COVID-19 outbreak triggers cancellations beyond Charlottetown schools

·2 min read
The tent for this year's P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival came down Tuesday after the event was cancelled due to rising COVID-19 case counts. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)
The tent for this year's P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival came down Tuesday after the event was cancelled due to rising COVID-19 case counts. (Brian Higgins/CBC - image credit)

More local organizations are calling plans off following the outbreak of COVID-19 at some of P.E.I.'s schools.

Sports, festivals and Sunday school are among the list of things getting postponed or straight up cancelled after the province decided to temporarily suspend in-person classes for Charlottetown-area schools.

Organizers of the sold-out P.E.I. International Shellfish Festival decided to cancel just days before it was scheduled to happen.

"It was the right things to do," said Liam Dolan, founder and chair of the festival. "We're disappointed. It's a big economic impact for the Island, for Charlottetown, but we also have to remember we have to live here for a long, long time to come."

The Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) made the decision to cancel their open house for the second year in a row, which was supposed to take place Sept. 24.

"Given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we decided it would be best to be cautious and look to resume … next year," AVC dean Dr. Greg Keefe said in a media release.

Also in Charlottetown, the Whisperwood Villa seniors home said on Sunday it was closing its doors to visitors temporarily in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

'On hold'

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

Trinity-Clifton United Church had intended to resume its Sunday school program after having to cancel it last year. The program covers a wide age range of children from pre-kindergarten to junior high.

"The plan was that once schools were back, we would wait two weeks and then we would see what things looked like. If things looked good, we would resume Sunday school," said Arthur Davies, transitional minister at the church.

Davies said they're now not sure when Sunday school will start and that the situation is now "on hold."

"I still hope it'll start at the right time, when it's safe and people are well," he said. "It will be slow to get off the ground, but I think people will eventually start to feel more comfortable and we will start to bring people back to this faith community on a Sunday morning."

'Bit of a wait-and-see approach'

Brian Higgins/CBC
Brian Higgins/CBC

Hockey P.E.I. technical director Connor Cameron said the organization is watching the situation closely to decide how to proceed this upcoming season.

"It's not terrible timing for us right now," he said.

"At this time, it's mostly our older kids, our AAA kids, that are on the ice. So in terms of our membership to put a ballpark number on it, we're probably operating at a 15 to 20 per cent capacity or so with our kids on the ice right now.

"In terms of planning for the rest of the season, it's a bit of a wait-and-see approach."

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