Health P.E.I. warns of longer ER wait times ahead of holiday weekend

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The entrance to the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. Health P.E.I. says a surge in COVID-19 cases could lead to prolonged wait times at emergency departments. (CBC - image credit)
The entrance to the emergency department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown. Health P.E.I. says a surge in COVID-19 cases could lead to prolonged wait times at emergency departments. (CBC - image credit)

Health P.E.I. is advising Islanders to expect longer than usual wait times at emergency departments across the province ahead of the holiday weekend.

The province said in a release Thursday afternoon it's anticipating a surge in COVID-19 cases could lead to prolonged waits at hospitals.

"Our emergency departments have already been short-staffed this summer, but the problem is pronounced as we see an uptick in COVID-19 cases in the general population and among our staff," Health P.E.I. CEO Dr. Michael Gardam said in the release.

"What we're advising is, if your issue is less than urgent, the emergency department is not the place to take it this holiday weekend."

The province also announced Thursday it would extend its COVID-19 self-isolation mandate.

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