To: PEI School Staff and Parents/Guardians of Students
From: Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Public Health Officer
Dr. David Sabapathy, Deputy Chief Health Officer
Date: March 06, 2020
Subject: March Break Travel: Important Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
We are writing to update you on the current situation with regards to the novel coronavirus disease(COVID-19) situation. There are no confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in PEI at this time.
March Break Travel
At this time of year many people and families are planning to travel during March Break plus many schools are planning school trips outside of PEI. At this time, decisions regarding whether to travel or not remain the responsibility of families or schools.
Advice Before You Travel
The COVID-19 situation is evolving rapidly with increasing global spread. All travellers should be aware that there are health risks when you travel. It is a good idea to have medical insurance. Check your destination before you leave to know the risks and to be prepared. Older people and those with preexisting
medical conditions are at greater risk for developing serious health complications from COVID-19.
If you are planning a trip outside of Canada then you should register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad free service to receive important updates, and to consult the Travel Advisory page before and during your trip. Schools and families are encouraged to visit the Advisory site to help guide their decision on whether to continue with or cancel travel plans. It is important to know that decisions made by travel companies, airlines and other countries may also affect your travel plans.
Protecting Yourself From COVID-19
While you are travelling there are steps you can take to protect yourself from COVID-19 (and other common respiratory illnesses, such as influenza).
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Don’t share items that may have saliva on them such as, drinking glasses and water bottles.
Frequently clean surfaces like taps, door knobs and countertops.
There is no evidence that face masks are effective in preventing healthy people from becoming ill when travelling.
What to do After Returning to PEI
After returning to PEI, all travellers are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 (fever and/or cough, or difficulty breathing) for 14 days after returning home. If you develop any symptoms in the 14 days after returning to PEI, isolate yourself from others and call 811 or 911 in PEI for instructions. To prevent spreading the illness to others, it is important to follow proper cough etiquette by coughing into your elbow, washing your hands often, and staying home from work and school when ill. Most people who get COVID-19 (about 80%) have a mild illness, and don’t need medical care to recover. We recommend that you plan for having a lower threshold to stay home from work or school than you normally would with a mild illness, and think ahead about child care options for sick children that would not put them in close contact with other people.
The PEI Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page is updated regularly as information changes. Check the site frequently while you are home and away for important COVID-19 updates and instructions.
Dr. Heather Morrison, Dr. David Sabapathy,
Chief Public Health Officer Deputy Chief Public Health Officer