P.E.I. postpones Phase 5 of reopening plan; two new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday

P.E.I. will not be moving to the fifth and final phase of the province's reopening plan on Sept. 12, as originally planned, the province's chief public health officer announced Tuesday.

“When the Moving Forward plan was released in May, we estimated moving to Step 5 on Sept. 12, when there would be an easing of all public health and travel measures. But much has changed since that reopening plan was developed.” said Dr. Heather Morrison during Tuesday’s news update. “We know the Delta variant is a game changer, and our goal line is changing because the virus is changing.”

Morrison said provincial health officials will be monitoring the situation, but the province will remain in Phase 4 of the reopening for the time being, which includes gathering limits of 100 people indoors and 200 people outdoors.

During Tuesday's news update, Morrison announced two new cases of COVID-19, as the number of active cases in the province rises to five.

Morrison says the new cases involve two people in their 20s who travelled outside of Atlantic Canada. Contact tracing is complete and they are self-isolating.

P.E.I. currently has five active cases of COVID-19. To date, there have been 235 positive cases of the virus on the island.

As of Saturday, 244,813 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered.

Morrison says as of Saturday, 91.7 per cent of the province's eligible population has received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 82.4 per cent of Islanders have received their second dose.

“P.E.I. is fortunate to have a high overall uptake in the eligible population, however the rates of fully vaccinated ages 12-40 is still less than 80 per cent," said Morrison during Tuesday's news update.

According to Morrison, there are still over 43,000 Island residents who are not fully vaccinated, including 19,000 youth under the age of 12 who are not eligible.