Prince Edward Island health officials have identified three new cases of COVID-19, marking the first day the province has recorded any cases in months.
One of the cases involves an employee at a seniors home.
P.E.I. last announced a case on April 28, and by May 8, it had no active cases since all 27 of its original patients recovered.
“This is disappointing news, but we’ve said consistently that we need to be prepared for more cases, and we are,” said chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison on Saturday.
Morrison said that the cases are not related to either seasonal residents or the Atlantic bubble, which has allowed the residents of the four Atlantic provinces to visit other places within the region without self-isolating as of Friday.
The three new patients involve a man in his 50s who is an essential worker. He recently travelled outside of the region, but has self-isolated since returning.
“Any Canadian citizen is able to travel back to their home … regardless of where they live,” said Premier Dennis King.
The two other cases involve a man and a woman in their 20s, and officials believe they are related, said Morrison.
The man returned from P.E.I. from Nova Scotia on June 29, and had contact with someone from the United States. The other case involves an employee of the Whisperwood Villa seniors home in Charlottetown.
The Whisperwood Villa employee did not have provide direct personal care to any of the residents. As of Saturday, no residents are showing new symptoms of COVID-19, while everyone at the facility is being tested for COVID-19. Morrison also advised anyone who visited June 30 to be tested.
“She did wear appropriate PPE while working, and does not provide direct personal care to residents. She left work as soon as she wasn’t feeling well,” said Morrison, while noting that she is currently still experiencing symptoms.
King said contact tracing is underway, and that he will wait for the results before changing COVID-19 restrictions in the province. It’s currently in Phase 4 of its reopening plan, which started June 26.
Whisperwood Villa has cancelled indoor and outdoor visits until further notice, along with communal dining. Temperature checks will also increase to twice a day.
Of the Atlantic provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador is the only one with no active cases. There remains one in New Brunswick and three in Nova Scotia.