P.E.I. reports 9th new case of COVID-19 in the past 10 days

Dr. Heather Morrison, Prince Edward Island's chief public health officer, speaks during a COVID-19 update. Government of Prince Edward Island

The number of COVID-19 cases in Canada’s smallest province continued to climb on Tuesday as Prince Edward Island reported its ninth case in the past 10 days.

Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief medical officer of health, told media on Tuesday that the new case is an essential worker who had recently travelled internationally.

The individual is in his 30s and has been self-isolating since he arrived back to the Island, Morrison said.

She confirmed that the new case is not related to the cluster identified last week and is not related to the cases recently identified at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown.

Read more: COVID-19 cases in Prince Edward Island raise questions about easing border rules

Before the recent emergence of these cases, P.E.I. had last reported a new case of COVID-19 on April 28.

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“The events of the last 10 days remind us that COVID-19 continues to be in our province,” said Morrison.

Morrison reminded Islanders and visitors to the province to pay attention to public health measures, including handwashing, physical distancing and wearing a mask when physical distancing isn’t possible

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Morrison said there are now nine active cases of the virus in the province.

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There have been 36 people with confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, 27 of whom are considered to have recovered.

“All the active cases are at home and doing well and self-isolating,” Morrison said. “There is no one in hospital.”

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The chief public health officer said that 506 tests were processed on Tuesday, all of which came back negative.

Read more: New Brunswick reports single new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday

Those tests include the majority of staff and patients who had contact with a health worker, a man in his 40s, who works in the emergency room at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Morrison said on Monday that the man in his 40s tested positive Sunday night after being identified through the contact tracing of another case.

More than 100 patients and 125 staff were identified through contact tracing, and Morrison says all tests done so far have come back negative.

She says some people who have been in contact with the health-care worker in the last few days may be tested a second time.

“Once the final results of testing of staff and patients are done, we’ll make that public,” she said.

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The Atlantic travel bubble remains operational.

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The bubble permits interprovincial travel between Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador without self-isolation.

On Monday, Morrison said she thought it would be premature to consider loosening border restrictions on travel beyond the Atlantic bubble.

Premier Dennis King said Tuesday he’s comfortable restricting open travel to the four Atlantic Provinces.

“We remain very concerned about the Canadian-U.S. border. That will be extended to Aug. 21, I believe,” King said, referring to the temporary border closure between Canada and the United States.

“At this point, I would say, like my colleague – the premier of Newfoundland, Premier Ball – that I don’t think we would be actively looking beyond the Atlantic bubble anytime soon.”

You can learn what you need to do ahead of time to enter each province here.

With files from The Canadian Press

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