P.E.I. reports one new case of COVID-19, to ease some restrictions Wednesday

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CHARLOTTETOWN — Prince Edward Island reported one new case of COVID-19 Tuesday, one day before some pandemic-related restrictions are set to be eased across the province.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Heather Morrison said the new case involves a female under the age of 19 who had travelled outside the province.

Morrison says there are four active reported infections on the Island.

Starting Wednesday, Morrison said, gatherings such as concerts, worship services and movie screenings can occur with up to 50 people and two additional groups of 50, provided a plan is approved spelling out how health measures will be respected.

Recreational and team sports will be allowed to resume but must follow the same limit of three cohorts of 50 people.

The limit on indoor private gatherings will remain at one household plus 10 people until at least Jan. 25.

Premier Dennis King said Island officials continue to monitor for a potential spike in cases resulting from holiday gatherings and greater movement of people during the holidays.

Still, he says the province has been very lucky.

"Prince Edward Island has seen more flexibility than other jurisdictions. It's very important we don't take this for granted," King said at a news conference in Charlottetown. "Things can change very quickly, so we can't let our guard down."

Morrison and King said the Island will remain outside the Atlantic bubble, which allowed residents of the region to travel freely between provinces, until at least Jan. 25.

They say they are monitoring the rising number of cases elsewhere in the country and say the extra weeks outside the bubble will give authorities more time to administer vaccines.

Morrison said she expects all long-term care and community care staff will have received their first vaccine in the next three weeks.

"By the end of March we anticipate anyone living or working in long-term care and community care and other congregate living arrangements as well as health-care workers who provide direct patient care will be fully vaccinated," she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 5, 2021.

— By Kevin Bissett in Fredericton.

The Canadian Press