Prince Edward Island’s chief medical health officer says she and her regional counterparts will advise premiers next week about reopening the Atlantic travel bubble.
Dr. Heather Morrison says epidemiologists have been asked to provide up-to-date data on the situation in the region by Monday.
“Based on that information, next week, that will be discussed among the Atlantic chief medical health officers and then that information will go to our premiers,” she told reporters Tuesday.
The Atlantic premiers have proposed reopening the bubble April 19, which would allow residents of the region to cross boundaries between the four provinces without having to isolate.
The recent rise in COVID-19 cases in parts of northern New Brunswick remains an area of concern, Morrison said. The Edmundston, N.B., area has the majority of the province’s active reported cases and is under the red pandemic-alert level.
“We are going to see where we are within a week and give the best advice we can to our premiers,” Morrison said.
Prince Edward Island reported no new COVID-19 infections Tuesday; the province has eight active reported cases.
Morrison said 27,448 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far on the Island, adding that this week will be the busiest yet for vaccination clinics.
“Our plan is to administer 7,200 doses this week, or an average of 1,200 per day over the six days of clinics,” she said. “In addition, home care will also be administering doses of vaccine to individuals.”
The province is accepting vaccination bookings this week for people aged 60 to 64. Twelve pharmacies on the Island have doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for anyone over the age of 55.
Meanwhile, Nova Scotia is reopening its boundary with Newfoundland and Labrador and monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak in New Brunswick that could force health officials to once again restrict travel for residents of that province.
Beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday, travellers from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia will not have to isolate for two weeks and Nova Scotians returning from that province won’t have to isolate either, Premier Iain Rankin said Tuesday.
“We’re confident that the low case numbers make it possible for us to remove this measure,” Rankin told reporters about the isolation order.
The premier similarly opened his province to New Brunswick travellers last month but said health officials are concerned about a recent rise in cases in the Edmundston region and will reverse course if necessary.
Rankin, however, said the plan to reopen the Atlantic travel bubble by April 19 is still a go if the situation in the region remains stable. “As you know, day to day things change quickly,” Rankin said. “We are watching the cases in our neighbouring provinces very closely.”
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