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Prince Edward Island reports six new COVID-19 cases, ‘circuit breaker’ starts Sunday

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HALIFAX —
Prince Edward Island is reporting six new COVID-19 cases Saturday, with the active total rising to 13.

All of the new cases involve patients in their twenties.

P.E.I.’s chief health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced new measures Saturday, which are scheduled to take place Sunday — along with a lengthy list of potential exposures.

Premier Dennis King started Saturday’s conference by thanking islanders for their cooperation. He said over 880 P.E.I. residents were tested at one site alone, and over 7,000 total have been vaccinated so far.

“We need to wrap our arms around this virus and prevent it from spreading to the fullest extent we can,” said King. “We will continue to ask people to stay apart as much as possible, while at the same time being active socially and physically as much as possible – because we have learned over time how important both those aspects are to our overall wellbeing.”

CIRCUIT BREAKER

Dr. Heather Morrison announced new “circuit breaker” measures Saturday, as a result of the recent increase in cases.

Included in the new measures: a halt to in-person restaurant dining.

“I know these circuit breaker measures are not what people want to hear,” she said. “We are all feeling COVID-weary.”

Effective Sunday at 8 a.m., and until March 14, the following measures are scheduled to go in place:

  • Personal gatherings will continue, with single household bubble and 10 consistent individuals. Morrison emphasized the importance of keeping a consistent bubble of the same people.
  • Organized gatherings such as concerts, worship services and movies will be limited to 50, with no additional cohorts allowed.
  • Weddings and funerals will be allowed to include 50 people plus officiants, but no receptions will be allowed.
  • Supervised gyms and other fitness facilities can operate at up to 50 per cent of their “standard operating capacity” with additional cleaning.
  • Museums and libraries can operate at 50 per cent capacity
  • Team practices are allowed, if they comply with the existing gathering limits. Morrison says games, tournaments and competitions will no longer be allowed.
  • Retail stores, markets, and craft fairs will be allowed to operate at half of their “standard operating capacity”, exits and entrances must be monitored.
  • In-room dining will not be allowed, but takeout and delivery are.
  • Personal services can operate on an appointment basis, as long as everyone is wearing masks.
  • Child care centres can operate at full capacity
  • For long term care homes, restrictions will not change.

“If we can safely ease these measures before March 14, we will absolutely consider doing that,” Morrison said. “If these measures are not effective in breaking the chain of transmission of COVID-19, and we are not able to get this outbreak under control, we will consider increasing these restrictions.”

POTENTIAL EXPOSURE SITES

Morrison also included a lengthy list of potential exposure sites. She said anyone who visited or worked at the following locations is asked to immediately self-isolate and seek a COVID-19 test. After a negative test, Morrison said there is no need to keep isolating, but it’s important to monitor symptoms and seek a second test if any appear.

The potential exposure sites are as follows:

  • Pita Pit in Summerside
  • Friday, Feb. 19 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 21 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 22 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Feb. 26 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Callbeck’s Home Hardware in Summerside
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the following days:
  • Tuesday, Feb. 16
  • Thursday, Feb. 18
  • Friday, Feb. 19
  • Saturday, Feb. 20
  • Monday, Feb. 22
  • Thursday, Feb. 25
  • Burger King in Summerside on Granville St.
  • Sunday, Feb. 14 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 18 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, Feb. 20 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, Feb. 20 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 22 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Domino’s Pizza in Summerside
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, Feb. 22 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Feb. 23 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Feb. 24 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. (Thursday)

Morrison said she is expecting more positive cases to be announced in the coming days.

Correction:

A previous version of this story read that P.E.I. had 15 active cases as of Saturday. The P.E.I. government says this number was mentioned in error during Saturday’s media conference, and correct number is 13.

RELATED IMAGES

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  • Dr. Heather Morrison

    P.E.I. Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison is shown in this undated file photo. (Photo: P.E.I. Government)

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