Jun
16
2022

Wastewater collection results shows presence of COVID-19

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, reports that wastewater collection results for COVID-19 (SARS-Co V-2) shows the presence of COVID-19 in Charlottetown (which includes Stratford) and Summerside. Wastewater sampling began in early May, with samples being collected twice weekly for the last five weeks. Wastewater samples from Charlottetown and Summerside are analyzed at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

“The wastewater collection results are not surprising given the level of COVID-19 transmission we have within our communities. The early trend is stable in both communities (Charlottetown and Summerside), without significant increases or decreases in viral load being detected. These results serve as another reminder that COVID-19 continues to circulate in PEI.”

- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison

PEI wastewater testing results will be included on the national COVID-19 wastewater surveillance dashboard beginning June 23rd, 2022. 

Regular wastewater COVID-19 testing is a population level intervention that serves as an early warning system. The COVID-19 virus is often detected in sewage before individual cases are identified by traditional testing and surveillance (i.e., positive individual COVID-19 tests). 

“We have committed to sharing the results publicly once we had enough data to determine trends of COVID-19. Plans are underway to expand wastewater testing to other communities across PEI in the future,” said Dr. Morrison.

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. Those who are symptomatic and at risk of severe outcomes should be tested to ensure they can access antiviral treatment for COVID-19.

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, regardless of vaccination status. The isolation requirement will be remaining in place until June 30th and will be reassessed next week. Masks are recommended in most indoor public settings and are still required in high risk settings, such as hospitals, long term and community care homes.

For the latest information on COVID-19 wastewater surveillance results, visit: Wastewater Surveillance for COVID-19. 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:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a properly fitted, three-layer mask in indoor public places 
  • 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

Media Contacts:
Morgan Martin
Health and Wellness
(902) 218-3430
mxmartin@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