Seven new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on P.E.I. bringing the total to 18, chief public health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said at Monday’s afternoon briefing.
The new cases are four women and three men ranging in age from their 20s to 70s.
“As we continue to see our numbers in P.E.I. grow I will continue to stress the importance of social distancing, physical distancing and self-isolation,” Morrison said.
She said nearly 600 tests have come back negative.
She emphasized the importance of these recommendations in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the weeks ahead.
“The sooner we can identify cases, the easier it will be to do contact-tracing and self-isolation.”
Morrison said there have been close to 2,000 calls from Islanders reporting people who have not been isolating as required upon returning from travel.
She said the province has seen an average of 900 calls per week since the line was opened.
Morrison said over the weekend, enforcement officers followed up on 56 complaints resulting in 12 verbal warnings and nine written warnings.
She said screening measures at the Confederation Bridge have been strengthened and additional information is being gathered from travellers.
Morrison said cough and fever clinics have expanded. The new Charlottetown location is already in operation with one in Summerside opening Monday.
Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested regardless of travel history.
She said these new measures have been put in place in response to an increase in community transmission cases across the country.
Morrison said the province is exploring temporary housing options for those who need to self-isolate and can’t without government support.
She noted that much of the health-care system on P.E.I. has refocused to expand and train the Island’s health-care workforce to increase capacity for testing and adapting facilities to treat patients of the pandemic.
“We have asked a lot of people, as a health system we’ve shifted our focus to controlling COVID-19 and attacking this virus.”
Health PEI’s chief of nursing Marion Dowling announced 200 more retired health-care workers have volunteered to help in COVID-19 efforts when ready.