Prince Edward Island may be able to exit a two-week “circuit break” sooner than expected given there are no new cases of COVID-19 in the county for the fourth consecutive day, according to Dr. Heather Morrison.
There are now 12 active cases of COVID-19 in the county, down one from Thursday, and these people are isolating themselves and improving their performance, Prince Edward Island’s chief public health official said in an unscheduled briefing on Friday.
Prince Edward Island Prime Minister Dennis King said at the press conference that the county is managing the latest outbreak of COVID-19 on Prince Edward Island better than expected after an “unstable week for many islanders”.
“We haven’t gone out of the woods here yet, but we’re sitting here before you know we’re in a much better place today than we thought last Sunday,” King said.
King praised the efforts of all the children between the ages of 20 and 29 who queued up for the test after they were asked to do so due to an outbreak that was identified on the weekend of December 5-6.
The outbreak of 11 cases led King to put in place a two-week raft of measures to shut down gatherings across PEI until at least December 21.
The light at the end of the tunnel gets a little brighter.– President of the State Council, Denise King
“I can say as prime minister to all residents of the island, that our boycott is in safe hands with the next generation,” he said. “The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter.”
Morrison said the turnout of young Charlottetown islanders to take the test was “overwhelming”.
“So far, 3,500 tests have been analyzed, and all of them are negative,” she said. “Nearly 1,300 tests are still pending in this age group.”
Now, only people in the age group who have any COVID-like symptoms are required to take the test.
The 11 cases identified last weekend were all in contact with each other – nine people in their 20s and two in their 30s. Morrison said that close contacts of those involved in the outbreak will be re-tested in the coming days.
“From now on, our office will work with employers and others to continue to focus testing on individuals between the ages of 20 and 29 who may live with others of the same age group or work in crowded places,” she said. After determining the source or status of an indicator for this outbreak. “
Ease protocols early?
Tighter regulations on gatherings, restaurants and organized sports were introduced starting Monday to curb the potential spread of the coronavirus, and Morrison is “cautiously optimistic” that they are working.
“I think next week we will be able to give a clear indication of what the ring procedures could look like,” she said.
This means that the island could start to “come back soon … maybe a little earlier than expected, but a lot will depend on the next few days,” Morrison said.
A vaccine is on the way
At Friday’s briefing, the chief public health official provided more details about the COVID-19 vaccines being brought into the county.
Morrison said the first 1950 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine will arrive next week, with administration beginning Wednesday for members of priority groups who will be contacted in advance to arrange appointments.
“Everyone in Prince Edward Island will have a chance to get vaccinated, but it will take some time.”
Moderna vaccine will come later and does not require the same deep freeze storage as Pfizer-BioNTech. This vaccine will initially target residents in long-term care, Morrison said.
Prince Edward Island has confirmed 84 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with no deaths and no one requiring hospital treatment, and as of Thursday, the county had handled 67,473 tests.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Cough or worsening of a previous cough.
- Possible loss of sense of taste and / or smell.
- Sore throat.
- New or worsening fatigue.
- Shortness of breath.
- Runny nose.
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