Four Charlottetown-area high schools will have no classes tomorrow and will go to online classes on Tuesday as sanctions are tightened after four new COVID-19 cases are announced in the province.
Affected schools include Ecole Franకోois-Boot, Charlottetown Rural High School, Colonel Gray High School and Bluefield High School.
Not all other schools and daycare centers are affected, though that may change.
Restrictions at Franకోois-Butte only affect high school classes.
Tightened restrictions include targeting testing, closing meals and collecting restrictions for people in the capital area aged 20-29.
The restrictions, the “circuit breaker”, were temporarily in place for two weeks to stop the rapid progression of COVID-19 last week, Chief Public Health Officer Dr Heather Morrison said in an unannounced briefing on Sunday.
“We want people to be really careful. I think we’re talking about these actions with a big heart.”
Yesterday, Morrison announced three new certified, linked cases and these new cases have also been linked. There were no instances of PEI traveling outside
The increase in Morrison cases and the lack of travel outside the province indicates that there is community outreach.
The latest cases are three women in their 20s and one in her 30s, all of whom are self-employed at home and working well.
The source of the outbreak is unknown. The priority is to do contact tracing of the latest cases to determine the source, but she is not sure if Morrison will be identified.
“That’s why I think we’re more anxious about this particular outbreak.”
Morrison said he expects more positive cases as the investigation continues.
According to the population of the outbreak, Morrison said his office works with partners to target testing for people aged 20-29.
Morrison said there was a developing situation that required a strong regional response.
“If we do not take immediate action and take a tough approach, it will take us longer to recover and have even more devastating effects on individuals, families, communities and our island community in general,” Morrison said.
The new restrictions would mean that one person in each household would be hired to make mistakes and not hold private meetings, Morrison said.
Organized meetings should not exceed 10 people indoors or outdoors.
Meals are not allowed in the room but take out is allowed.
Organized recreation or team sports are not allowed.
Personal services are open on an appointment basis.
Retail stores should reduce the number of customers allowed.
In long-term care and community care centers a partner in care is allowed but no other visitors.
Morrison said the province will expedite efforts to enforce across the province with fines for every person who attends.
Morrison’s “circuit breaker” approach is intended to break the chain and control the situation.
With the new cases, the province has been enforcing more sanctions for two weeks from today and has asked Morrison Islanders to stay home as long as possible.
The circuit breaker is short-lived, Morrison said.
“If we act quickly and give these actions, we do not have to stay in them for long and things will not get worse.”
A further briefing on educational policy was held at 5:30 pm today