Two more COVID-19 cases have been identified in Prince Edward Island, and are linked to a man in his 20s who didn’t self-isolate after returning to the province.
There are now five active cases in P.E.I., with officials announcing three cases on Saturday. Before this weekend, the province hadn’t identified a new case since April 28. By May 8, it had no active cases since all 27 of its patients recovered.
The two new patients are also in their 20s, and are close-contacts of an asymptomatic individual who travelled to Nova Scotia, where he was in contact with a someone who was recently in the U.S.
Chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said that the man made the trip to Nova Scotia for personal reasons on June 26, and returned June 29, but didn’t self-isolate.
“They were supposed to be self-isolating because they had returned from Nova Scotia, and, certainly, that was prior to the [Atlantic] bubble,” Morrison said.
“Their contacts were very limited … they had five close contacts identified and those are the ones that we tested yesterday and two came back positive.”
The Atlantic bubble came into effect Friday, July 3. It allows the residents of the four Atlantic provinces to visit other places within the region without self-isolating for 14 days.
Morrison said on Saturday that the province administered 406 swab tests, which is a record high for P.E.I.
That included the testing of 129 residents and 140 staff at the Whisperwood Villa, a privately owned nursing and community-care home in Charlottetown. Each test came back negative, but everyone will be tested again this week. All but four or five staff and two residents were tested yesterday, said Morrison.
The wide-spread testing at the seniors home was completed after an employee tested positive. The woman in her 20s, who has shown symptoms, is a close contact of the man who recently travelled to Nova Scotia.
“At this point there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in our province, and the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the province remains low,” said Morrison.
The other case that was identified by health officials on Saturday involves an essential worker in his 50s, who recently travelled outside of the region, but has bself-isolated since returning. There are now 32 total cases in the province, and five of them are active.
Nova Scotia currently has three active cases, with the last reported July 2. Health officials in both provinces are now working together to limit and track the spread of the virus.