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P.E.I. premier expresses frustration as province still waiting for COVID-19 test results

P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks during a media briefing on the coronavirus (COVID-19, strain) pandemic Tuesday afternoon in Charlottetown. Screen shot image
P.E.I. Premier Dennis King speaks during a media briefing on the coronavirus (COVID-19, strain) pandemic Tuesday afternoon in Charlottetown. Screen shot image
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

P.E.I. has gone five days in a row without indicating that someone has tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) but Premier Dennis King cautions that Islanders shouldn’t read too much into that.

King and members of his cabinet handled the daily COVID-19 media briefing Tuesday afternoon in the absence of Dr. Heather Morrison, the province’s chief public health officer, who King said would return on Wednesday.

King said the province is still awaiting the results on more than 300 tests from the national medical laboratory in Winnipeg, Man., expressing frustration at how long it is taking to get the results back.

The premier said he spoke to Morrison earlier in the day and discussed the fear that Islanders will get the impression that the province is “flattening the curve’’ and will become complacent.

“I do think it’s taking too long,’’ King said, referring to the turnaround time for test results.

As of Monday, the province had 22 positive tests, 984 negative tests and eight people recovered but still awaiting the results on 368 other cases.

King also addressed the challenges faced by the Island’s three primary sectors — agriculture, fisheries and the tourism industries.

“They want this nightmare to end and for us to return to normal,’’ the premier said. “We all want that. But, until such time as that is a reality, we have to deal with the really crappy hand that we have been dealt. We need to find a way to get through it.’’

More on this story later and in Wednesday’s Guardian

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