P.E.I. not rejoining Atlantic bubble until at least Dec. 21

Prince Edward Island Premier Dennis King announced Thursday afternoon in the province’s legislature that the Island will not re-enter the Atlantic bubble until at least Dec. 21.

The news came as P.E.I. Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison’s office confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on the Island. 

P.E.I. left the bubble that included the Atlantic provinces of P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador on Nov. 23, as case numbers in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rose.

On that day, P.E.I. closed its borders to everything but essential travel, as did Newfoundland and Labrador. Three days later, New Brunswick pulled out of the agreement, ending what remained of the bubble.

Starting on July 3, residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, P.E.I and Newfoundland and Labrador were able to travel relatively freely across each other’s borders without quarantining. But that began to change in mid-November.

Situation ‘neutralizing a little bit’

“I’ve had conversations in the last couple of days with Dr. Morrison, and the epidemiology around the region seems to be neutralizing a little bit but certainly not to the extent where we feel comfortable moving beyond that,” King said. 

That’s why he authorized a two-week extension on the withdrawal from the bubble, which was set to expire Dec. 7 at midnight.

Border restrictions will remain in place until Dec. 21, including the requirement for 14 days of isolation for most people  if returning from off-Island travel.

Around the region on Thursday:

  • Nova Scotia reported 11 new cases of COVID-19; the province now has 119 active cases. 
  • New Brunswick reported six new cases Thursday, and is dealing with 111 active cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador had no new cases Thursday, and that province now has 29 active cases.

Rotational worker in 20s is latest case

King’s announcement came shortly before Morrison’s office announced one new case of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island. 

The person is a rotational worker in his 20s who has been self-isolating since his arrival on the Island from outside the Atlantic region. He tested positive during “routine testing.”

Contact tracing is complete, Morrison said in a news release.

The new case means there have been 73 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed on Prince Edward Island since the pandemic began. Of those, five are considered active, with the rest recovered. 

More from CBC P.E.I.

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