Information current

October 1, 2020

We're in Phase 3 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Watch the latest video update.

For non-medical questions, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca or phone 1-877-374-0425.

For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811, or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Chief Medical Officer of Health COVID-19 updates

Updates on COVID-19 from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health

Watch the latest COVID-19 video updates.

Read transcripts from the Facebook live COVID-19 updates

Find the latest COVID-19 case counts for Yukon.

September 30 – 14:35 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, September 30, at 2 p.m., the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. Everyone has recovered. We have tested 3,402 people.

COVID-19 Testing Centre

From Tuesday, September 22, to Monday, September 28, we tested 157 people at the COVID-19 Testing Centre (CTC) in Whitehorse.

The Respiratory Assessment Centre has been renamed the COVID-19 Testing Centre. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday.  Referrals are no longer required for a COVID-19 test at the CTC.

Road border schedule change for on-site personnel

On-site road border personnel are transitioning from the current 24-hours a day schedule to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Alaska Highway and Junction 37 borders beginning October 1.

Travellers arriving outside of these hours will be required to sign a declaration and submit their self-isolation plan, along with a contact number when arriving from outside of BC, NWT or Nunavut. There will be on-site kiosks for completing the self-declaration, which is required by law.

 The COVID-19 information station on the Alaska Highway in Whitehorse will also be closing as of 6 p.m. today. These changes reflect reduced road traffic as the winter season approaches.

Process for public notifications regarding active cases

Once Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) receives notification of a positive result of COVID-19 they then begin the process of contract tracing. This process involves speaking with the patient, family and close contacts to determine level of risk of exposure. 

Yukon Communicable Disease only contacts people who are identified as contacts. Public notifications are only issued when YCDC is not able to identify all those who may have come into contact with an infected person.

Guidance for Halloween and Thanksgiving

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is encouraging Halloween to take place. Children should wear a non-medical mask or face covering, or consider a Halloween themed cloth mask; they should trick or treat in their consistent social bubble; not gather on doorsteps, and use a prop like a broom or a sword to ring doorbells.

Those who are distributing candy should use a tool to offer treats, such as tongs or a hockey stick. Only distribute wrapped store bought candy. Please do not leave treats in a communal bucket.

More information will be available on Yukon.ca.

Singing and music performances

We know there is risk associated with these activities and we have tools to manage that risk.

  • Keep a minimum of two metres between singers and musicians at all times.
  • Face forward while singing or playing instruments (not in a circle or facing each other).
  • Conductors should maintain four metres from the choir or orchestra or wear a face shield and maintain two metres’ distance.
  • Performers should maintain four metres from the audience or be separated by plexiglas or similar barrier.
  • Rehearsals are recommended to be 30 minutes or less.
  • Ensure good ventilation where you are practicing, space out in the room you are playing or singing in, open the window, practice outside if you can
  • Regular cleaning of instruments, mouthpieces, music stands, drum sticks and other accessories is essential.
  • Do not share cleaning cloths, instrument brushes or microphones.

Read the singing and music guidelines.  

New charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act

Below is a summary of the charges laid on September 29. We do not provide any information that may identify anyone such as their name, where they received the charge or their contact information.

One individual was charged with the following:

Failure to provide a declaration.
Failure to comply with the self-isolation order.

Enforcement statistics

The Government of Yukon has received 857 complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 478
  • Social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 24
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 331
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 10
  • Failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into Yukon: 13
  • Other: 1

There have been a total of 12 people charged, and 17 charges laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

A total of 50,510 travellers have come into Yukon:

  • Resident travellers: 10,705
  • BC residents: 10,601
  • NWT residents: 303
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 676
  • Non-residents staying: 9,350
  • Non-residents transiting: 18,805
  • Other: 70
  • Decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles allowed in Yukon: 291

September 26 – 9:01 – Non resident tests positive for COVID-19 while in Yukon

An out of territory resident has tested positive for COVID-19. The person has been hospitalized in Whitehorse and they are in a stable condition.

Contact tracing is well under way and all close contacts in Yukon have been contacted by public health officials.

Quick facts 

  • Based on the risk assessment by Yukon Communicable Disease Control, the public health risk associated with this case is low.
  • As this person is not a resident of Yukon, this case will not be included in Yukon’s case count.
  • Visit yukon.ca/covid-19 for the latest information.
  • For non-medical questions, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca or phone 1-877-374-0425.
  • For medical questions or if you feel ill, phone 811 or launch the COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

September 23 – 14:15 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, September 23, at 2 p.m., the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. Everyone has recovered. We have tested 3,211 people.

Respiratory Assessment Centre

From Wednesday, September 16, to Tuesday, September 22, we tested 98 people at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse.

The Respiratory Assessment Centre will now be known as the COVID testing centre (CTC). Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Sunday.  Referrals are no longer required for COVID 19 test at the CTC.

New charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act

Below is a summary of charges laid on September 17 and September 23. We do not provide any information that may identify anyone, such as their name, where they received the charge or their contact information.

  • One charge laid on September 17:
    • failure to comply with the self-isolation order.
  • Two charges laid on September 23:
    • Two failures to comply with indoor gathering of 10 people or fewer.

Stop light symptom criteria for staying home from schools and daycares

We have updated guidance based on three colour zones (green, yellow and red) to help parents and guardians know when to keep children home from school or daycare. The school posters is available on line and the daycare poster will be up by the end of day.

Flu clinics to begin in mid-October

Flu clinics throughout Yukon will begin the week of October 19 for individuals considered as high risk or with a chronic disease. The clinic will open to the general public on October 26. This year, the Yukon Convention Centre will be used for all Whitehorse flu clinics. The clinic will be open six days a week initially with extended hours, form 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Further details will be released in early October.

Enforcement statistics

September 30, 2020: Please note that we have added a clarification to the "Other approved jurisdictions" category below.

The Government of Yukon has received 832 complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 466
  • Social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 23
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 321
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 9
  • Failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into Yukon: 12
  • Other: 1

There have been a total of 11 people charged, and 15 charges laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

A total of 48,107 travellers have come into Yukon:

  • Resident travellers: 10,060
  • BC residents: 9,601
  • NWT residents: 265
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 652*
  • Non-residents staying: 9,196
  • Non-residents transiting: 18,270
  • Other: 63
  • Decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles allowed in Yukon: 269

* Due to the fact that the way we’ve collected traveller data has changed since we started collecting statistics, the "Other approved jurisdictions" category has been used to categorize travellers that did not fall into an existing category. We’re reviewing how we collect and categorize statistics to maintain accuracy, and will make adjustments as necessary.

September 16, 2020 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, September 16, at 2 p.m., the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. Everyone has recovered. We have tested 3,020 people.

Respiratory Assessment Centre

From Wednesday, September 9, to Tuesday, September 16, we tested 129 people at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse.

Symptom criteria for staying home from schools and daycares

We have developed guidance based on three colour zones to help parents and guardians know when to keep children home from school or daycare.

(Since issuing the September 16, 2020, information bulletin, we've put more detailed guidance online about when people can send their children to school than we originally included here.)

Six new charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act

Six new charges were laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act on September 11 and September 15.

Two charges were laid on September 11:

  • failure to self-isolate; and
  • failure to transit through Yukon.

Four charges were laid on Sept 15:

  • two failures to self-isolate; and
  • two failures to behave in a manner consistent with the declaration.

We will not provide information that may identify anyone, such as their name or where they received the charge.

Reminder about isolation requirements

Travellers who are required to self-isolate must complete their entire 14-day isolation when they arrive back in Yukon. This includes people who spent time in BC, the NWT or Nunavut after they travelled from other regions of Canada or internationally. The entire 14-day isolation must happen after people arrive in Yukon.

People must also be reachable at the phone number and address they’ve provided on their declaration form throughout their period of self-isolation. They may receive a spot check call from the Government of Yukon. These spot check calls are separate from the Public Health Agency of Canada checks that are for people who have been outside the country.

Enforcement statistics

September 30, 2020: Please note that we have added a clarification to the "Other approved jurisdictions" category below.

The Government of Yukon has received 795 complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 441
  • Social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 23
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 308
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 8
  • Failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into Yukon: 13
  • Other: 2

There have been 12 charges in total laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

A total of 45,685 travellers have come into Yukon:

Resident travellers: 9,379

  • BC residents: 8,615
  • NWT residents: 257
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 623*
  • Non-residents staying: 8,999
  • Non-residents transiting: 17,764
  • Other: 48
  • Decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles allowed in Yukon: 261

* Due to the fact that the way we’ve collected traveller data has changed since we started collecting statistics, the "Other approved jurisdictions" category has been used to categorize travellers that did not fall into an existing category. We’re reviewing how we collect and categorize statistics to maintain accuracy, and will make adjustments as necessary.

September 2, 2020 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, September 2, at 2 p.m., the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. Everyone has recovered. We have tested 2,643 people.

Respiratory Assessment Centre

From Wednesday, August 27, to Tuesday, September 1, we tested 109 people at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse.

Yukon Business Relief Program

This Yukon Business Relief Program will continue in partnership with CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund. Businesses can apply for support for both or either of these programs through the Government of Yukon.

Community Wellbeing Survey

The territory-wide Community Wellbeing Survey is closing on September 6. The results of the survey will provide a territory-wide snapshot of Yukoners’ wellbeing and generate needed data to support informed decision making. The COVID-specific questions at the start of the survey will be used to inform next steps in the pandemic response. Visit yukon.ca for more information.

International border reminder

Yukoners are reminded that if you choose to go past the Canadian border station at Fraser or Beaver Creek, you must be aware of the federal rules for re-entering Canada at the time of your departure. If you cross into Alaska, you will be subject to these federal rules, which include a mandatory 14-day quarantine. These rules are applied equally at all official border crossings (and points of international arrivals) across Canada, and you must follow the directions given to you by the CBSA and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The federal requirements are separate from our own territorial border measures. For example, as a Yukoner, you are required to self-isolate if you've travelled outside of Yukon, British Columbia, NWT, or Nunavut in the 14 days before you re-enter the territory.

For more information:

www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/services/covid/canadians-canadiens-eng.html

yukon.ca/information-self-isolation

Yukoners encouraged to remain vigilant

Although there are no confirmed active cases in the territory, Yukoners are encouraged to remain vigilant and continue following the Safe Six:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitizer with at least 60 per cent alcohol.
  • Stay home if you're feeling sick.
  • Remember to keep two metres (six feet) between yourself and people who are not in your social bubble.
  • Limit travel to rural communities and be respectful when you’re there.
  • Self-isolate if you’ve:
    • just returned to Yukon and have been outside of British Columbia, Nunavut or Northwest Territories in the last 14 days; or
    • been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Enforcement statistics

September 30, 2020: Please note that we have added a clarification to the "Other approved jurisdictions" category below.

The Government of Yukon has received 726 complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 401
  • Social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 22
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 283
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 7
  • Failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into Yukon: 11
  • Other: 2

There have been six charges laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

A total of 40,070 travellers have come into Yukon:

  • Resident travellers: 7,710
  • BC residents: 6,375
  • NWT residents: 194
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 518*
  • Non-residents staying: 8,562
  • Non-residents transiting: 16,673
  • Other: 38
  • Decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles allowed in Yukon: 243

* Due to the fact that the way we’ve collected traveller data has changed since we started collecting statistics, the "Other approved jurisdictions" category has been used to categorize travellers that did not fall into an existing category. We’re reviewing how we collect and categorize statistics to maintain accuracy, and will make adjustments as necessary.

August 26, 2020 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, August 26, at 3 p.m., the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. Everyone has recovered. We have tested 2,459 people.

Respiratory Assessment Centre

From Wednesday, August 19, to Tuesday, August 25, we tested 116 people at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse.

Contact sports guidelines

Guidelines for contact sports are [now on] Yukon.ca. By adapting the way we play contact sports to reduce the risk of COVID-19 we can get back on the ice, field and court. The new guidelines apply to children and adult leagues and supplement the Government of Yukon’s existing sport and recreation guidelines.

Holding a gathering guidelines

Guidelines for holding organized gatherings as well as social gatherings are now online. Organized gatherings are seated events in a rented venue, such as weddings, celebrations of life and cultural events. You can have up to 50 people at an organized event indoors and up to 100 people outdoors. All rental venues need to have an operational plan and guests and organizers need to follow the plan.

Social gatherings are events in private homes or public spaces, such as birthday celebrations, retirement parties and backyard barbecues. You can have up to 10 people indoors or 50 people outdoors for these sorts of gatherings.

When to stay home

Yukoners are reminded not to go to work or school if they’re feeling sick. They should check the Iist of COVID-19 symptoms on Yukon.ca, complete the online assessment tool and get tested if that’s recommended.

If someone in a family or household is unwell, the people they live with may go to work or school unless a health care provider has told them to stay home. This advice is the same if the person who’s unwell has been tested for COVID-19. 

Testing and self-isolation

Anyone who does not feel well should check the COVID-19 list of symptoms on Yukon.ca, complete the online assessment tool and get tested if it’s recommended.

Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and use the online self-assessment tool at Yukon.ca, call 811 or contact their health care provider. They’ll receive guidance from a health care provider according to their individual circumstances. There are many unique situations that require guidance from public health officials.

People who are tested for COVID-19 should continue to self-isolate until they receive their test result or until a health care provider advises them they no longer need to.

People returning to or travelling into Yukon from anywhere except British Columbia, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut must self-isolate for a full 14 days, regardless of testing.

We’re grateful to everyone who takes getting tested and self-isolation seriously and helps to reduce the risk of infection in their community.

Reporting possible Civil Emergency Measures Act offences

If anyone has concerns that someone is violating a Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) Order, they can now fill in a form on Yukon.ca. People can also call the enforcement line at 1-877-374-0425.

Enforcement statistics

September 30, 2020: Please note that we have added a clarification to the "Other approved jurisdictions" category below.

The Government of Yukon has received 617 complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 3,346
  • Social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 15
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 236
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 7
  • Failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into Yukon: 11
  • Other: 2

There have been six charges laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

A total of 37,042 travellers have come into Yukon:

  • Resident travellers: 6,990
  • BC residents: 5,164
  • NWT residents: 145
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 219*
  • Non-residents staying: 8,361
  • Non-residents transiting: 16,145
  • Other: 18

* Due to the fact that the way we’ve collected traveller data has changed since we started collecting statistics, the "Other approved jurisdictions" category has been used to categorize travellers that did not fall into an existing category. We’re reviewing how we collect and categorize statistics to maintain accuracy, and will make adjustments as necessary.

August 19, 2020 – COVID-19 update

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, August 19, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count for Yukon is 15. All 15 people have recovered. We have tested 2,270 people.

Respiratory Assessment Centre

From August 12 to August 18, 139 people went to the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse and we tested 134 people.

Extension of US border restrictions

The Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs are temporarily restricting all non-essential travel across its borders to limit the spread of COVID-19 as a precautionary measure. They’ve extended the current border measures until September 21, 2020.

Long-term care visiting restrictions eased

Residents of Yukon’s five long-term care homes can now receive two designated visitors indoors. They can also have an additional two designated visitors for outside visits. Age restrictions have also been lifted.

We closed long-term care homes to visitors and volunteers on March 16. Outdoor visits were introduced on June 12 for two designated visitors. All visits must be booked in advance. Work continues on planning to reintroduce volunteers to facilities. For more information on these changes, see Yukon.ca.

Travel manners

Yukoners are reminded to follow the Safe 6 even when outside Yukon. As more concerns are raised about the open border with BC and increasing case counts in that province, the Chief Medical Officer of Health says following the Safe 6 is the surest way to stay safe and protect against the spread of COVID-19 both in and out of the territory.

Case announcement

Going forward, new cases of COVID-19 will be identified through news releases and on Yukon.ca. Media events to announce each new case will not be held. As part of living with COVID-19, new cases are expected in the coming months and as we begin to normalize our new reality, we will continue to announce new cases as they’re diagnosed through a news release and on Yukon.ca.

Stay home if you’re sick

While it’s been one of the Safe 6 throughout the duration of the pandemic, staying home when you’re sick has never been more important. Anyone who’s feeling unwell should not go to school or work. If you do not feel well, check the COVID-19 list of symptoms on Yukon.ca, complete the online assessment and get tested if it’s recommended.

Public complaints received

The Government of Yukon has received 559 COVID-19 related complaints:

  • Failure to self-isolate: 303
  • Gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 15
  • Failure to transit through Yukon in 24 hours or stay on their designated route: 223
  • Businesses failing to comply with Orders: 7
  • Failure to abide by declaration or not permitted entry into Yukon: 1
  • Number of charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA): 6

Incoming travellers

September 30, 2020: Please note that we have added a clarification to the "Other approved jurisdictions" category below.

A total of 34,316 travellers have come into Yukon:

  • Resident travellers: 6,303
  • BC residents: 4,139
  • NWT residents: 104
  • Other approved jurisdictions: 84*
  • Non-residents staying: 8,143
  • Non-residents transiting: 15,533
  • Other: 10
  • Number of decals issued: 185

* Due to the fact that the way we’ve collected traveller data has changed since we started collecting statistics, the "Other approved jurisdictions" category has been used to categorize travellers that did not fall into an existing category. We’re reviewing how we collect and categorize statistics to maintain accuracy, and will make adjustments as necessary.

August 7, 2020 – One new case of COVID-19 in Yukon

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley today announced the first in-territory case of COVID-19 since April 20, 2020, bringing the territory’s total to 15, including the three Yukon residents diagnosed outside Yukon.

The person is a Whitehorse resident who is recovering at home. Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) has begun contact tracing. 

The individual travelled recently to Dawson. All Dawson-related contacts have been identified and are being followed up on.

In a follow-up to last week’s advisory, Yukon residents who were in Dawson City, between July 20 and today including residents of Dawson City are advised to self-monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19. Dawson City residents who exhibit even mild symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to get tested at the Dawson Community Hospital or Dawson Health Centre.

Whitehorse residents who have travelled to Dawson City since July 20, and who are experiencing any symptoms, should call YCDC directly, identify as having been in Dawson City during this time period and arrange to get tested.

In addition, people who may have been at Superstore in Whitehorse between the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on August 1 or who attended the Sunday service at Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10:30 a.m. on August 2 should also monitor themselves for symptoms:

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:  

  • fever;
  • chills;
  • cough;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • shortness of breath;
  • runny nose;
  • sore throat;
  • loss of sense of taste or smell;
  • headache;
  • fatigue;
  • loss of appetite;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • diarrhea; and
  • muscle aches.

Anyone who develops any of these symptoms regardless of how mild, should self-isolate immediately and arrange for testing. Testing will be available this weekend (August 8 and 9).

For people with symptoms who were at Superstore or Sacred Heart in Whitehorse, call YCDC at 667-5080 to arrange for testing over the weekend. In Dawson City, call Dawson City Hospital at 993-4444 to arrange for testing over the weekend. In other communities, call your community health centre. Please identify as being in one of the above exposure locations.

People who were in these locations, but have no symptoms should self-monitor for 14 days after their exposure. If you develop symptoms no matter how mild, people should self-isolate immediately and contact 811, complete the self-assessment tool or contact their health care provider.  

For people in Whitehorse with symptoms of COVID-19 who have not been in the above locations at the specified times, call the Respiratory Assessment Centre at 393-3083. It's open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, August 8 and 9. In Dawson City, call the Hospital at 993-4444 to arrange for testing.

Read the news release. 

August 5, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, August 5, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count is 14. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,769 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

Additional information stations set up in Beaver Creek and Watson Lake

To support the government’s COVID-19 response, the visitor information centre in Watson Lake and the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre will be closing on August 6. The visitor information centre in Beaver Creek will be closing on August 9. Staff from these three facilities have been reassigned to work out of information stations at Yukon’s land and air borders where they will provide visitors with COVID-19 resources and information about how and where to travel safely, respectfully and responsibly in and through Yukon.

Information stations are located at the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) border station outside of Watson Lake, the Canada Border Services Agency station in Beaver Creek, the top of Robert Service Way and at the airport in Whitehorse.

The Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre will be continuing online programming throughout the summer and fall. Details and information are available on Facebook and at Beringia.com.

Changes to guidelines for bars, pubs and lounges

Updated guidelines for bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs mean that music, including singing and wind instruments, is now permitted if requirements are met. These include a physical distance between musicians and patrons. Karaoke is also permitted for solo performers and musicians and performers must be screened for illness prior to performing. Dancing is still not permitted.

Other changes include no self-serve bar service to people. Food and drinks must be delivered to the patron’s designated table. See bars, pubs, lounges and nightclubs reopening guidelines: COVID-19 on Yukon.ca.

Child care guidelines updated

Guidelines for child care services have been provided to all child care and day home operators in Yukon. Parents are no longer required to fill in an assessment tool daily but are reminded to assess their child before delivering them to daycare. See child care centres and family day homes on Yukon.ca.

Public notifications

Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) is very experienced in contact tracing and determining the need for public notification. When YCDC can identify people who have been exposed, they will contact them directly. This preferred approach protects an individual’s confidentiality while obtaining the needed information.

If this is not possible then there are three other approaches.

  • When they have clear detail on locations and time, but not exact information on who may have been present and whether there may have been public mixing, a public notification will be issued.
  • With reliable information that spacing and sanitation protocols are being followed (e.g., at hotels, restaurants or campgrounds) so there is no opportunity for public exposure, these places are not identified as contact locations.
  • With little detail on when and where someone was, but a location, a broader notification is required, which is the least preferred option and only done as a last resort.

Visitor decals now available in nine communities

People in Yukon with out-of-territory plates can pick up a set of visitor decals at designated pickup points in Whitehorse and nine communities. They must first have completed their 14-day self-isolation period, if it was required. Eligibility requirements are listed on Yukon.ca.

In Carmacks, Dawson, Faro, Haines Junction, Mayo, Old Crow, Ross River, Teslin and Watson Lake, decals can be picked up during business hours from the Department of Environment or Compliance Monitoring and Inspections offices. In Whitehorse, decals can be picked up at the Emergency Measures Office, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A visitor decal indicates that the occupants are not required to self-isolate and the vehicle is authorized to travel in and around Yukon. One decal will be placed on the driver’s side of the windshield and the other will be displayed at the back of the vehicle.

Enforcement statistics

Since April 29, 32,104 travellers have entered or passed through Yukon. Of those, 6,067 were Yukoners, 4,115 were from BC, and 14,100 were non-residents transiting through the territory. So far, Yukon has issued 123 visitor decals for non-residents. The Government of Yukon Emergency Coordination Centre received 526 complaints since April 29. So far, six people have been fined for violating the Civil Emergency Measures Act.

July 31, 2020 – Government of Yukon news release

Phase 3 begins August 1, includes changes to social gatherings, social bubbles and plans for sports

The Government of Yukon and Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health officially announced today that Phase 3 of Yukon’s plan for safely lifting COVID-19 public health measures will begin on August 1. This will be the longest of the stages, lasting until a vaccine is developed, and will involve a gradual easing of restrictions for Yukoners.

Read the news release.

July 22, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 case count

As of today, July 22, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count is 13. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,450 people have been tested.

Update on the start of Phase 3

Phase 3 is expected to begin on August 1, 2020. The public is reminded that Phase 3 will be a long one, anticipated to take Yukon through until a COVID-19 vaccine is available.


Initially, changes under Phase 3 will be internal to the territory only. Changes being considered are expansion of family bubbles, gatherings and a return to sport play.

Additional changes and relaxation of other restrictions will be considered as appropriate, based on public health principles and level of risk.

Expanded testing statistics

Testing criteria was expanded on July 15 to include a broader range of symptoms for individuals who have not travelled. This was done in response to and in anticipation of the opening of the border with British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and flu season.

Since July 15, 75 tests have been conducted. Testing is happening at Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC), the respiratory assessment centre (RAC), and in some cases, Whitehorse General Hospital. There have been 170 tests conducted since July 1.

Contact tracing emails

If someone is named as a contact of a person who has COVID 19, they will be contacted by Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC). Yukoners are encouraged to be on alert for scams related to contact tracing. Any other contact tracing outreach being conducted by anyone aside from YCDC is not valid.

Stories are circulating about emails being sent to individuals identifying them as having been somewhere where someone has been diagnosed as positive. The email encourages the recipient to open a document for instructions, which they should not do as these emails are fraudulent. All contact tracing is done directly by YCDC.

Visitor decals available for eligible vehicles with out-of-territory licence plates

As of July 20, 2020, some vehicles with out-of-territory licence plates will be provided with a visitor decal when they enter Yukon at a border check station staffed by Government of Yukon enforcement officers.

Visitor decals will be provided to critical service providers and travellers who have completed their 14-day self-isolation as required, including: Canadians with plates from jurisdictions outside of British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut; Americans providing essential services in Yukon; and foreign residents who have been permitted entry to Canada by the Canadian Border Services Agency. The green visitor decal placed on the driver’s side of the windshield indicates that the occupants are not required to self-isolate and the vehicle is authorized to travel in and around Yukon.

People in Yukon with out-of-territory plates can pick up a visitor decal at the Emergency Measures Office located at 60 Norseman Road in Whitehorse. People living in Yukon communities can contact covid19enforcement@gov.yk.ca to request a visitor decal. Eligible visitors must first have completed their 14-day self-isolation period, if it was required.

Visitors as well as residents are reminded to be kind, respectful and be safe. Everyone is is encouraged to practise the Six Steps to Staying Safe.

July 15, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

COVID-19 case count

As of today, July 15, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,365 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

Border control statistics

Our border measures have given us the time to prepare for COVID-19, including enhancing our testing, tracking and tracing capacity. Since the start of Phase 2 on July 1, 1,587 British Columbia residents and 1,130 Yukoners have entered Yukon. In that time, 1,627 people have transited through the territory. The Government of Yukon Emergency Coordination Centre received 119 complaints from the public since July 1. Since border restrictions began earlier this year, four individuals have been fined for violating the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA). Right now there are approximately 45 enforcement officers in the territory.

Government of Yukon working arrangement update

During Phase 2 and as we transition into Phase 3, many employees will gradually be returning to the workplace though some will continue to work from home depending on operational requirements and employee circumstances. At the height of employees working remotely, approximately 50 per cent of the government’s workforce was working from home. Currently the percentage of employees working from home is approximately 34 per cent. A gradual return to the workplace will ensure the ongoing health and safety of employees.

Health measures adopted during Phase 2 will be instrumental in helping the organization adapt to existing and emerging challenges. Employees who will be returning can expect to have a conversation with their supervisor about the details of coming back into the workplace. Some measures in place include directional tape and signage on the floor and walls, adhering to the six steps to staying safe, including physical distancing, and having less or different access to communal spaces such as kitchens.

Whitehorse Public Library to reopen to public

The Whitehorse Public Library will reopen its doors to the public on July 21, 2020. The Chief Medical Officer of Health had ordered the facility closed on March 18, 2020. Since then, the library had continued to offer some services, with curbside pickup of library materials added on June 15, 2020.

The reopening of the facility’s doors marks the next phase in the library’s overall reopening plan. It will allow the public to once again browse the library’s materials and borrow books, DVDs and CDs in-person. There will also be limited access to the library’s public computers, printing and reference desk services.

To support physical distancing and the safety of both the public and staff, the library has introduced a few changes as part of this phase of reopening. These include:

  • hand sanitizing requirements on entry;
  • limited seating until new. more easily sanitized, furniture arrives;
  • reducing the number of computer stations and usage times; and
  • asking people to bring in their own headphones to use at the public computers.

The Whitehorse Public Library will be open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Local library boards manage community libraries across the territory and determine what services community libraries will provide during the pandemic. Patrons in the communities can find out the latest by calling their local library directly.

July 8, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, July 8 at 2 p.m., the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1306 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20 and our last case recovered on May 1.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Weekday updates

We update information about COVID-19 cases and tests every weekday on Yukon.ca, except public holidays. The information we publish includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Respiratory Assessment Centre reopens

In anticipation of the demand for increased testing as a result of opening Yukon’s borders and in preparation for influenza season, the stand alone respiratory assessment centre reopened on Monday, July 6. The new location is 49A Waterfront Place in Whitehorse and the hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. People will still require a referral from 811 Yukon HealthLine, a family physician, community health nurse or Whitehorse General Hospital and can arrange a time for testing by calling 393-3083.

Hospital changes visiting policy

Effective July 6, Whitehorse General Hospital changed its visiting policy. All admitted patients are now allowed one designated, and consistent, visitor. All maternity, Emergency Room (ER) and Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients will continue to be permitted one designated visitor/support person.

Patients and clients checking in for blood work, imaging exams, physio or occupational therapy and specialists appointments will not be permitted a support person except in limited circumstances.

Screeners will remain in place at all public entrances and will ask about travel history and heath symptoms. Questions about hospital policies or services during the COVID-19 pandemic can be directed to to 867-393-9040, this number is not for medical advice or support.

Visitor Information Centres open

Five of Yukon’s visitor information centres are now open. The visitor information centres in Whitehorse, Carcross, Dawson City and Beaver Creek opened on July 1 and the Watson Lake centre opened on July 5.

Visitors are being provided with the most up to date information from Yukon.ca as well as Council for Yukon First Nations' communities site. Visitor information centre staff are advising travellers to check to make sure that communities are receptive to visitors and providing reminders for people to visit respectfully. The advice applies to visitors from outside Yukon and Yukon residents who may be taking a “staycation” this year.  Visit Travel to Yukon communities guidelines: COVID-19 for more information.

Six steps to staying safe 

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; limiting travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information and to read the government’s reopening plan, A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca/COVID-19.

June 24, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, June 17, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,265 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

Border controls to be eased

Starting July 1, residents of British Columbia and Yukon will be allowed to travel back and forth without the need to self-isolate for 14 days. BC residents entering Yukon will need to provide documentation proving their BC residence at the border or airport, such as a driver’s licence.

Also from July 1, residents of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut will be allowed to enter Yukon without needing to self-isolate for 14 days, as long as they travel directly to Yukon from one of the territories or through BC.

The decision to ease border restrictions was made based on careful risk assessments and confidence in the territory’s health care capacity and ability to contact trace if new cases arrive in Yukon.

Resources for vulnerable populations

To help Yukoners at risk during this pandemic, vulnerable populations can now access mental health and social supports online. This includes homeless people, those experiencing or at risk of gender-based violence, people with disabilities, seniors and those with underlying medical conditions.

Pools to reopen

Effective July 1, public pools will be able to operate with an approved operational plan. Swimming and other water-related activities are excellent ways to get the physical activity needed for a healthy life.

The use of public pools is considered a low-risk activity as long as pools are operated safely and are properly maintained. All requirements in the Public Pool Regulations, under the Public Health and Safety Act, must be adhered to. An operational plan must be submitted to COVID19info@gov.yk.ca and there must be a pre-opening public pool inspection. Pool operators throughout the territory have been advised of this information.

Farmers market

Beginning July 1, the Whitehorse Farmers Market can welcome non-food vendors (such as artisans and soap and flower sellers). Information booths will continue to be excluded. In addition, market organizers have been advised they now have the ability to offer seating and an outdoor dining experience to the public as long as physical distancing is maintained. Buskers are also allowed to return to the market beginning July 1.

June 17, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, June 17, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,245 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

Full dental services to resume in Yukon

Dental professionals may again offer full dental services in the territory beginning on July 1. All dental care except emergency and urgent procedures had previously been suspended due to the pandemic on March 27. The Chief Medical Officer of Health has recommended the resumption of full dental services as part of the territory’s COVID-19 reopening plan, which enters Phase 2 on July 1.

Dental professionals will be able to offer non-urgent services, including but not limited to:

  • initial or periodic oral examinations or recall visits;
  • routine dental cleaning and preventative therapies;
  • routine radiographs;
  • extraction of asymptomatic teeth;
  • aesthetic dental procedures;
  • dental implants;
  • restorative dentistry; and
  • non-painful chronic periapical lesions.

At this time, dental professionals must continue to follow the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s Recommended Practices and Personal Protective Equipment.

Guidelines issued

Guidelines have now been created and posted for the operation of fitness centres and gyms. This guidance does not apply to recreation centres with pools, arenas, sports fields or large indoor spaces for gatherings. It is designed for public indoor spaces designed for shared fitness purposes. An operational plan must be submitted if the operation employs staff and the safe six must be applied.

Guidelines for the operation of public recreation centres have also been released. These guidelines address facilities with large indoor spaces, pools, running tracks, curling and ice rinks, etc. Again, operational plans must be submitted and the safe six adhered to. 

Restaurants at full capacity

Beginning July 1, Yukon restaurants can increase their operating capacity from 50 per cent to 100 per cent. Restaurants were closed to all but take out services on March 22 and reopened at 50 per cent on May 29. Restaurants will still be required to follow the reopening food premises guidelines.

Gatherings

As of July 1, outdoor gatherings in Yukon may have up to 50 people in attendance. These should still respect physical distancing guidelines and may not serve shared food. No buffets or pot lucks are permitted at this time. The limit for indoor gatherings remains at 10 or fewer.

Yukon Public Library update

Public libraries throughout Yukon will begin providing varying levels of service to their respective communities. People should contact their local library for more details. 

Whitehorse Public Library currently offers curbside service. Patrons can place holds on materials via phone at 867-667-5239, by emailing whitehorse.library@gov.yk.ca or by visiting www.pac.gov.yk.ca. Books on hold can be picked up Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Appropriate physical distancing measures will be in place for the library curbside pickup and library items will be processed according to recommended national guidelines and safety protocols. This includes a quarantine period, which means a delay in getting books back into circulation. Late fees will continue to be waived and extended loan periods remain in place. The e-library continues to be available for use.

June 12, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, June 12, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,235 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

State of emergency extended

On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Government of Yukon is extending the state of emergency under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) for another 90 days, as of today. This will allow the government to continue to use every tool at its disposal to protect the health and safety of Yukoners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the pandemic continues to evolve and there continues to be nationwide transmission of COVID-19, the Government of Yukon is continually evaluating the situation and will adjust measures as necessary. The state of emergency can be cancelled at any time, or can continue to be extended by 90 days so long as the pandemic continues to pose a risk to Yukoners.

Violations of the orders under the CEMA are an offence and are punishable by a fine or imprisonment. A full list of the orders and legislative changes made under the Civil Emergency Measures Act can be found at yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19/legislation-changes-covid-19.

Guidelines released for visitors at long-term care facilities

Outdoor visits for long-term care residents are now permitted with the release of a staged plan for the reopening of long-term care facilities in Yukon to visitors. Currently residents can identify one visitor with whom they can visit in a pre-set outdoor location. The reintroduction of visitors is staged over four phases, similar to the Yukon government’s Path Forward plan. Phase 2 will permit two outdoor visitors at the same time.

The territory’s five long-term care homes were closed to all visitors and volunteers on March 16 to avoid introduction of COVID-19 into long-term care homes. In Canada the highest number of deaths is attributed to COVID-19 in nursing and long-term care homes.

Bars able to reopen shortly

Guidelines for the reopening of bars within the territory have been shared with all proprietors, with the intent of giving them time to prepare for reopening on Friday, June 19. Bars may only open at 50 per cent capacity, the same as restaurants. This is intended to promote physical distancing and limit the size of groups. Groups planning to gather at a bar can be no larger than 10 sitting together.

All bars must submit an operational plan to the Health Emergency Operations Centre for approval. Live music will not be permitted at this time and recreation areas such as dart boards, pool tables, dance floors and gaming (such as pinball and video games) are not permitted to open at this time.

COVID-19 update

As plans for reopening move forward and there is no presence of COVID-19 in Yukon, we are reducing the number of updates. The regular COVID-19 updates will move to once a week beginning Wednesday, June 17, at 2 p.m. 

June 5, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

The Government of Yukon has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 case count

As of today, June 5, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,201 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

Updated guidance for critical and essential service workers released

The Government of Yukon’s guidance for critical and essential workers has been updated this week to provide greater clarity to workers delivering critical and essential services in the territory between now and July 1, 2020. After July 1, 2020, restrictions will be eased for critical and essential workers entering Yukon from BC.

The updated guidance document clarifies that the restrictions of gatherings to 10 people does not apply to workplaces, that people who need to do urgent repairs or maintenance on infrastructure are considered critical workers, as are judges, witnesses and other individuals necessary to carry out the rule of law. The updated document also clarifies that all of Yukon’s communities – whether Whitehorse or rural – should be treated similarly by people who need to come to Yukon to work from outside the territory.

The guidance document is in effect immediately and only applies to the current phase of our approach to the pandemic. Further changes to this document may arise once we enter Phase 2 of our plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

Updates to A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions

Following the announcement about the anticipated start of Phase 2 on July 1, Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions has been updated to include specific dates and new timelines. Find the latest version of the plan to lift restrictions. It will be updated periodically as we progress through the phases of the plan.

Faith-based services

Beginning this Sunday, June 7, places of worship will be permitted to open. Service organizers and attendees are required to adopt steps to ensure physical distancing, even adapting the nature of their services where necessary.

This means, for example, that the seating capacity of indoor venues will be limited to one third of the building capacity up to a maximum of 50 people including service leaders and organizers.

Leaders and organizers must also increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting common, high-touch areas such as seating, railings, switched and ceremonial objects. Organizers are required to complete an operational plan that must be produced if requested. It does not need to be approved in advance. The guidance for faith-based services and activities is now online at Yukon.ca.

Mental health resources

Yukon has a wide range of mental health support. list of the resources is available on the Yukon.ca.

These resources are provided by the Yukon government, First Nations governments, the federal government and the non-governmental organization (NGO) community. The majority of these supports remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some services have been altered to comply with the orders and recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

This list is not comprehensive and the provision of services will change depending on which phase Yukon is at based on the plan for management of the COVID-19 pandemic level in Yukon, including plans to lift restrictions.

These resources have been collected and organized by population to make it easier for health care providers, NGOs and anyone supporting the health and wellness of Yukoners, so identify the appropriate resources.

Accessing Opioid Treatment Services during COVID-19

Opioid Treatment Services and support are available to anyone who feels a need to discuss or address their opioid use, especially considering the increased stressors many are under due to COVID-19. The medical community is expressing concerns over the lack of safe supply. This may encourage people to seek treatment over fears that the drugs they normally use may not be available or are unsafe to use and that some individuals may be using more at this time as a coping mechanism. 

Opioid treatment includes access to prescription medications such as suboxone and methadone used to treat opioid use disorder. If people are unsure if treatment is right for them, they are encouraged to come in and have a conversation with a clinician about what options are available and what treatment might look like.

Opioid Treatment Services operate out of the Referred Care Clinic at 210 Elliott Street in Whitehorse. Normally these are drop-in services but because of COVID-19, the public is being asked to call first and make an appointment. The clinic operates Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. and can be reached at 867-668-2552. Harm reduction supplies and naloxone kits are also available through the clinic. 

May 26, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 26, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,159 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Weekday updates

We update information about COVID-19 cases and tests every weekday on Yukon.ca, except public holidays. The information we publish includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered. Today’s update focuses on the modelling work being done within the Chief Medical Officer of Health office. Copies of this technical briefing presentation are available here.

Single site survey

To address the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission from the movement of staff, volunteers and contractors between certain facilities, such as long-term care facilities, and other volunteer and employment settings, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will collect information to identify where there is cross over.

As Yukon prepares to shift into a new phase of the pandemic response it may be necessary to restrict movement of certain employees between facilities and other employment types in order to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission in these facilities. The goal of this project is to ensure the continuity of services and to protect the health of residents and employees in facilities, while mitigating impacts on operations and on affected staff.

All information is being collected through a secure online portal and in accordance with applicable Yukon privacy legislation.

Day camps and Canada Games Centre

Since the publication of the guidelines for summer day camps, City of Whitehorse camps and Polarettes have had their plans okayed. Additional plans are being reviewed this week.

The phased-in reopening of the Canada Games Centres has also been approved. The plan allows for time at each phase to educate, monitor, adjust and evaluate before moving on, similar to the government’s reopening plan.

Paramedic Services Week

May 24 to 30 is Paramedic Services Week and thanks go to our volunteer emergency medical responders, advanced, critical and primary care paramedics, the critical care nurses working alongside them on the medevac crews and dispatchers and other Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff working behind the scenes to support them.

Of the almost 200 members of Emergency Medical Services, more than 100 are volunteer Emergency Medical Responders. They’re the backbone of EMS operations in 15 communities across the territory. These volunteer paramedics go above and beyond the call of duty, even responding to serious incidents outside of their scheduled hours. We thank them for their dedication and hard work and for giving their time to support their communities.

Morel mushroom season

Yukoners will now be able to obtain permits for harvesting morel mushrooms commercially provided they remain compliant with the six steps to staying safe. Travel to Yukon is not permitted for commercial harvesting of mushrooms and permits will not be issued to non-Yukon residents.

Six steps to staying safe 

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; limiting travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information and to read the government’s reopening plan, A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 22, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 22, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,145 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Weekday updates

We update information about COVID-19 cases and tests every weekday on Yukon.ca, except public holidays. The information we publish includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Civil Emergency Measures Act new Order

A new health order was issued today under the Civil Emergency Measures Act. This Order allows the Minister of Community Services in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health to review and approve variations to the requirements and restrictions in the existing orders.

This will provide more flexibility as we move forward with the reopening plan so that services such as hair salons and dine-in restaurants can resume. It also allows the Government of Yukon to respond quickly and close services if we see a spike in COVID-19 cases or community spread of the virus in the territory.

Child care services

Licensed child care operators can now provide child care for the children of all Yukon families, rather than only for vulnerable families and the families of critical and essential workers. Child care operators can also return to their pre-COVID-19 enrolment numbers and are now following the new guidelines for operating child care centres during COVID-19.

Inspectors are working with child care operators to determine when they can return to their normal licensing capacity.

Restaurants

From May 29, restaurants can again provide dine-in services, as long as they have developed a COVID-19 operational plan to keep staff and customers safe and the government has approved the plan. Restaurants have been able to continue providing take-out services throughout the pandemic.

Personal services

Personal services businesses can reopen on May 27 as long as they have developed a COVID-19 operational plan and it has been approved by the government. Personal services businesses include hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons and non-registered massage therapists.

We ask Yukoners to be patient and give businesses the time they need to get ready to provide services again after their complete closure.

COVID-19 operational plan template

All businesses, service providers and employers need to have a COVID-19 operational plan in place even if they were not mandated to close under the Civil Emergency Measures Act. They don’t need to have the plan approved in order to operate but need to have it available for inspection by the government.

The template for COVID-19 operational plans is on Yukon.ca.

As and when the government lifts restrictions on types of businesses currently mandated to close under the Civil Emergency Measures Act those businesses must complete a COVID-19 operational plan and have it approved by the government before they can reopen.

Recreational programming COVID-19 review form

Event planners and recreational programmers should develop a COVID-19 plan and get it approved by public health officials. The online form is on the “Request a review of business, service or event operations during COVID-19 page” of Yukon.ca.

Six steps to staying safe 

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; limiting travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information and to read the government’s reopening plan, A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 19, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 19, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,134 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Weekday updates

We update information about COVID-19 cases and tests every weekday on Yukon.ca, except public holidays. The information we publish includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Combined households

As from May 15, 2020, the territory is now in Phase 1 of the Government of Yukon’s reopening plan, A Path Forward. This means we can all now choose one other household to join up with and not have to practise physical distancing with people in that household. Once we’ve chosen a household to pair with we cannot change to another pairing.

It's acceptable if the number of people in the two households is more than 10 but we must continue to avoid gathering in social groups of more than 10 other than that. We must also continue to keep a physical distance of two metres (six feet) from anyone not in our two households.

There’s more information in the combined household guidelines on Yukon.ca.

Reopening businesses and services

Being in Phase 1 of the reopening plan means that businesses and service providers that weren’t ordered to close may operate as long as they have a COVID-19 operational plan and have put safety precautions in place.

Recreational programming such as sporting events and day camps are possible but organizers need to have an approved plan in place.

Businesses such as personal services and restaurants that were ordered to close will be able to open up again once they’ve prepared operational plans based on the guidelines we’re developing and had them approved.

Restaurants can meanwhile continue to provide take-out and delivery services but must submit an operational plan to the government by May 29. Guidelines for restaurants planning to restore table service will be available in the coming days.

All  other employers are also required to complete COVID-19 operational plans and have them available for inspection but these don’t need to be submitted for approval.

Businesses, employers and event organizers can find more information about the steps they need to take and where to send their plans for review or approval on the “Operating businesses, services and events safely during COVID-19” page of Yukon.ca.

As soon as we complete guidelines we publish them on the “Guidelines and recommendations” page of Yukon.ca.

A change to the six steps to staying safe 

Now that we’re in Phase 1, we’ve changed our guidance that said avoid travel to communities to instead asking people to limit travel to communities. Communities are particularly vulnerable during the pandemic and we ask Yukoners to travel within the territory as respectfully and safely as possible. 

The updated six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; limiting travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Moving through reopening phases

We’ll make decisions about moving to the next phase of the reopening plan in a gradual, cautious and objective way with at least two to four weeks between each phase. This means we’ll have time to detect changes in the pandemic situation and evaluate the risks of the steps we’ve taken so far and how safe it is to move to the next stage. This is why we’re not committing to fixed dates. We’ll keep Yukoners informed at every step of the way.

The six criteria we’re basing our decisions on are: community engagement, preventative measures, public health capacity, importation risk, health system capacity, and virus spread and containment. The Government of Yukon will make decisions in consultation with Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The phases of the plan are: Phase 1 – restart; Phase 2 – recover; and Phase 3 – new normal. We also have Phase 0: response, which is the phase we were in until May 15 and, to be prepared in case the situation in Yukon backtracks and we need to impose restrictions again, we also have a Phase minus 1 – worsened state.

The full plan is published on Yukon.ca.

Victim Services

We recognize that staying home during the pandemic is not safe for everyone. Support is available for anyone who’s not safe at home because of partner violence, family violence or sexualized violence.

Victim Services can work with people to explore options based on their circumstances, help them make a safety plan and access safe shelter if they need it. To contact Victim Services, call toll free 1-800-661-0408, extension 8500.

Staff at the Women’s Transition home in Whitehorse, the Dawson Women’s Shelter or Help and Hope for families in Watson Lake can also help. If anyone needs immediate help they should call 9-1-1.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 12, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 12, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,106 individuals have been tested.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Weekday case updates

While the number of cases of COVID-19 remains low, we’ll update information about COVID-19 cases and tests every weekday on Yukon.ca rather than daily as we have been doing lately. The information we publish includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Keeping COVID-19 out of Yukon

With no new cases announced since April 20, we must work together to keep COVID-19 out of the territory. We can do this by continuing to control our borders and maintaining the requirement for people arriving in Yukon to self-isolate for 14 days. Keeping these measures in place will enable us to start easing other restrictions.

Under the current Border Control Measures Order, people can only enter Yukon if they can provide evidence that they are:

Yukon residents;
non-resident family members of Yukon residents;
delivering a critical or essential service;
travelling through Yukon to a neighbouring jurisdiction, which they must do with 24 hours; or
exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right.

Information about how to safely self-isolate is on Yukon.ca.

National Nursing Week

During National Nursing Week, May 11 to 17, we’re celebrating the vital contributions that nurses make to our lives and are grateful for all they’re doing to help keep our families and friends safe and well in Yukon and all across the country. This year’s particularly apt theme is Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Nursing the World to Health. The World Health Organization has designated 2020 the Year of the Nurse.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding unnecessary travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 8, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 8, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,075 individuals have been tested.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

The Government of Yukon publishes information about COVID-19 tests daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Guidelines for health care professionals

We are providing guidelines to help health care practitioners who aren’t doctors and nurses to reopen their businesses in ways that will keep their clients safe. These practitioners are called allied health professionals and they include:

  • acupuncturists;
  • chiropractors;
  • naturopaths;
  • occupational therapists;
  • osteopaths;
  • physiotherapists; and
  • registered massage therapists.

Under the new guidelines, practitioners will call patients 24 hours before their appointment to screen them for COVID-19 and should maintain physical distancing when they meet patients in person.

Guidelines for optometrists

We are also providing guidelines for optometrists to help them provide services safely to Yukoners during the pandemic.

Health care workers

We do not require health care workers to self-isolate and avoid social gatherings when they’re not at work. However, we do ask them to comply with all current recommendations and orders, including holding any social gatherings outdoors and in a well-spaced grouping of not more than 10 people. 

Supporting fundraisers

We encourage Yukoners to find new ways to support charities or take part in fundraising activities during the pandemic. This is as long as people have the money or time to participate and activities are carried out safely.

Run for Mom, for example, which takes place on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 10, is inviting Yukoners to run, walk or cycle any route they choose while practising safe spacing rather than take part in the usual annual run around the 4.2 kilometre Millennium Trail in Whitehorse.

Run for Mom is an annual event to raise awareness of breast health and money for breast imaging equipment at Whitehorse General Hospital.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding unnecessary travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 5, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 5, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,041 individuals have been tested.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

The Government of Yukon publishes information about COVID-19 tests daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Yukon modelling

Modelling shows that because Yukoners have followed the six steps to staying safe, we have successfully reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. If we had not put restrictions in place when we did, our modelling shows we would have expected to have seen around 2,500 cases of COVID-19 by May 1. Instead we saw 11.

We would also have expected approximately 150 people to be in a hospital by May 1. No one in Yukon infected by COVID-19 has had to go to a hospital and, on average, there are 28 unoccupied hospital beds every day. If we’d had 10 cases and no restrictions, we could have seen more than 7,000 cases, with close to 1,000 hospitalizations.

We will provide a technical briefing about modelling in Yukon soon.

Pandemic impact on Yukoners

It’s vital that Yukoners continue to practise the six steps to staying safe. As a territory, we must take a long-term view of the pandemic and move gradually and in an evidence-based way that’s specific to Yukon circumstances towards easing restrictions so we can ensure we’re always prepared for any changes in our situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everybody in different ways, depending on our circumstances and vulnerabilities. We cannot always anticipate how each of us will be affected. Yukoners can play a role in supporting others through this difficult experience as well as making sure we seek help for ourselves when we need it.

We must also balance our personal responses to the pandemic with the risks to other Yukoners’ health. Each safe action we take helps others who are vulnerable.

Spartan Cube machines

On April 17, 2020, we said we expected to receive the Spartan Cube machines we had ordered from the federal government around the end of May for portable, rapid testing around the territory. However, because of problems with the Spartan Cube’s performance, Health Canada will no longer be supplying the machines.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

May 1, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, May 1, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

The Government of Yukon publishes information about COVID-19 tests daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

A personal message for Yukoners from the Chief Medical Officer of Health

I recognize that people are getting tired of the restrictions that have been put in place. They see Yukon’s low number of cases of infection and wonder why we are keeping things locked down so tightly. They look to our neighbours to the south and the east and see that other parts of Canada are beginning to open up.

Here in Yukon, while people feel we have taken drastic measures, we haven’t had to go as far as many of the provinces had to. When our neighbours to the south and east open up, their first phases will be catching up to where we are now in terms of restrictions.

We want to take a calm and measured approach to reopening the territory. More details will be coming week by week. We want to take incremental steps and, if it’s fine and we don’t see more disease, then walk in a little deeper.

The worst thing would be that if we open up, see a resurgence of the disease within the territory and have to shut down again, just after folks have tasted a little bit of freedom.

Increasing non-urgent hospital services

Yukon’s hospitals will on a limited basis increase some elective and non-urgent services that were temporarily suspended over the last month to help limit the spread of COVID-19. The services include elective surgeries and non-urgent bloodwork, x-rays, imaging tests, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and appointments with visiting specialists.

Hospitals will provide all of these resumed services by appointment only so they can maintain physical distancing and ensure the safety of vulnerable populations and health care workers. The hospitals will contact people to let them know when their appointment is. They will continue screening all patients and visitors for risk of infection at all hospital entrances.

Accessing mental health services

Looking after our mental health is part of how we should respond to the pandemic whatever our situation or role, including people who have never accessed mental health services before. Feeling afraid, worried or stressed are normal in a crisis and with all the change that COVID-19 has brought to our lives, so is feeling we’re no longer in control and grieving for what we have lost.

Reaching out for extra mental health support is a sign of strength. There are plenty of mental health professionals available to help and Yukoners are reminded they can call Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services at 867-456-3838 or toll free at 1-866-456-3838. People can also call the Canadian Mental Health Association for phone counselling appointments at 867-668-6429.

The Child Development Centre at 867-456-8182 provides services for families with children under school age. Families with children or adults with disabilities can call Disability Services at 867-393-7464.

We provide anyone coming into the territory with a list of resources and tools for self-care and mental wellness while they self-isolate.

People can find free resources for supporting mental health at the Wellness Together Canada at ca.portal.gs.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 28, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 28, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and all others are doing well at home.

We can trace each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread to have occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

The Government of Yukon publishes information about COVID-19 tests daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Testing update

We shared the new testing criteria we announced on Friday, April 24, with health care professionals over the weekend. They have now increased testing for people who have a broader range of symptoms and who have travelled outside Yukon.

We’ve also opened up testing to people who have not travelled. This allows us to test people from vulnerable populations including residents in long-term care homes and marginalized citizens who struggle with housing and day-to-day living.

As we move towards lightening the current restrictions we’re living under, we need to have the appropriate testing capacity in place to watch for community spread and to know where infection is and track where it’s been.

National Immunization Awareness Week

April 25 to May 2 is National Immunization Awareness Week. We want Yukoners to keep routine immunizations for children up to date. Delaying or missing scheduled vaccines puts children at risk for common and serious childhood infections such as measles and whooping cough. Protecting babies and children through vaccinations and reducing the risk of an outbreak of a disease that’s preventable by a vaccine is a public health priority. We have strategies in place across all Yukon health care centres to continue to deliver these services safely.

Don’t put your health on hold

The government launched a new campaign this week to remind Yukon residents that if they’re ill, they can still call their doctor, visit the health centre or go to the Emergency Department. Numbers of physician, health centre and emergency visits have dropped in recent weeks and we’re concerned that people who may be really ill or have legitimate health concerns are putting off that call or visit because of COVID-19.

Lifting of restrictions

Work continues on developing a national, coordinated approach to how and when to gradually ease restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic. Recognizing the different situations in each jurisdiction, changes will be implemented locally based on local circumstances. Planning for Yukon’s opening up strategy is underway led by the Premier’s office and following a public health framework developed by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, in coordination with federal and jurisdictional counterparts.

Some Yukon businesses have begun to reopen on their own initiative after changing their practices to comply with current public health advice. Retail operations may remain open as long as they have a plan in place to serve the public safely. Other establishments, such as bars, restaurants except for take out and delivery, recreation facilities and businesses offering personal services, remain closed under public health order. All closures and operating requirements will be reviewed as part of Yukon’s opening plan.  

Businesses can view the cleaning guidelines that have been approved by the government’s environmental health services on Yukon.ca.

Social gatherings

The ban on gatherings of more than 10 people refers to social gatherings rather than work environments. People within a workplace must space themselves appropriately and take increased hygiene precautions. The maximum number of people in a work space depends on the size of the establishment and not the absolute number.

Indoor gatherings should be limited to usual household members and close family members and should not exceed 10 people. Outdoor gatherings of 10 or fewer are allowed as long as people are appropriately spaced.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 24, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 24, at 3 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and all others are doing well at home. No one has had to go to a hospital.

Daily updates

Information about COVID-19 tests is published daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Changes to testing criteria

From Monday, April 27, the criteria for who is tested for COVID-19 in Yukon will be expanded. People will be tested if they have any one of the following symptoms and if they have travelled outside the territory in the last 14 days or have had close contact with anyone who has travelled outside the territory.

The symptoms for recent travellers include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, a sore throat or hoarse voice, headache, runny nose or nasal congestion, unexplained vomiting or diarrhea, fatigue or muscle aches, or loss of smell or taste.

People with no travel history but who are experiencing fever, cough, or difficulty breathing can also be tested.

Testing will also be broadened in long-term care facility residents and the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter clients.

The reasons for broadening the testing criteria are that due to being well past the peak of flu season we are seeing fewer people come forward for testing. We wish to continue with high rates of testing to detect any COVID as early as possible. We also are working to continue to protect vulnerable populations and to increase our ability to detect signals of community transmission. Community transmission means it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected. The origin of all 11 cases in Yukon so far has been traced back to travel outside the territory.

Health care providers continue to have the discretion to make decisions about who is tested or not based on their clinical expertise.

The self-assessment tool on Yukon.ca and the 811 Health Line will be updated with the new criteria on April 27.

Doctor’s offices and community health centres

Yukoners are reminded they can call their doctor for their regular health needs such as renewing medication, dealing with chronic health conditions or to discuss new concerns. Doctor’s offices and community health centres remain open.

Health support for Yukon communities

Information about health services support for communities during the pandemic has been added to Yukon.ca, including health care access, mental health services and the testing process. 

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 22, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 22, at 3 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and all others are doing well at home.

Each case in Yukon so far can be traced to its origin and there continues to be no known community transmission in the territory. Community transmission is assumed to have occurred when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

Information about COVID-19 tests is published daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Living with COVID-19 longer term

Work is underway across Canada to plan a national, coordinated approach to how and when to gradually ease restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic. The slow transition to living longer-term with COVID-19 will be tailored to different contexts and implemented by each jurisdiction based on local circumstances. 

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is a member of the federal, provincial and territorial Special Advisory Committee set up to guide this work and advise deputy ministers of health across the country on matters related to the pandemic.

The committee’s work is based on data and evidence and includes developing criteria to assess readiness for loosening or altering public health measures and preparing a framework for guiding decisions.

Smoking and vaping

People who smoke and vape should be aware they are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and of developing more severe health complications if they become ill. Smoking and vaping damage the lungs and weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off COVID-19. This includes smoking cannabis as well as tobacco. Also, sharing cigarettes or vaping devices risks spreading COVID-19.

Yukoners wanting to give up smoking can get help from the Quitpath program by calling 867-667-8393 in Whitehorse, 1-866-221-8393 toll free in communities or by visiting www.quitpath.ca. Help is also available at www.smokershelpline.ca.

Youth and mental health

Anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty and situations that can be harmful. Children and youth struggling with living through a pandemic are encouraged to talk to adults they trust, call Kids Help Phone toll free at 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca.

Parents, care givers and other adults can support children and youth by responding to questions and researching answers to factual questions together, thinking of ways to help others and setting achievable goals.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of 10 or more; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 20, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 20, at 3 p.m. there are two new cases of COVID-19 in the territory, bringing the total number of cases to 11. The new cases relate to a cluster in Whitehorse that is associated with international travel. Contact tracing and investigation continue.

Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon, including all people not involved in the present cluster, have recovered and all are doing well.

Each case in Yukon so far can be traced to its origin and there continues to be no known community transmission in the territory. Community transmission is assumed to have occurred when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

Information about COVID-19 tests is published daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Contact tracing

Whenever new cases of COVID-19 occur in the territory that can be traced to a particular person, Yukon Communicable Disease Control will contact anyone who has had close contact with that person and let them know what steps they must take to avoid spreading infection, such as self-isolating and monitoring themselves for symptoms. Each person will be given direction according to their individual circumstances.

Travellers returning to Yukon

People returning to Yukon who are self-isolating for 14 days and who develop symptoms or whose symptoms worsen should call 811 or their family physician if they are in Whitehorse. People in communities who develop symptoms should call their local health centre.

Mental health support

Mental health should be a priority for Yukoners to help them manage their way through the pandemic. Reaching out for mental wellness support is proactive health care.

Advice for mental health self-care includes being kind to yourself, getting outside for at least 15 to 20 minutes a day, appreciating nature, eating well and staying hydrated, monitoring your caffeine and alcohol intake, getting eight hours of sleep a night and taking medications as prescribed.

Anyone seeking support can call Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services at 867-456-3838 or toll free at 1-866-456-3838. People can also call the Canadian Mental Health Association for phone counselling appointments at 867-668-6429.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 17, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 17, at 3 p.m. there is one new case of COVID-19 in the territory, bringing the total number of cases to nine. The new case is in Whitehorse and related to international travel. Contact tracing is underway.

Seven of the nine people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and no one has had to go to a hospital.

Each case in Yukon so far can be traced to its origin and there continues to be no known community transmission in the territory. Community transmission is assumed to have occurred when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Testing for COVID-19

Starting today, information about COVID-19 tests will be published daily on Yukon.ca.

Yukon continues to have an aggressive strategy for testing for COVID-19 but as the incidence of influenza and other respiratory illnesses lessens in the territory, fewer individuals need to be tested. Also, with fewer people coming into Yukon than before due to border restrictions, the risk of imported COVID-19 has substantially decreased.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health office is continually re-examining the testing strategy for Yukon to ensure there are mechanisms in place to protect the territory’s most vulnerable citizens as well as to look for signs of community transmission.

Rapid test kits

Within the next couple of weeks Yukon expects to have a GeneXpert rapid test kit set up and running.  This will be for testing within a  hospital setting rather than for general use and can provide results quickly on site. New Spartan Cube machines are also expected to arrive in Yukon around the end of May for portable, rapid testing in different health care settings around the territory.

The Government of Yukon will also continue to send tests to the BC Centre for Disease Control by air transport.

Communal living guidance

The Government of Yukon has produced a new guide to help operators prevent and manage COVID-19 in communal settings such as homeless shelters, women’s shelters, youth shelters, transition homes, group homes and hostels. The guidance includes topics such as education, cleaning, personal protective equipment and monitoring and reporting.

The document is called Guidance for the Prevention and Management of COVID-19 in Communal Living Settings and is now on Yukon.ca.

Keeping COVID-19 at bay

Yukoners have succeeded in creating an environment where COVID-19 has not spread and are strongly advised to keep it that way by following the six steps to staying safe. The six steps are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of 10 or more; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 14, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 14, at 3 p.m. the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon remains at eight with seven cases in Whitehorse and one in a community.

Six of the eight people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and no one has had to go to a hospital.

Each case in Yukon so far can be traced to its origin and there continues to be no known community transmission in the territory. Community transmission is presumed to occur when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Easter success

Yukoners are thanked for following the pandemic orders and recommendations over the Easter weekend and staying close to home, staying safe and not putting unnecessary pressure on medical and emergency services.

Six steps to staying safe

Although community transmission is not known to have reached the territory yet, it is possible that it has already arrived. This is why the public should continue to act to limit potential infection. By following six steps to staying safe, Yukoners will help to stop the spread of COVID-19.

  1. Practise physical distancing – keep two metres or six feet away from everyone who’s not in your household.
  2. Wash your hands frequently.
  3. Stay home when you’re sick.
  4. Don’t gather in groups of 10 or more people.
  5. Don’t travel to communities unless it’s essential.
  6. Self-isolate when you’re required to – either because you’ve travelled into the territory or because you are a contact of someone diagnosed with or being investigated for COVID-19.

Doctor appointments and immunizations

People who would normally be visiting health centres for immunizations should carry on doing so despite the pandemic. Those with ailments or conditions not related to COVID-19 should call their doctors for appointments in the usual way. They will be able to talk to their doctor by phone and their doctor will determine whether they need a face to face appointment.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 8, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 8, at 3 p.m. the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon is eight.

The eighth case is in a rural Yukon community. The patient is self-isolating and doing well at home. This case is linked to international travel.

Four of the eight people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have now recovered and no one has had to go to a hospital.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Identifying rural communities where COVID-19 is present

When a case is diagnosed in a rural community, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will not publicly identify the community. This commitment is made for several reasons including the need to protect the personal health information and privacy of the individual and anyone affected.

Individual cases that are contained do not increase the risk to the public. There is concern that if communities are identified, the community or people who are affected may be stigmatized.

If there are specific places where contact may have occurred and contacts are unknown, those locations may need to be posted regardless of the community.

Easter weekend

Yukoners are reminded to do what they can to help stop the spread of COVID-19 over the Easter weekend so the territory remains free of known community transmission.

This means staying close to home, avoiding activities that risk the need for emergency services to be called out and keeping a safe, two-metre distance from anyone who’s not a member of the same household. People should do grocery and other shopping alone as much as possible and not play sports or games with people who are not from the same household.

However, Yukoners who are healthy and not self-isolating should not take this to mean they cannot see local family and friends who are not vulnerable to infection. Yukoners connecting with others should keep safely spaced at all times, practise greater hygiene and avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

As announced on March 22, people are strongly advised not to travel to Yukon rural communities unless their journey is essential.

Playgrounds

Healthy Yukoners are also reminded that they may go to local parks and playgrounds to get fresh air and play as long as they keep safely spaced from anyone who’s not in their household. 

Doctor appointments

People with ailments or conditions not related to COVID-19 are encouraged to call their doctors for appointments in the usual way. They can talk to their doctor by phone and their doctor will determine whether a face to face appointment is necessary.

Anyone who thinks they have COVID-19 symptoms should call Yukon HealthLine 811 or use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool on Yukon.ca.

Schools

With face-to-face classes suspended for the rest of the school year, parents and caregivers are encouraged to help children continue to learn but in the role of a guide rather than putting pressure on themselves to step into the role of a teacher. 

Tips for supporting children at this challenging time include talking to them about COVID-19 while also restricting their access to online news about the pandemic, maintaining a regular daily structure and teaching children the basics of increased hygiene while not becoming upset if they forget.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca.

April 6, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 6, at 3 p.m. the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon is seven.

Four of the seven people who have contracted COVID-19 have now recovered and all others are isolating and doing well at home. No Yukon cases have required medical treatment.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Contact tracing

Whenever new cases of COVID-19 occur in the territory that can be traced to a particular person, the Government of Yukon will contact anyone who has had close contact with that individual. This is called contact tracing and is a normal, precautionary step in the response to any infectious disease, not just COVID-19.

Yukoners who have had close contact with someone who is infected will be notified individually and the steps they need to take will be explained to them directly, such as monitoring themselves for symptoms and self-isolating. The risk of infection is determined case by case by Yukon Communicable Disease Control.

COVID-19 transmission

Yukon continues to have no known cases of community transmission. All identified infections in the territory so far are connected to travel outside Yukon or to known contacts. Community transmission occurs when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected. Physical spacing measures are people’s best protection against unknown community transmission.

With global information about COVID-19 growing each day there is now evidence that some infected people can transmit the virus before they develop symptoms and also that some people who never develop symptoms can also transmit the virus.

Personal protective equipment

Yukon is not facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). To help manage resources, PPE supplies in the territory have been centralized and health care workers are following protocols so that equipment is neither over-used nor under-used.

Supplies of medical masks must continue to be given to health care workers so they can wear them during medical procedures and when they care for people who are infected.

Wearing a non-medical mask such as a homemade cloth mask in the community has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. However, using non-medical mask or facial covering can be an additional measure people can take to protect others around them. It also helps people to be aware of not spreading infection and remember to not touch their face. Wearing a non-medical mask when in public or other settings is not a replacement for following proven measures such as hand washing and safe spacing.

Safe Easter recreation

Yukoners are strongly advised to choose less risky outdoor activities close to home this Easter weekend. The territory’s first responders and medical system workers need to be available to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than attend to outdoor activity injuries.

Latest information

A range of information in response to people’s queries about the pandemic is being added today to Yukon.ca.

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners are encouraged to visit Yukon.ca.

April 3, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley and Premier Silver have the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 3, at 3 p.m. the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yukon remains at six.

Four of the six people who contracted COVID-19 have now recovered and all others are isolating and doing well at home. No Yukon cases have required medical treatment.

Yukon continues to have no documented cases of community transmission. All identified infections in the territory so far are connected to travel outside Yukon or to known contacts. Community transmission occurs when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected. Physical spacing measures are people’s best protection against unknown community transmission.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Legal orders

As announced by the Government of Yukon on April 2, 2020, Yukoners should be aware that all orders put in place by the Yukon Chief Medical Officer in response to the pandemic are enforceable by law. This announcement about enforcement measures was in recognition of the vulnerability of communities throughout Yukon and will help clarify the rules for anyone who is uncertain about what they and others can and cannot legally do.

The enforceable orders require that: everyone who enters Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days; all essential services workers must self-isolate in a place other than a work camp or mine; all people entering Yukon must provide contact information and details of their self-isolation plan and declare they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms; no more than 10 people can gather in the same place unless they live together; all restaurants that remain open must only provide take out; all bars must close; dental visits are limited to emergency only; and all personal service businesses such as hair salons, tattoo parlours and massage therapy must close.

Special provisions and requirements are now in place for critical service providers, people travelling through Yukon and people who live in the BC-Yukon border area who haven’t travelled out of the territory or border area in the last 14 days. Travellers are only allowed to be in Yukon for 24 hours as they pass through.

Recommendations

To help protect Yukoners since the start of the pandemic, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has made several strong recommendations as well as orders. These recommendations include: not travelling to rural communities or outside the territory unless it’s essential; practicing greater hygiene and always keeping at least two meters apart from others unless they’re part of the same household; working from home when possible; and avoiding non-essential treatment at hospitals. 

Hospital care

Yukoners are reminded that hospitals are still very safe places to seek care. If people need to see a doctor for their illness, medical condition or injury they should call 811 first. If they’re advised to go to Emergency then they should do so.

Yukoners should also be aware that no hospital visitors are allowed except in limited circumstances and that active screening is in place at the entrances to all hospitals. Screeners have the difficult but important job of ensuring people have access to urgent care and keeping everyone safe. This means they may have to redirect people to other health service or turn away visitors. This is not an easy measure to enforce and Yukoners are asked to be understanding that these steps are being taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

Rural communities

To help protect rural communities in Yukon from the pandemic, the Chief Medical Officer of Health also now strongly recommends that all service providers engage with local or municipal and First Nations governments before they enter any communities. A Government of Yukon team is being established to support this engagement.

Work is also underway to help ensure that Yukoners across the territory are kept up to date with COVID-19 developments and advice in a range of ways, in recognition that not everyone has easy access to online information.

Critical and essential services

To support orders and recommendations made by Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health during the pandemic, the Government of Yukon has published guidelines that explain what critical and essential services are in the context of the pandemic and state the measures that businesses and workers must take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the territory.

Critical workers are defined as those whose services are necessary to preserve life, health and the basic running of society, such as health care, emergency services, energy, water and food.

Essential workers are defined as those whose services support the infrastructure needed for the health, safety and economic wellbeing of Yukoners, such as transportation, construction, and information and communication technologies.

The new guidelines also identify other services that are essential, for example, long-term care facility workers, child care workers, veterinarians and cleaning services.

Guidance on self-isolating

Yukoners who are self-isolating are reminded that they may go outdoors for fresh air or exercise and to carry out urgent errands such as collecting medication if no one else can do this for them, as long as they keep a distance of at least two meters – or six feet – from other people.

Safe spacing is not a law in Yukon but a strong recommendation and common sense during the pandemic. All Yukoners have a responsibility to help stop the spread of COVID-19 with the territory.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners are encouraged to visit Yukon.ca.

April 1, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

As of today, April 1, at 3 p.m. there are 6 cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. The new case is linked to international travel. The person followed all proper protocols, self-isolated and is recovering at home.

3 of the 6 people who contracted COVID-19 have now recovered and all others are doing well on home isolation.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.

Air travellers

Air North staff are greeting all travellers arriving at Erik Neilson Whitehorse International Airport with any airline to give them guidance and instruct them that they must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor themselves for symptoms. Passengers also receive guidance before they deplane and COVID-19 information is displayed on airport screens.

All people arriving in Yukon are ordered to go straight home and into self-isolation for 14 days. If they cannot safely self-isolate at home, they should contact COVID19info@gov.yk.ca to be linked with the team supporting people who cannot self-isolate at home.

Support for vulnerable people

Several measures are in place at the Government of Yukon’s Whitehorse Emergency Shelter to help keep guests and staff safe during the pandemic. This includes actively monitoring guests for symptoms of COVID-19 and reducing the number of people gathering in the shelter at the same time, while still providing essential services and prioritizing people who are most in need.

Whitehorse Emergency Shelter staff are also carrying out safe spacing and additional cleaning to prevent the spread of infection and are educating guests about physical distancing, increased hygiene and coughing etiquette. Staff have accommodation ready for guests who may need to isolate and are helping people who don’t require additional support to find alternative, temporary accommodation.

In addition, the Government of Yukon is sharing guidance and resources such as a screening tool with non-governmental organizations across the territory that provides services for homeless people and those at risk of homelessness so they can help protect clients, staff and volunteers.

Work camp guidelines

Guidelines have been issued for work camps during the pandemic, including how to help staff who have symptoms or who are required to self-isolate, how to practice safe spacing and enhanced hygiene, and how to handle food.

It is recommended that employers pay staff who need to self-isolate as this will help ensure that staff report any COVID-19 symptoms and follow isolation protocols. Mining camp workers arriving in Yukon are reminded that they are required to self-isolate for 14 days before they start work.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners are encouraged to visit Yukon.ca.

March 30, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and test results

As of today, March 30, at 3 p.m. there are five cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. All five people are doing well at home.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending and the total number of tests.

Hospital preparedness

Whitehorse General Hospital continues to prepare for the pandemic. They are planning now on how to potentially accommodate a high volume of COVID-19 patients, including identifying other facilities where care could be provided. They are also putting physical distancing measures in place and planning for the effective management of resources such as staff, equipment and supplies.

Contact tracing

People who test positive for COVID-19 may have a history of a flight or flights within the preceding 14 days. In such cases, the Government of Yukon will use information from the airline, when available, to contact only the people on that flight who were sitting specifically within the range of the infected individual.

People identified within that range are directly contacted and required to monitor themselves for symptoms. If they develop symptoms they must immediately self-isolate and contact Yukon Communicable Disease Control. This is a precautionary approach to account for any possible transmission on flights and avoids the publication of flight information. When flight manifest information is not available, the public posting of flight information may be required.

Safe spacing

Keeping two metres apart from other people is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This behaviour has been referred to as “social distancing” but this language is shifting to the phrases “physical distancing” and “safe spacing” as that wording is clearer and easier for people to visualize and act on.

Yukoners are reminded that other powerful ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 are frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes, and avoiding face touching.

Latest information

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners are encouraged to visit Yukon.ca.

March 27, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and test results

As of today, March 27, at 3 p.m. there are four cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. All four people are doing well at home.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending and the total number of tests.

Managing COVID-19 cases

As new cases of COVID-19 occur, those who are connected to infected people will continue to be traced and informed so they can take the necessary measures of monitoring themselves for symptoms for up to 14 days.

Yukoners are urged to behave as if COVID-19 is already in their community. They should continue to keep a physical distance of two meters or six feet from each other and practice greater hygiene.

Yukoners are also strongly advised to avoid passing on inaccurate information they may hear about cases of infection. This creates additional anxiety at a time when many people are already struggling to maintain their mental health. 

Federal quarantine measures

As many Yukoners will know, the Government of Canada now requires mandatory 14-day self-isolation for everyone entering Canada even if they do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

Yukoners flying into Canada with symptoms must quarantine at their arrival destination. Yukoners flying into Canada who do not have symptoms may travel home to the territory where they must then follow Yukon requirements and self-isolate for 14 days.

Dental services

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is from today ordering the territory’s dental practices to suspend all non-urgent treatment until further notice. This is to protect Yukoners as well as dental care providers from the spread of infection.

Patients with queries should contact their dental clinic.

Mining industry guidance

Everyone arriving in Yukon must self-isolate for 14 days, including workers at placer or hard rock mines, exploration camps or conducting any other business or duty associated with the mining and exploration industry. Workers cannot carry out their regular duties in a camp or at a mine while they’re self-isolating.

Further guidance for the mining industry is on Yukon.ca.

March 25, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases and test results

As of today, March 25, at 10 a.m. there are three cases of COVID-19 in Yukon.

This third case is related to travel outside of Yukon. The individual was tested on Monday, March 23 and test results were received this morning. The individual is doing well at home and contact tracing has begun.

Information about COVID-19 tests is published regularly on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many test have been negative, how many results are pending and the total number of tests.

Services for hospital outpatients

Yukon hospitals are suspending all non-urgent or routine services from Thursday, March 26. This includes bloodwork and lab tests, x-rays, CT scans and other imaging services, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and specialist appointments.

Yukoners should not go to a hospital for a non-urgent service, treatment or exam at this time. The hospitals continue to provide urgent emergency care.

These measures are being taken to help the hospitals make sure they have enough staff and resources to respond to the pandemic and ensure only those who need to be in hospital are in a hospital. These steps also support their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 – and practice physical distancing from each other.

Health care insurance

The Government of Yukon is extending the Health Care Insurance Plan to cover Yukon residents who are not able to return to the territory because of the pandemic. The usual requirement to be resident in Yukon for at least 180 days to qualify for health care insurance will be waived.

Respiratory assessment centre

The respiratory assessment centre in Whitehorse is now open to support people with acute respiratory illness such as influenza or COVID-19 who need medical assessment. Yukoners will be referred to the centre from 811, a family physician’s office, Yukon Communicable Disease Control or a hospital emergency department.

Self-isolation

Yukoners and any visitors are reminded they must self-isolate for 14 days as soon as they arrive in Yukon if they have travelled within Canada or internationally. People must not stop to get groceries or make visits but go straight home and then arrange the support they need.

Yukoners should also self-isolate if they have been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Self-isolation means staying at home for 14 days, monitoring for symptoms and avoiding close contact with other people when going outside for fresh air. The term “quarantine” is not used in Yukon, as it is used by the Public Health Agency of Canada to mean a mandatory restriction of movement in a location determined by that agency.

Yukon.ca

Yukon.ca continues to be the central place to find information about the territory’s response to COVID-19 and is regularly updated to provide support for Yukoners. Yukoners are reminded to use the online assessment tool on Yukon.ca if they have concerns about COVID-19.

March 22, 2020 – Update on COVID-19

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases

As of today, March 22, at 7 p.m. there are 2 cases of COVID-19 in Yukon.

COVID-19 test results

Yukon is now seeing a faster turnaround time on COVID-19 test results. By early this coming week, the number of completed tests on Yukon.ca will be updated 3 times a week.

Non-essential travel outside of territory and into rural Yukon

In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to protect Yukon’s most vulnerable citizens, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises the suspension of all non-essential travel into and out of Yukon. All Yukoners planning to return home in the next 30 days are advised to return now.

In view of the need to protect remote areas with limited medical resources, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises the suspension of any non-essential travel to Yukon’s rural communities,

Self-isolation required for all travellers

All Yukoners returning home and all visitors to the territory are required to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes anyone returning home from other provinces and territories by road or air, as well as Yukoners returning home by road from Alaska. We are putting mechanisms in place to monitor and ensure travellers are self-isolating.

If you cannot safely self-isolate at home, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca for information and advice. All Yukoners who return home and have respiratory symptoms (cough, fever or difficulty breathing) are asked to phone 811 to get advice on COVID-19 testing.

Restaurants and bars

Restaurants must immediately reduce their seating capacity to 50%, space people 2 metres apart, and prepare to offer take-out and delivery service only as of opening on March 26. As of closing time tonight, March 22, all bars must close until further notice.

All personal service establishments must close by end of day, Wednesday, March 25. This includes hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons and massage therapists.

Gatherings

Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned. Smaller gatherings should ensure spacing of 2 metres between people. Yukoners should not attend any social gatherings, even those with fewer than 10 people if:

  • you have any flu-like symptoms at all;
  • you are over 65 years of age or have an underlying health condition; or
  • you work in healthcare, a healthcare facility or other essential services.

March 19, 2020 – Health supports, hospitals and child care programs

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 cases

As of today, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. there are no cases of COVID-19 in Yukon.

COVID-19 test results

Yukon is now receiving COVID-19 test results back from BC more quickly. For now, we will be publishing how many tests have been completed on Yukon.ca on a weekly basis. Information about first cases would be shared with Yukoners as soon as possible. 

Hospital visits

Whitehorse General Hospital will suspend all scheduled, non-urgent surgery procedures from Monday, March 23, 2020. They will continue to provide surgical care for urgent and emergency cases. Anyone with an appointment will be contacted individually by the hospital to let them know and to help them with any questions.

Yukoners may also be aware that no visitors are allowed at the territory’s three hospitals with limited exceptions. Screening is in place at all hospitals, asking anyone coming to hospital about the reason for their visit, symptoms and travel history.

Child care programs

Day cares and child care centres do not need to close. Child care programs are considered to be an essential service that should remain in place as long as possible. They provide access to social supports particularly for vulnerable children and families and for parents who are themselves providing essential services to help keep Yukoners safe. Daycare operators have been briefed on safe social distancing measures within a daycare environment.

811 changes coming

In the coming day or so, people calling 811 for COVID-19 advice will have two options:

they will be able speak to the Public Health Agency of Canada; or
if they have COVID-19 symptoms and have travelled internationally within the last 14 days, or if they have symptoms and have come in contact with an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they can speak to staff at Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC).

The symptoms of COVID-19 include a fever, cough or shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing.

People can also still call 811 for non-COVID-19 health advice in the usual way.

Self-assessment tool

Yukoners are reminded that they can now access an online self-assessment tool on Yukon.ca if they have concerns about COVID-19.

Information on Yukon.ca continues to be expanded to provide support for Yukoners. Yukon.ca is the central place to find information about the territory’s response to COVID-19.

Respiratory assessment centre

As announced on Thursday, March 19, the Government of Yukon is setting up a respiratory assessment centre in Whitehorse for people with acute respiratory illness such as influenza or COVID-19 who need medical assessment. 

March 18, 2020 – Chief Medical Officer of Health declares public health emergency

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, today declared a public health emergency under section 4.3 of the Public Health and Safety Act.

This declaration enables the Chief Medical Officer of Health to respond more quickly to the rapidly changing situation and to ensure the health and safety of Yukoners. The public health emergency will be in effect until further notice.

This declaration comes with new public health measures aimed at protecting Yukoners and limiting the spread of COVID-19:

  • Classes are suspended at all Yukon public schools until April 15, or until further notice.
  • All public indoor recreational facilities are required to close until further notice. This includes the Canada Games Centre, ice rinks, and recreation centres.
  • All three Yukon hospitals are closed to visitors, with limited exceptions.
  • Libraries are closed until further notice.

March 16, 2020 – Updates on travel and mass gathering

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is telling all individuals who have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days to self-isolate. This includes travel to Alaska.

Individuals who have travelled outside of Yukon in the last 14 days, or who are feeling sick, are banned from visiting hospitals.

Long-term care facilities are closed to visitors and volunteers, unless family members are at the end of life or gravely ill regardless of travel.  

These restrictions are accompanied by several others including the following:

  • Mass gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, including at houses of worship.
  • Parents or caregivers who are able to keep their children home from spring break daycamps, or daycare, are requested to do so. Fewer children in camps or daycares will help to limit any spread.
  • People who can work from home are requested to do so. Employers are asked to look for ways to support employees to work from home where possible.

Many of us are interested in how COVID-19 is spread from one person to another. As an emerging disease, there are many uncertainties about its characteristics.  The information that we communicate today is the best knowledge at this time. This knowledge does change and get out of date rapidly, and we are keeping updated and adjusting our response accordingly. We must all be cautious and patient as the information changes.

Current evidence supports that the main route of COVID-19 spread is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes or coughs. The risk of transmission is believed to be highest when the person is most symptomatic. However recent evidence and modelling suggests that transmission may occur prior to symptoms being present.  Major uncertainties remain in the role that asymptomatic transmission may play in the spread of COVID-19.

At this time in Yukon, we are recommending self-isolation for all travellers from international destinations, even those without symptoms. This precautionary measure is important as we are working with an illness that is not fully understood. 

All people returning from international travel should self-isolate for 14 days. This means that they should stay home or in the outdoors where they can be 2 metres away from other people. See the Government of Canada webpage for more information.

We are asking all people throughout Yukon to do their part to keep Yukon healthy. Please continue to practise good hand hygiene and cough etiquette. Please be especially considerate of people over 65 years old and people who have underlying medical conditions who are at highest risk of severe complications of respiratory infections including influenza and COVID-19.

Persons who are returning from travel outside Canada and have any cough or sensation of fever, even mild, should consider themselves infectious and be extra cautious with their self-isolation and distancing from those at highest risk of severe infection.  In that case please self-isolate and call YCDC at 867-667-8323 or 1-800-661-0408 ext. 8323.

The situation with COVID-19 is fluid and we continue to update our guidance based on the latest information.  We will continue to provide the public regular updates as the situation continues to evolve.

Yours in health,

Dr. Catherine Elliott, MD FRCPC

March 11, 2020 – Coronavirus updates

There have been many questions from Yukoners today who attended, live closely with, or work with someone who attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto from March 1 to 4, 2020.

Yukoners who attended the conference may have been exposed to COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include a cough, fever or shortness of breath. If you don’t have these symptoms, then you can go about your regular day-to-day activities. This includes attending work, classes, events and other activities. However, if you develop any of the symptoms listed above, then please stay home and contact Yukon Communicable Disease Control at 1-867-667-8323 to arrange for testing.

It is important to remember people who have no symptoms cannot pass COVID-19 on to others.

It is normal for people to be afraid of contagious diseases. We all want to protect our families, friends and communities. However, fear can cause us to make unwise decisions like spreading misinformation, or hoarding food and medications.

Please remember that the risk of COVID-19 infection for Yukoners remains low, and the majority of individuals who contract the disease will have mild symptoms. We will continue to provide regular updates as the situation evolves.

Yours in health,

Dr. Catherine Elliott, MD FRCPC

March 7, 2020 – Cancellation of 2020 Arctic Winter Games

It is out of an abundance of caution that today, as the Chief Medical Officer of Health, responsible for public health in Yukon, I have recommended the cancellation of the 2020 Arctic Winter Games that were scheduled to be held here in Whitehorse beginning next week.

I am making this recommendation out of concern for the health and safety of Yukoners, of all athletes and delegates and for their home communities throughout the circumpolar North.

COVID-19 is a contagious disease that spreads from person to person rapidly through respiratory secretions. In a setting like the Arctic Winter Games, where people are sleeping, eating and playing together in such close quarters, the potential to spread is amplified greatly. Even in the absence of COVID-19 here, a single suspected case would have serious impacts. For example, a person with a cough who has travelled to the games would need to be tested and isolated while awaiting results. The necessity for rapid and rigorous public health response, for the individual, for the contacts, diagnosis and isolation while waiting for even a negative result, the potential for fear, concern here and throughout the North, these would be challenging in the setting of Arctic Winter Games in Whitehorse.

The possibility of importation of the disease is changing and raises much uncertainty. While there is no case of COVID-19 in Yukon, other places are seeing community spread with no explanation of how or why. We have been surprised by cases in BC, Alberta and Washington State that have no links to diagnosed cases nor travel history to affected areas. The global spread of COVID-19 has been faster and more uncertain than many of us have expected and we must take the necessary steps to protect ourselves, our citizens and others.

In Yukon, we are already responding to the potential threat of COVID-19. We are taking advantage of this time when the risk is low to mobilize our public health response and our preparedness for potential impacts on acute care services. We are actively monitoring for cases, leveraging existing influenza surveillance systems. We are ready to ensure excellent medical care in a way that protects the health of our population should COVID-19 arrive here.

It is with a heavy heart that I make this recommendation. The Arctic Winter Games is an event that brings together so many northerners from across Canada and other circumpolar regions to celebrate sport, art and culture. It demonstrates the beauty, strength and cohesion of northern peoples. This beauty, strength and cohesion must remain strong through today’s announcement and the coming days.

Catherine Elliott, MD MHSc FRCPC

Trusted sources of information

Chief Medical Officer of Health
Previous updates on coronavirus

Government of Yukon
Information about COVID-19 for Yukoners
Seasonal influenza information
Yukon HealthLine (dial 811)

BC Centre for Disease Control
Information on coronavirus

Government of Canada
COVID-19: outbreak update
COVID-19: travel advice
Toll free: 1-833-784-4397
Email: phac.info.aspc@canada.ca

World Health Organization (WHO)
COVID-19 outbreak