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Prince Edward Island is further easing restrictions on visits to long-term care homes beginning Sept. 1.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said today the changes will make life at seniors facilities as close to normal as possible given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Morrison says there will be no limit on the number of visitors and residents can increase the number of people designated as a partner-in-care from one to three.

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She says residents will also be allowed to go for drives with a partner-in-care and to go on overnight visits.

Family will be permitted to make visits between separate long-term care facilities provided infection-control measures are maintained.

Morrison says restrictions on the duration of visits are also being removed including for patients who are nearing their end of life.

She told reporters today that the safety of residents is always a priority. But residents, she said, have been missing a connection with family and friends over the past few months.

“So we are balancing that and have been for many weeks,” Morrison said. “So I think this is really almost back to normal in terms of visitation. We will be watching carefully because we may have to make changes if our epidemiology changes as well.”

The province reported no new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, and has three active cases. In total, the Island has had 44 confirmed cases, all linked to travel, with 41 cases now considered recovered.

“PEI is in the enviable position of not having had any widespread community transmission of COVID-19 up to this point,” Morrison said.

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Globe health columnist André Picard and senior editor Nicole MacIntyre discuss the many issues surrounding sending kids back to school. André says moving forward isn't about there being no COVID-19 cases, but limiting their number and severity through distancing, smaller classes, masks and good hygiene. The Globe and Mail

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