U.K. Variant identified in PEI
Prince Edward Island’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison and Premier Dennis King announced the province’s first COVID-19 case associated with the U.K. variant.
Late yesterday, the Chief Public Health Office was notified by the provincial lab and the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, that a positive COVID-19 sample from PEI had been identified as variant B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom. The individual is a male in his 20s, with a recent history of international travel. This case was previously announced on February 4, 2021. He remains in self-isolation and is being followed daily by public health.
“At this point, there is no indication that the variant strain of COVID-19 has spread within our province. However, the arrival of a variant in PEI confirms how important it is that we remain vigilant and do not become complacent with COVID-19. The quarantining and isolation of travelers and testing anyone experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms is now more important than ever. If we let our guard down we are putting our families, our communities and our province at risk.”
- Dr. Morrison.
Out of an abundance of caution, last night and today the Chief Public Health Office is following up with everyone who travelled on Air Canada flight 8302 from Montreal to Charlottetown on February 1, 2021. As part of standard testing and isolation protocols, many of these individuals were tested earlier this week and they are all following isolation protocols.
The man had no close contacts, but as an extra precaution, casual contacts are being tested or re-tested. Some passengers on the flight were tested this morning and received negative results, and other passengers were tested this afternoon and are awaiting results. The paramedics who tested the positive case and airport screeners have tested negative. Testing is being arranged for three additional individuals.
Symptoms may include:
- new or worsening cough
- shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- sore throat
- runny nose, sneezing, congestion
- muscle/joint/body aches
- feeling unwell/unusual tiredness
- acute loss of sense of smell or taste
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.
Prince Edward Island has two active cases of COVID-19 and has had a total of 114 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:
- Maintain a distance of two meters from others as much as possible
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Wear a mask in closed, indoor public spaces
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
- Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
Health and Wellness