Prince Edward Island becomes last province to detect U.K. COVID-19 variant

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Prince Edward Island health officials announced on Saturday that they’ve become the 10th and final province to have a confirmed case of the B.1.1.7. COVID-19 variant that was first detected in the U.K.

Officials made the announcement at a previously unscheduled COVID-19 update on Saturday afternoon.

Premier Dennis King apologized to Islanders for interrupting their weekend but said he felt it was important that residents be informed.

The case of the variant has actually been previously reported on Feb. 4.

However, as a result of the time that it takes to process samples sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg, it was not confirmed to be a variant case until now.

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The case is a man in his 20s who recently returned from international travel, Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.’s chief medical officer of health, confirmed on Saturday.

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She stressed that the man had done everything that was required of him when he arrived in P.E.I. by immediately going into self-isolation at a separate location and apart from others.

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Officials say they don’t believe the individual had any close contacts and are confident the more contagious version of the coronavirus is not in the larger community.

The man arrived in Charlottetown on Feb. 1, on Air Canada Flight 8302 from Montreal. All passengers on board that flight should continue to self-isolate as required by health guidelines and they’ve been advised to get a COVID-19 test if they develop symptoms.

Several passengers who were on the flight will be tested by mobile units, Morrison confirmed.

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No new cases were announced on Saturday and Morrison said officials would not change any public health guidelines at this time.

There have been 114 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in P.E.I. since the pandemic began.

Two cases remain active. The province has had no deaths as a result of the virus.

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