth activities with those 18 years of age and younger will still require cohorts (100 people indoors and 200 outdoors).   

Island parents of children in licensed early learning and child care centres, as well as those with children in grades K to 6 now have access to COVID-19 rapid antigen home self-screening kits. 

Parents or guardians of children in licensed early learning and child care centres will be given a supply of tests by the centre staff and parents or guardians with children in grades K to 6 are encouraged to pick up test kits at any of the eight Access PEI sites. Schools also have a supply of test kits are available for parents. Test kits are also available at health centres at Abegweit First Nation and Lennox Island First Nation.

Over 60,000 rapid antigen home self-screening kits for children have been distributed across PEI. The kits contain either two or five tests, which can be used for children under the age of 12 years who are not eligible to be vaccinated.  These screening kits are to be used when a child has a single mild symptom of COVID-19.

If the rapid antigen screening test result is negative, it should be repeated in 48 hours, regardless of symptoms. Any positive rapid antigen screening must be followed up with a lab-based PCR test conducted at a Health PEI clinic.  The only test that can be used to diagnose COVID-19 is a lab-based PCR test.

For more information on rapid antigen screening  kits, visit the provincial website

Remembrance Day services at cenotaphs and monuments throughout the province are not required to be Vax Pass events. However, attendees should maintain six feet of physical distance from people outside their household. Organizers of other Remembrance Day gatherings at places like Royal Canadian Legions, community halls or churches, must determine if proof of vaccine is required under the PEI Vax Pass Program. 

As of Saturday, October 30, 93.6 per cent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 88.3 percent are fully vaccinated. PEI has one of the highest rates of fully immunized adults in the country.

Fully vaccinated rates are above 85 per cent in all age groups except those between 12 and 29 years of age. Those in this age group who are eligible to be vaccinated are encouraged to make an appointment as soon as possible for their first or second dose. 

Individuals who are immune compromised are eligible for a third dose of the vaccine and all eligible residents of long term care and community care will receive their boosters by November 5. 

On October 29, NACI recommended boosters for other populations (as long as it has been six months since their second dose) including:

  • Adults age 70 years and over;
  • Adults in or from First Nations, Inuit and Metis communities;
  • Individuals who received two doses of Astra Zeneca or one dose of Janssen vaccine; and
  • Health care workers who provide direct patient care (if the interval between those doses was 28 days or less).  

Individuals who are eligible to receive a booster or third dose can contact a partner pharmacy to book an appointment, book online with a public health clinic or call the vaccine booking line at 1-844-975-3303. 

Anyone who chooses to travel outside the province should be fully vaccinated and follow the public health guidance in the jurisdiction they are visiting. For those visiting PEI or when Island residents return, it is important to follow testing requirements and monitor for symptoms. Those who travel to PEI from out-of-province who are not fully vaccinated will continue to be required to self-isolate or work isolate. 

Prince Edward Island currently has four active cases of COVID-19 and has had 319 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 and those age 18 years or older can visit 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
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

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

DeptHW@gov.pe.ca