Starting Sept. 30, anyone entering P.E.I. must get tested for COVID-19: Dr. Morrison

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Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, continues to urge everyone over 12 years of age to get vaccinated. (Government of P.E.I. - image credit)
Dr. Heather Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, continues to urge everyone over 12 years of age to get vaccinated. (Government of P.E.I. - image credit)

Beginning Sept. 30, anyone entering P.E.I., regardless of age or vaccination status, will be required to be tested for COVID-19, Dr. Heather Morrison said during a public health briefing Tuesday.

Morrison, P.E.I.'s chief public health officer, also announced two new cases of COVID-19, one related to the outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School in Charlottetown. There have been 30 recent cases linked to the school — nine are children under 10 years old, 15 are between 10 and 19 years of age, and six cases are adults who are household contacts.

The second new case is a person in their 50s, linked to recent travel outside the Atlantic region.

There have been 860 new cases in Atlantic Canada over the past week.

"Now is not the time for discretionary travel," Morrison said.

Now is not the time for discretionary travel. — Dr. Heather Morrison

Those who do travel outside P.E.I., or anyone entering from another province, will be tested upon arrival and between Day 4 and Day 8 after their arrival. Delays at the border entries will be inevitable, she said, though there may be some exceptions for same-day travel.

School-age children who can't be tested will be given a self-administered test, and must have a negative result before returning to school.

People entering P.E.I. who are unvaccinated or have received only one dose must self-isolate for eight days, and be tested on Day 8.

"We will continue to do everything we can to protect our health-care system here from being overburdened with COVID-19," Morrison said.

"And when we say this, it means that we want to make sure there's capacity in the ICU and in P.E.I. hospitals to care not only for COVID-19 patients but to care for your partner, your mother, your loved one if they have an accident or require hospital care."

9 active cases

The province is working on plans to introduce the P.E.I. Vax Pass next week, which will require people be fully vaccinated to access many public spaces. Morrison said more information, such as enforcement, will be addressed later in the week.

As of Sept. 25, more than 86 per cent of eligible Islanders are now fully vaccinated, and nearly 94 per cent of eligible Islanders have received at least one dose.

The province currently has nine active cases of COVID-19 and a total of 296 throughout the pandemic.

P.E.I. has had 63 cases in September, which is more than it had during the first 200 days of the pandemic. Close contacts of a case that was announced Saturday — a person in their 20s at UPEI — have all been identified and are in self-isolation and being tested appropriately, Morrison said.

COVID-19 cases on P.E.I.

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