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P.E.I. reports five new COVID-19 cases Sunday, active total rises to 18

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HALIFAX —
Prince Edward Island is reporting five new COVID-19 cases on the island Sunday, with the active total rising to 18.

In an unscheduled media conference on Sunday, P.E.I. Chief Health Officer Dr. Heather Morrison said she is concerned about the fact that there does not appear to be a clear source of the recent outbreak.

Sunday’s five new cases involve two males in their 20s, and three females – two in their 20s, and one in her 50s.  

Three are from the recent Charlottetown outbreak, one is linked to Summerside, and Public Health is still trying to determine the source for the last.  

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“I remain concerned about the increasing number of cases in P.E.I., and the fact that we have not been able to identify a link to travel,” she said. “There may be more cases that will be identified in the coming days. “

This comes as P.E.I. announced new measures Saturday, which took effect Sunday.

According to Morrison, there are 190 close contacts of these cases, and more are expected to be announced.  

LOCKDOWN ANNOUNCED

Prince Edward Island is entering a 72-hour lockdown starting at midnight as the province struggles to contain the outbreak.

RELATED:  The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Tuesday, Dec. 16

Premier Dennis King says he’d rather go “harder and stronger” with public health restrictions now — giving health officials a chance to get caught up on contact tracing and testing — than wait for the outbreak to worsen.

The three-day lockdown requires residents to stay home as much as possible and will close all kindergarten to Grade 12 schools, with post-secondary education moving online only.

Only essential services will be allowed to remain open, and at half of their standard operating capacity.

This is a developing story, it will be updated shortly.

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