7 new COVID-19 cases on P.E.I., holiday advice from Dr. Morrison

Prince Edward Island’s Chief Public Health Officer announced seven new COVID-19 cases in an unscheduled briefing Friday. Three of those cases are people in their 20s, two are under 21, one is in their 30s and one in their 40s. Two of those cases are related to close contacts of a previous case, and five are related to travel outside Atlantic Canada. She said the Chief Public Health Office is declaring an outbreak at Westwood Elementary School in Cornwall. Two COVID-19 cases were announced at the school Thursday and it has been closed since then.  In the last three weeks weeks there have been almost 80 COVID-19 cases on P.E.I., two school-related outbreaks, five workplace outbreaks, cases in several early learning centres and numerous sports teams, Morrison said.  “We are very concerned about the possibility of increased transmission over the holidays,” she said. “We do not want to go back to the restrictions that were in place last year.”  No new gathering limits There are no new limits to indoor or outdoor gatherings, however Morrison is advising Islanders to keep personal gatherings as small as possible, and know the vaccination status of attendees.  “I do urge Islanders to think twice about attending large gatherings where you do not know the vaccine status of others attending,” she said.  Morrison said most of the recent cases have been children because most of them are unvaccinated. Despite the recent rise in cases, there is a low risk of serious illness due to the high vaccination rate in the province, she said.  CPHO recommends École la Belle Cloche in Rollo Bay can reopen Monday, Dec. 13. The last case from the school was on Tuesday.  Westwood Elementary School can also reopen on Monday, as can other schools closed in eastern Kings County.   Some students will be on daily home testing protocol. Students staff and volunteers should get tested if symptomatic and should stay home if they aren’t feeling well. The pop-up clinic will be open at Souris Hospital between 1:30 and 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12. 

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