There are two new unrelated cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island, including a student at rural Charlottetown high school.
Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison provided an update this afternoon in an unscheduled briefing with Premier Dennis King and Norbert Carpenter, Acting Director of the Public Schools Branch.
Morrison said the male student tested positive for COVID-19 this morning.
“We are working closely with the Public Schools Authority and the Charlottetown Rural administration to help manage this situation.
All close contacts with the student are contacted by public health to organize tests and to inform them if they need to self-isolate.
The student is self-isolating at home with mild symptoms.
On November 25 and 26, the student went to school on buses 3 and 23 and returned home on bus 23. Students on those buses will be called in and asked to take a test, Morrison said. .
Any student who sits within six feet of the student will be considered close contact and will be contacted by public health.
All school staff are also encouraged to get tested, and all who are tested should remain isolated until they test negative.
In connection with this case, two public exhibition locations were announced: Wendy’s Restaurant at 634 University Ave. November 25 and 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Needs Convenience Store at 259 St. from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Anyone in these places at these times should monitor symptoms closely and get tested if symptoms develop.
The student also plays hockey with the Sherwood Minor Hockey Midget 2 core team and all close contacts including teammates and coaching staff will be contacted to arrange testing.
Morrison has not been able to confirm how the student may have contacted COVID-19, but she is hopeful that contact tracing will determine this.
The second new case is a 10 to 19 year old male who traveled outside of Atlantic Canada.
This man is self-isolating at home and is not a student in Prince Edward Island
All close contacts have been called and are also isolating themselves.
Morrison said the second case traveled on Air Canada flight AC7462 from Toronto to Charlottetown on November 26.
Morrison predicts that the new cases will require an additional 200 to 300 COVID-19 tests.
“If we can do them tonight, we hope these results will be available tomorrow.”
To accommodate additional testing, the Charlottetown Screening Clinic on Park Street and the Slemon Park Screening Clinic in Summerside will have additional staff and will be open from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Morrison said.
“Please be patient with the Health PEI and Island EMS staff at the screening clinics. They will work as fast as possible to get everyone tested. ”
What this means for the school has yet to be decided, although PSB are set and ready for all the necessary decisions, Carpenter said.
“We’ve planned for situations like this, we’ve done tabletop exercises and have lots of contingency plans, but it all comes down to safety.”
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