P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced two new cases of COVID-19 at a briefing Friday morning.
The briefing was to update Islanders on the situation at a daycare that was closed on Thursday after a case of COVID-19 was discovered there. Only one of the two new cases was connected to the daycare. Both had recently travelled outside Atlantic Canada.
The 38 children and seven staff members at the daycare were instructed to get tested, go home, and self-isolate. Morrison said all the staff and 35 of the children had been tested and their results had come back negative.
"It's encouraging at this stage to know that all but one of the close contacts have tested negative at this point," she said.
"Even if someone is negative today, you still need to continue to isolate, but it means that you would not have been able to infect someone you saw yesterday."
The positive test in connection with the daycare was a close contact of the staff member who tested positive Thursday. Morrison said that incident has been referred to enforcement.
Morrison also said there are indications that the staff member went to work while symptomatic, and it is a good example of the importance of not going to work while ill.
In all, seven household contacts of staff members were identified and told to get tested, including the one positive test. Five of those tests have come back negative, and one is yet to be tested.
All the children attending the daycare and staff are considered close contacts of the case announced Thursday and will need to continue to self-isolate for 14 days. They will be tested twice more, on days four to six, and days nine to 11.
"This situation is stressful, inconvenient and disruptive for families. We feel badly for the families that have been impacted," said Morrison.
Rule breakers held accountable
Premier Dennis King opened the briefing with a stern warning about continuing to follow pandemic protocols.
"We need every single Islander to continue to follow the protocols," said King.
Every ticket issued on P.E.I. for public health violations in connection with the pandemic has been upheld in the courts, King said. People on P.E.I. who flout the rules will be held accountable, he said.
Because Islanders have paid attention to the rules they have enjoyed a level of freedom during the pandemic unmatched by anywhere in Canada, he said.
"We've gotten where we are not by being selfish, but by thinking of others," he said.
"We all get a little frustrated and disappointed when we hear something like this happen."
The finish line is in sight, he said, and he urged Islanders to keep running toward it.
P.E.I. has had 190 cases of COVID-19, with nine currently considered active. There have been two hospitalizations and no deaths.
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