MIL-OSI Canada: Three new cases of COVID-19; vaccine update; at-home test kits for youth; Halloween guidance

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Source: Government of Canada – Prince Edward Island

Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island.

Two individuals are in their 50s with a history of travel outside PEI. Contact tracing is complete, the individuals are self-isolating. 

One individual is in their 20s and this case is still under investigation.

There are new public exposure notifications in Charlottetown: 

  • Friday, October 15
    • Walmart Supercentre (80 Buchanan Drive) from 12:45 pm to 1:15 pm
  • Saturday, October 16
    • Dollarama in the Charlottetown Mall (670 University Avenue) from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, October 17
    • Junko Market (161 Maypoint Road) from 4:00 pm to 4:15 pm
    • Walmart Supercentre (80 Buchanan Drive) from 4:15 pm to 4:45 pm
    • Freshest Fruits and Vegetables (421 University Avenue) from 4:45 pm to 5:15 pm

Anyone who visited any of these locations at these times who is not fully vaccinated should visit a drop-in testing clinic to be tested and monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should be re-tested.

Anyone who visited these locations at these times who is fully vaccinated should monitor for symptoms for 14 days and if any symptoms develop, visit a drop-in testing clinic. 

There is a flight exposure notification:

  • Air Canada flight 8332 departing Toronto on Friday, October 15 and arriving in Charlottetown on Saturday, October 16

Anyone who travelled on this flight should monitor closely for symptoms of COVID-19 and if any develop, visit a drop-in testing site. 

Prince Edward Island currently has seven active cases of COVID-19 and has had 315 positive cases since the pandemic began.

As of Saturday, October 16, 92.7 per cent of eligible residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 86.7 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

Effective immediately, pharmacists can administer the COVID-19 vaccine to all eligible individuals age 12 years and over. Previously, pharmacists were only able to administer the vaccine to those 18 years and over. 

Beginning next week, all families in PEI with children in grades K to 6 or children in licensed early learning child care centers will have access to at home COVID-19 test kits. These at home test kits are for screening children who have one mild symptom of COVID-19 and are not able to visit a drop-in testing clinic. Any child with symptoms of COVID-19 and who has recently traveled outside of the province or has had contact with someone who has COVID-19, should not be tested with at home test kit, but should self-isolate and visit a Health PEI testing clinic to be tested. 

These tests are also being distributed at points of entry to be used with school-aged children under eight years of age who have travelled outside the province and are recommended to receive a negative test before returning to school. 

At home tests kits (rapid antigen tests) are less accurate than PCR tests which means that if the test is negative, it needs to be repeated in 48 hours.  Anyone who receives a presumptive positive on one of these at home test kits will require a PCR test to confirm the result (administered at Health PEI testing clinics). A PCR test is required to diagnose an individual with COVID-19. 

All Islanders six months of age and older are encouraged to receive the flu vaccine. It is available free of charge at public health community flu vaccine clinics, physician offices, nurse practitioner offices and pharmacies. Individuals over the age of 65 should request the high-dose flu vaccine (only available at public health clinics and pharmacies). Youth age two to 17 can receive the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray – FluMist (only available at public health clinics). 

The outbreak at West Royalty Elementary School was declared over on October 10, 14 days after the last case linked to the outbreak was diagnosed. 

Halloween guidance is now available on our website. Similar to last year:

  • Door to door trick or treating can take place with precautions;
  • Children should visit people they know in their neighborhood;
  • Communal treat bowls should be avoided and no contact treat pick up options are recommended;
  • Anyone isolating or feeling unwell should not hand out treats; and
  • Be respectful of homes that do not wish to participate in Halloween this year. 

As always, all Islanders are urged to get tested if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, even after a previous negative test, and to self-isolate until the results come back. Islanders are also encouraged to download the free national COVID Alert app, which will let them know if they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Anyone age 12 and over can receive their COVID-19 vaccination at one of the Health PEI clinics and those age 18 years or older can visit one of the 28 partner pharmacies across the province.  

For information on PEI’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout, including vaccine facts, immunization data and booking an appointment, visit: COVID-19 Vaccines. For answers to commonly asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit: Answers to Common COVID-19 Vaccine Questions.

For the latest information about Prince Edward Island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit: COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Prince Edward Island

Backgrounder:

The Chief Public Health Office continues to work closely with the federal government, provincial and territorial counterparts, government departments and Health PEI to monitor the pandemic situation and prepare for all COVID-19 related impacts to the province, including health, social and economic. The public health risk of COVID-19 is continually reassessed, and Islanders will be updated as new information becomes available.
 
Everyone is encouraged to follow routine prevention measures:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a non-medical mask in indoor places
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well
  • Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keep your circle of contacts small
  • Physical distance – stay two meters (6 feet) apart
  • Don’t share items like drinking glasses and water bottles
  • Frequently clean surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops
  • Visit a drop-in-clinic to be tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Media Contact:
Samantha Hughes
Health and Wellness
shughes@gov.pe.ca

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