P.E.I. confirms first COVID-19 hospitalization since pandemic began

·2 min read
A patient with COVID-19 is being cared for at Unit 3 of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, says P.E.I.'s chief public health officer. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)
A patient with COVID-19 is being cared for at Unit 3 of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, says P.E.I.'s chief public health officer. (Steve Bruce/CBC - image credit)

Prince Edward Island marked a sombre milestone Friday, as the Chief Public Health Office said a person suffering the effects of COVID-19 has been admitted to hospital.

Though the province has had 167 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March 2020, not a single person with the disease has needed hospitalization — until now.

Provincial officials told CBC News the person is aged between 40 and 49.

"The rates of hospitalizations and ICU admissions are increasing across the country, so it is not surprising that P.E.I. has reported its first hospitalization today," chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said in a news release.

"Our health system and health care staff are well prepared to care for patients with COVID-19, so this individual will receive excellent care."

She added that the person involved, who is being cared for at Unit 3 of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, was a previously confirmed case with a recent history of travel outside Atlantic Canada.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said 'it is not surprising that P.E.I. has reported its first hospitalization' given COVID-19 outbreaks throughout Canada.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said 'it is not surprising that P.E.I. has reported its first hospitalization' given COVID-19 outbreaks throughout Canada.(Ken Linton/CBC)

"Visitors will not be permitted on the unit at this time. However, one designated partner in care will be permitted per patient, following infection control guidelines," the news release continued.

"Islanders are encouraged to continue to access emergency and other services at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital when needed, as the hospital remains a safe space to receive care."

In his own written statement, Premier Dennis King said the hospitalization "is a stark reminder of the precarious situation we find ourselves in and it requires us to continue to be vigilant in our fight against the virus."

Dr. Trevor Jain, an emergency department doctor who helped design QEH procedures for COVID-19 patients back in 2020, tweeted a message of reassurance shortly after the news broke.

"We undertook rehearsals and had policies and procedures in place. Main challenge now compared to 13 months ago is capacity," should more cases need hospital care, Jain posted. "So important to follow and maintain public health measures."

He added: "We have had multiple COVID patient[s] come through the ED at the QEH. This is the first hospitalization."

Prince Edward Island currently has seven active cases of COVID-19 among the cumulative total of 167 cases since March 2020.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic region Friday:

Further resources

Reminder about symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:

  • Fever.

  • Cough or worsening of a previous cough.

  • Possible loss of taste and/or smell.

  • Sore throat.

  • New or worsening fatigue.

  • Headache.

  • Shortness of breath.

  • Runny nose.