Public health measures easing on January 31
Premier Dennis King and Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, have announced that public health measures will plan to ease slightly throughout Prince Edward Island effective Monday, January 31.
“Last week, additional measures were implemented in response to very concerning trends in a number of key indicators. The purpose of these measures was to limit contact with between individuals and limit the spread of COVID-19. These measures are not without impacts on individuals, families, businesses and organizations. Based on various indicators, it seems that these measures have started be effective, and Islanders are decreasing their contacts, so we are able to ease carefully back to the measures in place at the Omicron situation in late December.”
- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison
The easing of public health measures includes a return to in-class learning for all K-12 public and private schools as per the most recent Back to School Guidance, with enhanced measures including masking, testing and cohorting. Additional information will be shared tomorrow regarding measures in place and plans to deal with situations when there are cases of COVID-19 in school settings.
The Chief Public Health Office will monitor indicators and COVID-19 activity in PEI on a regular basis to inform further decisions regarding further easing of measures.
The following measures will be effective as of 12:01 am on Monday, January 31:
- Personal gatherings are permitted with household members plus a maximum, steady and consistent ten people; individuals are encouraged to continue to keep their circle of contacts as small as possible;
- Organized gatherings are permitted with up to 50 people plus staff, provided there is physical distancing between people of different households; this applies to faith gatherings, wedding and funeral ceremonies, theaters and concerts;
- Wedding and funeral receptions are not permitted;
- Team practices and recreational activities can occur with up to 20 consistent individuals;
- Day camps are permitted in groups of 20 people;
- Fitness facilities can open with up to 50 per cent capacity and physical distancing; there can be group fitness classes of up to 50 people with physical distancing;
- In-room dining can resume with up to 50 per cent capacity with six feet of distance between tables and maximum table size of 10 people; food premises and licenses establishments must stop food and beverage service at approximately 11:00 p.m. and close by midnight; people must be seated to eat or drink; standing receptions where food and drink are served are not permitted;
- No dance floors or karaoke permitted;
- Masks cannot be removed when seated at indoor events, even when there is physical distancing of six feet;
- Other businesses and organizations are permitted to serve the public with up to 50% capacity and physical distancing (this includes retail, casinos, museums and libraries);
- Vax pass program remains in place for discretionary events and activities,
- Visitation in long-term care is increased to three partners in care and three designated visitors; in homes where there are outbreaks, there are additional measures in place, and
- Individuals entering the province will continue to isolate for four days with testing.
Dr. Morrison announced 255 new cases of COVID-19 as of 8:00 am on Wednesday, January 26.
These new cases are still under investigation. There are currently 2,640 active cases of COVID-19 and there have been 6,812 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Over the last seven days there have been an average of 242 cases per day.
There are 14 individuals in hospital being treated for COVID-19, including two people in the Intensive Care Unit. There are two others in hospital who are positive for COVID-19 but are being treated for illnesses other than COVID-19 (COVID-19 was not the reason for admission).
Update on the locations of current outbreaks in high-risk settings:
• Long Term Care Facilities (seven facilities with outbreaks):
- Andrews of Park West
- Atlantic Baptist
- Beach Grove Home
- Clinton View Lodge
- Garden Home
- South Shore Villa (new outbreak)
- Summerset Manor
• Community Care Facilities (two facilities with outbreaks):
- Bevan Lodge
- Miscouche Villa
• Early Learning and Child Care Centres:
- 17 centres with cases of COVID-19
- Two centres open
- Two centres closed
- 13 centres operating at a modified or reduced capacity
• Other congregate settings:
- Population that accesses shelter and outreach services in Charlottetown
- Prince County Correctional Centre
- Provincial Addictions Treatment Facility
- Provincial Correctional Centre
- St. Eleanor’s House
The Chief Public Health Office will announce when outbreaks are declared over.
There have been a total of nine individuals who have passed away due to COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island. An individual’s death is determined to be related to COVID-19 if the attending physician believes COVID-19 is the cause of death or a contributing factor.
As of Saturday, January 22, 96.3 per cent of Island residents over the age of 12 years received at least one dose of vaccine and 93.1 per cent were fully vaccinated. 64 per cent of children ages 5 to 11 had one dose and 48,502 individuals have their booster dose.
Health PEI is reminding eligible Islanders of the hundreds of vaccination appointments still available this week at clinics across the province for first, second and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, including dedicated appointments for children.
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
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, COVID-19 Special Leave Fund, and Child Care Support for Children and Families 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. The program operates on a self-referral basis. More information is available here.
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