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309 new cases of COVID-19 and 222 new recoveries; update on outbreaks

CANADA, January 15 - Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, has announced 309 new cases of COVID-19 and 222 new recoveries in PEI as of 8:00 am on Saturday, January 15, 2022. 

These new cases are still under investigation. There are currently 2,081 active cases of COVID-19 and there have been 4,170 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Over the last seven days there have been an average of 226 cases per day. 

There are five individuals in hospital being treated for COVID-19.  Two individuals are hospitalized for other reasons and have a diagnosis of COVID-19. None of these individuals are in the Intensive Care Unit. 

“Approximately 25% of our new cases are related to community spread which means there is no known origin of infection for the positive cases, such as travel or being a close contact. It is important that anyone who tests positive or is identified as a close contact follow the required isolation and testing protocols, respectively.  All Islanders should do everything possible to slow the spread of COVID-19, including keeping our circle of contacts as small as possible, getting vaccinated, including a booster dose (when eligible), wearing a mask and staying home when not feeling well.”

- Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Heather Morrison

The Chief Public Health Officer is reporting an outbreak at St. Eleanor’s House. Two individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. 

Update on previously announced outbreaks across Prince Edward Island:

  • Atlantic Baptist Long Term Care Facility 
    • Three new cases of COVID-19 to report (total 19 residents)
  • Garden Home Long Term Care Facility
    • No new cases to report (total 13 residents)
  • Miscouche Villa Community Care Facility
    • One new case to report (total 9 residents)
  • Early Learning and Child Care Centres 
  • Shelters and Outreach Services 
    • One new case to report (total 10 cases)
  • Provincial Correctional Centre 

Testing is currently ongoing and containment measures are in place at all facilities with outbreaks. In addition, there are numerous other outbreaks in workplaces across the province. 

In order to preserve the limited capacity of Health PEI testing clinics, until further notice, testing will continue to be limited to the following:

  • Symptomatic individuals
  • Close contacts of positive cases 
  • Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive at a point-of-entry
  • Confirmatory tests for individuals who test preliminary positive with a rapid antigen test 

Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should isolate until they are able to be tested and continue to isolate after being tested until a negative result is received. 

Individuals who do not have symptoms do not require testing (unless in one of the above categories). Those who are presenting for testing related to travel (for example: day 4 tests) will be provided with at home rapid antigen tests, two tests to be taken 48 hours apart.

Islanders are reminded that supports are available for those impacted by COVID-19.  The Prince Edward Island Emergency Payment for WorkersEmergency Income Relief for Self-Employed, and the COVID-19 Special Leave Fund programs are now accepting applications.  Islanders may also be eligible for programs through the Government of Canada such as the Canada Worker Lockdown Benefit, the Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit or the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit.

Individuals who are isolating and require supports are encouraged to dial 2-1-1 to be directed to nearby community support systems, or provincial government service offices.  This assistance includes help with securing food, personal prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and other emergency situations. A modified school food lunch program is also available to have pre-cooked meals delivered to homes starting this week.  The program operates on a self-referral basis. Get information on the Food Security Program

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.

As of Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 95.9 per cent of eligible Island residents age 12 years and over have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 92.6 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses. 56.1 per cent of children age 5-11 years have received their first dose. 

Individuals should book their booster appointment for six months after their last dose. Getting a booster is an important layer or protection against serious illness related to the Omicron variant.

Anyone age 12 and over can receive their COVID-19 vaccination at one of the Health PEI clinics or at one of the 28 partner pharmacies across the province. Island children between the ages of five and 11 years can now receive their COVID-19 vaccination at Health PEI clinics.  

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.

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:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a properly fitted, three-layer mask in indoor public places and in outdoor public places where physical distancing from others cannot be maintained
  • Keep your circle of contacts small
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or a tissue
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well
  • Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • 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: Morgan Martin Health and Wellness (902) 218-3430 mxmartin@gov.pe.ca