Prince Edward Island ramping up COVID-19 restrictions after record case count

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CHARLOTTETOWN — Health officials in Prince Edward Island reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Friday and ramped up restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison reported 31 new infections on the Island, adding that cases of the Omicron variant were on the rise in the province. She introduced a series of new restrictions that would go into effect Saturday.

They include a cap on indoor private gatherings to members of one household plus 10 other people, a limit on visitors to long-term care homes and a strict requirement for physical distancing at indoor public events, which can only operate at 50 per cent capacity.

A maximum of ten people per table will be permitted at restaurants and tables will have to be separated from each other by at least two metres.

Morrison noted that the situation with the variant is evolving and risk assessments of the dangers it poses could change. She said one of her concerns was having too many health-care workers forced into isolation following COVID-19 exposures, adding that she would consider ways to minimize isolation requirements for health staff.

"This wave and this Omicron variant is going to quickly make us very carefully and deliberately transition as to how we live with COVID and that includes looking at the shortest amount of isolation period for the minimum number of people," she said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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