Note from Michael, Feb. 9, 2022 | The "Moving On" plan and Health PEI planning

From the desk of Dr. Michael Gardam, Health PEI CEO

Hi everyone, 

Yesterday, Premier King and Dr. Morrison unveiled the “Moving On” plan to reduce COVID-19 restrictions on PEI over the coming weeks and months. The full plan can be viewed here and you can read the news release as a summary here.

The plan includes three stages, the first coming into effect Thursday, Feb. 17. Some key highlights include the removal of the need to isolate for those who come to PEI and increased personal gatherings size limits, up to 20 people. I encourage everyone to read the plan and become familiar with it. 

For the past two years now, we’ve gotten used to responding to COVID as a crisis: We’ve had an emergency response team running from the very beginning. We have created a lot of specific plans for COVID and paid a lot of attention to how we plan for cases and prevent the spread. And we are just passing the peak of our hospitalizations.

As a Health PEI team, you have done incredible amounts of great work testing people and processing tests, vaccinating Islanders, caring for people with COVID, and planning and implementing plans to keep people safe.

After all that, this reopening plan may feel like it is happening fast for some; for those who are tired of the current restrictions, it may feel delayed. 

Whatever you are feeling, I want you to know it’s understandable and valid – we have all been through quite a journey together and we’ve also had our individual experiences that will shape our reactions. 

As a health system, the new plan signals our move toward responding to COVID similar to how we respond to other respiratory diseases such as influenza: seriously, with caution and care, but not necessarily as a crisis. I, for one, welcome this eventual shift. 

When I compare what it was like to manage COVID during wave 1 in Toronto with what we have been doing here on the Island the past few months, the experiences are completely different. 

Managing COVID now is overly complicated, partially because of all of the control measures that were created back in a time when we didn’t have vaccines. For example, these control measures have required us to declare outbreaks when all the evidence suggested we didn’t need to and that the few cases we had could have been managed less aggressively. 

All that said, we won’t be moving to “normalizing” COVID-19 overnight. We continue to have patients in hospital with COVID, we continue to have outbreaks, and we continue to see relatively stable but high positivity rates in testing. 

We will keep a close eye on COVID for some time and the COVID response team, your leaders and I will keep you informed of any changes in advance as we move toward treating COVID as endemic. 

As the reopening plan sets in, I expect people will have new questions about what that means for Health PEI. On Thursday, the COVID response team will hold a town hall with leaders from across the organization, where we’ll answer as many questions as possible. The recorded town hall will be shared with all staff that evening.

While we can’t invite all Health PEI staff to this town hall due to the technical capacity for these virtual meetings, I do want to answer your questions. 

SEND IN YOUR QUESTIONS:

If you have specific concerns or questions you would like raised, please respond to this email by end of day Wednesday with any questions you may have, and we’ll do our best to address them in the town hall. 

I look forward to reading your questions and providing as much information as we can.
 
Please send questions, comments, or submissions for these notes to emclean@gov.pe.ca, subject line “Notes for Michael”.
 

Last Updated
Wed, 02/09/2022 - 11:30