Requirement for COVID-19 isolation and masks to remain in place
Acting Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Eilish Cleary, announced that Prince Edward Island’s legal order requiring seven days of isolation of positive cases of COVID-19 (10 days of isolation for immune compromised cases) and masks in high risk settings, including hospitals, long-term care and community care homes, will remain in place to reduce transmission throughout the province.
“Keeping the legal order for isolation and masks in high risk settings will help to curb the transmission of COVID-19 while we are seeing a surge in cases on Prince Edward Island. It is important to be cautious over the summer months as COVID-19 is circulating in communities across the Island. Getting up to date on vaccinations as soon as possible, wearing a well fitted mask when in crowded or indoor public places, improving indoor ventilation, and getting tested if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are important preventative measures.”
- Acting Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Eilish Cleary
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 are legally required to isolate for 7 days (after onset of symptoms or positive test) regardless of vaccination status. Individuals who are immunocompromised must isolate for 10 days. Masks continue to be required in high risk settings, such as hospitals, long term and community care homes and are strongly recommended in most indoor public settings.
Clinic testing continues to be accessible throughout the province and it is important for individuals who are at risk of severe outcomes and are symptomatic to be tested at a Health PEI testing clinic to ensure they can access antiviral treatment for COVID-19.
The recent results from genetic sequencing received from the National Microbiology Lab were all identified as BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants and as a result, individuals who have previously tested positive with other subvariants of Omicron are at greater risk of being re-infected. These variants are more transmissible and can escape the immune system, meaning that prior vaccination and/or infection are not as protective against becoming infected with BA.4 or BA.5, compared to earlier variants. Individuals who previously tested positive and have symptoms of COVID-19 will be considered as re-infected if they have a positive test result as early as 60 days after their previous positive test (this has been reduced from 90 days).
Parents of unvaccinated children between the ages of 5 and 11 years should make an appointment for their children to receive a first dose. In addition to any immediate illness, children are vulnerable to developing long COVID-19 and the long-term health impacts of post-viral illnesses are not yet known. Island children 5 to 11 years of age can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at a Health PEI vaccination clinic.
Anyone 12 years of age and older can get vaccinated at a Health PEI vaccination clinic or at one of the many partner pharmacies across the province. Booster doses are being offered at clinics and partner pharmacies.
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.
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.
Health and Wellness