Coronavirus: P.E.I. bans in-room dining, bars in effort to stop spread of virus

Dr. Heather Morrison, Prince Edward Island's chief medical officer of health, announces the province's first confirmed case of coronavirus on Saturday, March 14, 2020. Government of Prince Edward Island

Prince Edward Island has officially banned in-room dining areas, bars, indoor play areas, theatres and movie theatres in order to stall the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says the closures are effective immediately. All non-essential government services will also be halted.

“We think that this is the best approach in trying to keep everyone safe,” she said.

For restaurants, pick-up, delivery and drive-thru options will continue to be allowed for the time being.

READ MORE: Prince Edward Island sees first confirmed case of coronavirus

Health officials are also recommending the closure of dental clinics for the next 10 days, with dental emergencies handled on a case-by-case basis.

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During Tuesday’s press briefing, Morrison said wakes at funeral homes will be restricted to family members with no more than 20 people present.

There is still just one case of COVID-19 on Prince Edward Island. A woman in her 50s from the Queens County area tested positive for the virus after returning from travel on a cruise ship.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Nova Scotia' Coronavirus outbreak: Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Nova Scotia
Coronavirus outbreak: Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Nova Scotia – Mar 16, 2020

The woman was experiencing symptoms, called 811 and was told she needed to be tested.

Morrison says the woman returned to P.E.I. on March 7. She remains in self-isolation with mild symptoms.

“Everyone who may have been travelling on WestJet flight 3440 from Toronto to Moncton on March 7 should self-isolate,” said Morrison.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 1 confirmed, 6 presumptive cases identified in Nova Scotia   

Morrison is once again encouraging Islanders to stay home as much as possible, even without a travel history. She reaffirmed that you’re able to go outside

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“Consider whether leaving the house is essential,” she said. “Grocery shopping of course is essential, but for those of you who are not self-isolating … it’s asking that question, do you need to leave?

“I want Islanders to help support each other in this very difficult time … we can make a difference, especially to the most vulnerable in our population.”

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