Public health measures eased further as COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues
Today, Premier Dennis King and Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, announced the further easing of public health measures within the province as officials continue to closely monitor the presence of COVID-19 across the country.
The following public health measures will come into effect on Wednesday, January 6 at 8:00 a.m. with the goal of returning to the New Normal Phase on January 25. Prince Edward Island’s participation in the Atlantic Bubble will continue to be suspended until at least January 25.
- Organized gatherings, such as concerts, worship services and movie theatres, can continue to operate with a total of 50 people but can now have up to two additional groups of 50 people with an approved operational plan. Weddings and funerals can include up to 50 people, plus officiants. Weddings and funerals are not eligible for additional groups of 50.
- Organized recreational and team sports may resume subject to the organized gathering limit of 50 people, but can now have up to two additional groups of 50 people with an approved operational plan. In-province tournaments will now be permitted provided the number of people mixing over the span of a day does not exceed 50. Prior approval is required for any sporting events involving more than 50 people.
- Restaurants and licensed premises can continue to offer in-room dining service with a closing time of 11:00 p.m. and a maximum table size of ten people. These establishments are subject to the organized gathering limit of 50 people, but can now have up to two additional groups of 50 people with an approved operational plan.
Other previously announced post-circuit breaker measures will remain in place until at least January 25, including:
- Personal gatherings (indoor and outdoor) continue to be permitted with up to 10 additional people outside of your household. These 10 people should be as consistent as possible and physical distancing should be maintained as much as possible.
- Gyms/fitness facilities, museums, and libraries can continue to operate at 50% capacity with some modifications for high intensity activities.
- Retail stores, markets and craft fairs can continue to operate at up to 50% capacity.
- Personal services can continue operating on an appointment basis, provided non-medical masks are worn at all times by staff and patrons.
- Long-term care residents can have up to two partners in care, with a limited number of visitors allowed in designated areas.
- Licensed and unlicensed childcare centres can continue operating at 100% capacity.
Prince Edward Island continues to roll-out its COVID-19 vaccination program. In December, over 1,900 health care workers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with many starting to receive their second dose this week. Yesterday, the vaccine was administered at the first long-term care facility in the province as 170 residents and staff at Whisperwood Villa were vaccinated. Dr. Morrison indicated that she anticipates more than 1,000 residents and staff in private and public long-term care and community care facilities will receive their first dose of the vaccine by the end of this week.
Information about the Prince Edward Island’s COVID-19 vaccination program is available online, and more information will be shared with Islanders in the coming weeks about upcoming vaccine clinics for key populations and how Islanders can schedule an appointment.
Dr. Morrison also confirmed one new positive case of COVID-19 in the province. The individual is a woman under the age of 19 with a history of recent out-of-province travel. She has been self-isolating since arriving in the province and contract tracing is complete. She travelled on Air Canada Flight AC7462 from Toronto to Charlottetown on January 2. Anyone who travelled on this flight should monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and if symptoms develop, visit a drop-in testing clinic. There are no public exposure locations in the province related to this case.
All Islanders are reminded to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, and to self-isolate until the results come back. Islanders are also encouraged to download the free national COVID Alert app, which will to let them know if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
With three cases recently considered recovered, Prince Edward Island now has four active cases of COVID-19 and has had a total of 97 positive cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Information about the province’s COVID-19 cases is available online.
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:
- Physical distance - stay two meters (6 feet) apart
- 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
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- Wear a mask in closed, indoor public spaces
- 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