Three new cases of COVID-19 in PEI; vaccine update
Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Two of the individuals are in their 30s and one is in their 20s. All three are contacts of previously reported cases and two are close household contacts related to the West Royalty Elementary School outbreak. Contact tracing is complete, and they are all self-isolating.
“The last week was a stressful and scary time for many families. It was a reminder how quickly the virus spreads and the impact an outbreak has on families and communities. Thanks to the support of students, families, the education system and our partners at Health PEI, we are confident we are moving in the right direction to contain this outbreak. Last week’s decision to act quickly and close in schools in the Charlottetown area for a three-day period appears to have been key in helping to contain the spread. The closure allowed time for testing, contact tracing, and time for public health to investigate the extent of spread in the community.”
– Dr. Heather Morrison
Prince Edward Island currently has 47 active cases of COVID-19 and has had 287 positive cases since the pandemic began.
In the last week, 38 cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in PEI, the province’s highest weekly count to date. There is a total of 29 cases related to the outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School (24 children, and five adults). A link to travel outside the province has not been identified.
One of the cases linked to West Royalty is a student at Ecole La Belle Cloche. The close contacts of this cases were tested and all results have been negative, to date. Close contacts remain in self-isolation for 14 days and will be re-tested.
Over 7,000 lab-based tests were conducted last week, 51 per cent of these tests were for individuals under the age of 19 years. Over 11,300 rapid tests were conducted last week and just over three per cent were for individuals under the age of 19 years.
All of the PEI cases sequenced by the National Microbiology Lab in September have been confirmed as the Delta variant. CPHO is awaiting sequencing results on 26 samples, but they are anticipated to be the Delta variant as well.
“The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 and is much more infectious. At a population level, the vaccine is effective at protecting people from hospitalization and severe outcomes related to COVID-19, including the Delta variant,” said Dr. Morrison. “If you have not been vaccinated, please do so as soon as possible and if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild, please arrange to be tested.”
As of Saturday, September 18, a total of 250,223 doses of vaccine have been administered in PEI; 92. 8 per cent of the eligible population have received at least one dose of vaccine and 85.1 per cent received two doses. The rates for fully vaccinated eligible residents age 12 to 40 is still less than 80 per cent.
Dr. Morrison advises that until more people are fully immunized, Islanders should not travel outside of PEI unless they are fully vaccinated. If Islanders do travel, they are asked to follow public health measures in the area they are visiting and take steps to protect themselves and others.
Island residents who have received two doses and are moderately to severely immunocompromised can receive the third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Health PEI vaccine clinic or, if they are over 18 years of age, at a participating pharmacy.
As always, all Islanders are urged to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even after a previous negative test, and to self-isolate until the results come back. 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.
Anyone age 12 and over can make an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at one of the public clinics online or by calling 1-844-975-3303; those age 18 years or older can also make an appointment by contacting one of the 28 partner pharmacies across the province. Every Islander in the target age range will have the opportunity to be vaccinated in 2021.
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.
For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Prince Edward Island.
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:552
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
- Get vaccinated
- Stay home if you are not feeling well
- Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Keep your circle of contacts small
- 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
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