P.E.I. reports no new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday; announces options for AstraZeneca vaccine recipients

Prince Edward Island is reporting no new positive cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, as the active number of cases on the province drops to four.

"We've reported between one and 16 cases in P.E.I. for the last 15 consecutive weeks - on average, about six new cases a week," said Dr. Heather Morrison. "70 per cent of our cases are travel related, and 70 per cent of our cases involve people less than 39 years of age."

Prince Edward Island currently has four active cases of COVID-19 and has had 204 cases since the pandemic began. 

VACCINE UPDATE

During Tuesday’s news update, Morrison announced that pending approval from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, P.E.I. will give two options to people who received their first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine.

People who received one dose of AstraZeneca can choose to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, or can opt to have either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their second dose.

Morrison says approximately 5,200 Islanders received one dose of AstraZeneca.

Morrison also announced Tuesday that effective Tuesday, public health nursing will be offering Pfizer vaccines to youth aged 12 to 15 in junior high to increase accessibility for that age group. Vaccination at school will occur only with prior parental consent, and parents can choose to schedule an appointment for their child at one of the public clinics.

As of Saturday, P.E.I. has administered 93,346 doses of vaccine, including 13,441 second doses, meaning 6.8 per cent of the province’s eligible population has received at least one dose, and 9.6 per cent have received two doses.

“Within the last week, we surpassed an important milestone, with 50 per cent of the province’s eligible population vaccinated," said Morrison during Tuesday's update. "Our primary goal is for 80 per cent of eligible Island residents to receive two doses of vaccine by the fall, and for those who are in high risk groups to be fully vaccinated with two doses as quickly as possible.”

STEP ONE OF REOPENING PLAN

P.E.I.'s 'Moving Forward' reopening plan will begin on June 6 with step one, which will see the following changes:

  • Personal gatherings can have a maximum of 20 people, an increase of the current limit of a household plus 10.
  • Funerals can have a maximum of 150 attendees, an increase of the current limit of 100.
  • Weddings can have a maximum of 150 attendees at both the ceremony, and reception, provided they are hosted by a recognized business or organization. Currently the maximum is at 100 attendees at a ceremony and 50 at a reception.
  • Restaurants can increase their table size to 20 people and there are no restricted closing times.

Step two of the province's five step plan will take effect on June 27, and will see travel permitted from Atlantic Canada with no self-isolation for travellers with at least one dose of vaccine, and shortened self-isolation for unvaccinated travellers.

"Effective June 27, people traveling to P.E.I. from outside Atlantic Canada will no longer be required to have a 72 hour pre arrival test. Instead, all individuals will be tested as they enter the province," explain Morrison on Tuesday.

COVID ALERT APP

Canada’s COVID-19 Alert app is available in Prince Edward Island.

The app, which can be downloaded through the Apple App Store or Google Play, notifies users if they may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Public health encourages Islanders to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even after a negative test, and to self-isolate until results come back.

Prince Edward Island provides a list of possible COVID-19 symptoms on their website, which include:

  • new or worsening cough
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • fever/chills
  • sore throat
  • runny nose, sneezing, congestion
  • headache
  • muscle/joint/body aches
  • feeling unwell/unusual tiredness
  • acute loss of sense of smell or taste

Other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea have been reported, but typically along with other COVID-19 symptoms, and may be seen more often in children. 

This is a developing story and will be updated.