Health officials say Prince Edward Island having its ‘first real wave’ of COVID cases

A nurse gets a swab ready to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Prince Edward Island’s chief medical health officer is raising concerns about the number of recent cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Dr. Heather Morrison said the 69 cases of COVID-19 reported in P.E.I. over the last three weeks represent 17 per cent of all cases on the Island since the start of the pandemic.

“In many ways this is our first real wave of COVID,” she said at a news conference in Charlottetown Tuesday. “This is not the situation we want to be in as we enter the holiday season.”

Morrison announced five new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the number of active cases in the province to 23. She said the latest cases involve three children under the age of 12, a person in their 20s and someone in their 50s.

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She said there are six cases related to an outbreak at Ecole La-Belle-Cloche in Souris reported over the weekend, and the school will remain closed for the rest of the week.

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Morrison said she is concerned about cases being reported in eastern Kings County. “There appears to be community transmission in that region of the province as we are unable to link some of the cases to travel,” she said.

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Officials plan extra testing in the region on Wednesday and Thursday and are asking that children aged five to 11 as well as people involved in organized sports attend the testing clinics.

Court operations in Charlottetown were placed on hold Tuesday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The shutdown meant a coroner’s inquest into the deaths of a P.E.I. mother and her nine-year-old daughter was adjourned. Close contacts, including court staff, are being tested and are required to isolate until directed otherwise by health officials.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2021.

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