Prince Edward Island is reporting one new case of COVID-19 and the further easing of some restrictions, effective Wednesday.
The province’s latest case involves a female under the age of 19.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said the person has a “history of recent out-of-province travel.” Contact-tracing is complete and the person is self-isolating.
There are currently four active cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. Morrison said all four people are isolating at home and are being followed by Public Health.
P.E.I. has seen a total of 97 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic was declared. Of those, 93 people have recovered.
There have been no deaths on the island.
As of Tuesday, the province has recorded 78,725 negative test results.
“We have lots of reasons to be hopeful and optimistic as we start this new year,” said Morrison during a news conference on Tuesday.
“I know the holiday season was different for all of us this last year and thank you to Islanders and visitors for adjusting holiday plans with respect to public health measures.”
As COVID-19 cases spike in other parts of the country, Morrison cited Islanders’ willingness to abide by the restrictions, tight screening measures at the border, and extensive testing as some of the key reasons for the province’s low numbers.
“At this point Atlantic Canada, including P.E.I., is in an enviable position compared to our provincial counterpoints out of the Atlantic region,” she said.
“Currently we are doing well, however we know one super-spreader event could change our situation dramatically.”
EASING RESTRICTIONS FOR ORGANIZED GATHERINGS, SPORTS
Morrison also announced that P.E.I. will be easing some restrictions, effective Wednesday at 8 a.m.
Organized gatherings, such as concerts, worship services and movie theatres, can occur with 50 people, with two additional multiples of 50 permitted with an approved operation plan.
Weddings and funerals will remain at 50 people, plus officiants, and will not be eligible for additional multiples of 50.
Organized recreation and team sports will resume, subject to limits for organized gatherings, so three cohorts of 50 people.
Tournaments are allowed, provided the total number of people mixing over the span of the day does not exceed 50. Prior approval is required for any sporting event involving more than 50. Participation in post-game activities is restricted to individual teams.
Personal indoor and outdoor gatherings will continue to be for one household, plus 10 consistent individuals as much as possible.
In-room dining at restaurants and licensed establishments will continue to be offered until 11 p.m., with a maximum table size of 10 people.
Morrison said the goal is to bring P.E.I. back to the “new normal” phase by Jan. 25.
Premier Dennis King said the four premiers of the Atlantic provinces see the importance of re-establishing the Atlantic bubble as soon as it is safe to do so, but that P.E.I. won’t be rejoining the bubble before Jan. 25.
“The rise in cases that we’re seeing across the country and around the world suggest that we need as a province to continue to exercise a high level of caution in our province and in this region,” said King.
He said P.E.I. will continue to monitor the cases in the other Atlantic provinces for a few weeks after the holidays, noting a potential increase in cases due to holiday gatherings and travel.
“We need more time to see what impacts that could or will have,” said King.