P.E.I. extends COVID-19 self-isolation mandate, anticipates fall surge of cases

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Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said that with cases going up, now is not the time to phase out the mandate. (CBC - image credit)
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said that with cases going up, now is not the time to phase out the mandate. (CBC - image credit)

People on Prince Edward Island who test positive for COVID-19 will be legally required to self-isolate for a while longer.

The province announced Thursday it has extended its isolation mandate by two more weeks.

Islanders with COVID-19 must isolate for seven days from when symptoms began or from the date of their positive COVID-19 test. Those who are immunocompromised must do so for 10 days.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said that with cases going up, now is not the time to phase out the mandate.

"It certainly appears that we may have a summer wave. In some provinces, they're calling it a wavelet," she said in an interview with CBC News: Compass.

"But the modelling would suggest that we are anticipating a fall surge of cases and that's certainly what we want to prepare for."

Average daily COVID-19 cases diagnosed on P.E.I.

In the last week, P.E.I. has seen an average of 115 new COVID-19 cases per day, the highest since early May. There has also been an increase in the number of daily hospitalizations.

Focus on booster doses

Morrison also said the province has detected traces in samples of wastewater of what could be either the BA.4  or BA.5 Omicron subvariant. These subvariants can escape antibodies, meaning vaccination and previous infection aren't as effective.

She said the province has not discussed a return to remote learning in the fall, and that instead the government is putting its focus on booster doses.

"What we're really wanting to talk about is the importance of vaccines that we are eligible to receive being up to date. And these really provide the best protection we can [have] against severe illness," she said.

The CPHO is recommending all individuals 12 years of age and older receive a booster leading into the fall, regardless of the number of previous doses. Individuals are advised to receive a dose three to six months after their last shot.

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