COVID-19 on P.E.I.: What's happening Wednesday, March 25

There are two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I., chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison announced at a news briefing Wednesday evening.

That brings the total number of cases of COVID-19 on P.E.I. to five. 

Both of the new cases are men in their 30s who have recently returned from international travel. Neither of the men flew into Charlottetown airport. 

Morrison said further details on the flights the men were on will be made available Thursday.

So far, 539 tests have been conducted with five returning positive, 326 negative and 208 still awaiting results.

On Wednesday afternoon, Morrison announced the deployment of an emergency mini-clinic on the Island, ahead of an expected rise in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Health PEI's chief of nursing Marion Dowling said an order for 12 more ventilators is expected to arrive by late spring. This is in addition to the 15 ordered through the federal government. 

Charlottetown's Queen Elizabeth Hospital has modified its emergency room to treat COVID-19 patients. A negative-pressure respiratory treatment area, COVID-19 in-patient ward and COVID-19 ICU have been created.

CBC News: Compass, P.E.I.'s supper hour news program, is scheduled to return to CBC-TV Thursday.

P.E.I.'s provincial parks have delayed this year's reservation launch until May 5 in light of the pandemic. Officials said people are free to be in provincial parks, but they must continue to practise social distancing while on trails and beaches. They noted that playgrounds at provincial parks will be closed until further notice.

The City of Charlottetown passed a resolution on Wednesday to open the inside lane of the Victoria Park Roadway to be used as an active transportation lane. 

The move would allow people more room to participate in physical activity outdoors, while practising social distancing. Officials said the roadway will open to pedestrians and cyclists on April 1.

Ken Linton/CBC

Recent top stories

Financial relief

  • The Charlottetown water and sewer utility is offering options for flexible payments to people suffering financial difficulties during the public health emergency.
  • The province's largest landlord, the P.E.I. Housing Corporation, will suspend evictions for six weeks. 
  • P.E.I. Education Minister Brad Trivers announced licensed daycare staff will be eligible for employment insurance. Grants and subsidies will continue for licensed daycares. The province will provide emergency child-care services to essential workers who have no other options. 

Health

  • Health PEI said it will restrict all visitors to its facilities, except palliative care, intensive care, neonatal intensive care, obstetric and pediatric units. In these units, only one designated visitor is permitted — a member of the patient's immediate family or their care partner within the hospital.

  • Health PEI is rescheduling non-essential appointments, and said those affected will be contacted directly.

  • People who are ill or showing any symptoms of illness are being asked to call 811 and stay away from any P.E.I. health-care centres, unless they are seeking treatment. 

Education

  • UPEI and Holland College have essential personnel only on campus.

Travel

  • Any Islanders who have travelled out of province — whether experiencing symptoms or not — are required to self-isolate for 14 days following their return. This applies to people who have travelled internationally since March 8, and anyone who travelled to another province since March 21.

COVID-19: What you need to know

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Cough.
  • Tiredness.

But more serious symptoms can develop, including difficulty breathing and pneumonia, which can lead to death.

What should I do if I feel sick?

Isolate yourself and call your local public health authority. Do not visit an emergency room or urgent care centre to get tested.

How can I protect myself?

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

More detailed information on the outbreak is available on the federal government's website.

More COVID-19 stories from CBC P.E.I.