Common questions: COVID-19 in Yukon

Find answers to commonly-asked questions about COVID-19 in Yukon. 

Download a PDF version of this page.

COVID-19: the basics

What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses; some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals.
  • Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses similar to the common cold.
  • Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people. More rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. For more information go to Public Health Services.
  • COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.
  • COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
  • Yukon declared a Public Health Emergency because of COVID-19 on March 18, 2020.

Where can I find trusted information about COVID-19?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the flu and common cold. Find out about symptoms of COVID-19.

How long does it take for symptoms to show up?

The time it takes for symptoms to appear after initial exposure to COVID-19 vary from person to person, but may be as long as 14 days.

If you think you may have COVID-19, take the self-assessment.

Who is most at risk?

Elders and people with chronic health or respiratory conditions are most at risk.
Pregnant women may also be at more risk for complications.

Yukon’s response

On March 18 the Chief Medical Officer of Health declared a public health emergency.

What is a public health emergency?

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.

What is closed? 

Below is a list of public places that are currently closed.

  • All indoor public recreational facilities are required to close until further notice. This includes the Canada Games Centre, ice rinks, and recreation centres throughout Yukon.
  • Libraries will be closed until further notice.
  • All three Yukon hospitals are closed to visitors, with limited exceptions. A strict limit of two people will be permitted to visit newborn/maternity patients, sick children, patients at end of life or in emergency situations. Caregivers of a person with a disability and substitute decision makers are also permitted to visit. Screening is in place at all hospitals. Anyone coming to hospital will be asked the reason for their visit, their symptoms and their travel history.

Are territorial parks and campgrounds closed?

Yukon territorial parks and campgrounds will remain closed until June. Find out what activities you can and cannot do in parks and campgrounds.

Are schools closed?

Yes, all 30 Yukon public schools have been ordered to remain closed until the end of the 2019‒20 school year, as a control and protective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes all continuing education programs. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Education. Continue to watch for updates on Yukon.ca.

Find information for parents and students.

This is to make a conscious effort to ensure a physical distance between students. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. This means keeping a distance of approximately 6 feet or 2 metres from others.

Schools have many high-touch surfaces and shared materials which make it impossible for staff to maintain a clean environment at all times.

We are aware of the significant impacts this decision will have on families, students and the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep Yukoners safe.

We recognize this situation may cause some people to become anxious. If you need to talk to anyone, please call the Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services at 867-456-3838 (1-866-456-3838), children can call the Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868. Don’t hesitate to make use of these services – this is a stressful time, and talking to someone about it can help.

Are licensed child care centres closed?

Day home and child care centres have not been ordered to close at this time.

Childcare programs have been designated as essential services that should remain open 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 keep Yukoners safe. Daycare operators have been briefed on how to maintain safe social distancing measures within a daycare environment.

Animals, wild meat and COVID-19

Can animals spread COVID-19 to people or other animals?

A small number of dogs and cats in several countries have tested positive for COVID-19 or antibodies to the virus. In addition, the virus has been detected in tigers and lions in zoo collections, as well as in farmed mink in Europe. Some positive animals have had symptoms of respiratory disease, but typically these are mild and not fatal. All cases are presumed to be due to exposure to infected people (for example, transmission from infected people to animals).

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is in the family of viruses that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. Research on COVID-19 has examined animals known to have cell receptors that allow infection by SARS viruses including cats, ferrets and pigs. Cats, hamsters and ferrets can be infected, develop illness and can pass the virus to other animals of the same species through direct contact. Dogs are apparently less susceptible, and pigs, ducks and geese have not been positive.

There’s no evidence that animals play a significant role in spread of COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should exercise precautions to avoid spreading the virus to pets, especially cats, hamsters and ferrets. Testing animals in Canada is not recommended at this time, but may be performed in exceptional situations. Veterinarians must consult with the Chief Veterinary Officer for guidance on animal testing.

If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have contact with animals

It’s plausible that the virus could survive on the hair of animals as it can on other surfaces. Until we know more, it’s recommended that if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have a pet or other animal:

  • avoid close contact with them (for example, letting them lick you, sit in your lap or sleep on your bed);
  • practise good cough etiquette; cover your mouth or nose with a tissue  or cough or sneeze into your upper arm or elbow (avoid sneezing or coughing on your animals);
  • have another member of your household care for your animals;
  • if someone else cannot care for your animals, always wash your hands before and after touching or feeding them; and
  • limit your animal’s contact with other people and animals.​

Livestock and COVID-19

Livestock owners should continue to practice normal biosecurity measures. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from a COVID-19 affected area. For more information about on-farm disease prevention, producers are encouraged to consult:

Can humans become infected with COVID-19 from food?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. This includes meat from livestock or Yukon wildlife. Good food safety practices are always encouraged. Avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Is the virus killed if you freeze the meat?

There is currently no evidence that freezing meat would kill the virus. However, the virus is sensitive to heat, and like other viruses, can be inactivated by cooking at high temperatures.

Can humans become infected with COVID-19 from handling or eating food, or wild meat?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. This includes meat from livestock or Yukon wildlife. Good food safety practices are always encouraged. Safe food handling and preparation practices are always recommended.

Avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Potential transmission of the virus through food, such as meat, would require contamination of the surface by a person infected with the virus, during handling or meal preparation.

Read the Food Safety Checklist for your home.

Read the Food Safety Checklist for Older Adults.

Learn more about safe handling of food at home.

Can I bring in animals from another country right now?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending limiting or postponing the import of animals from affected areas. This includes importers, rescue organizations, and adoptive families. If animals are imported from an affected area:

  • they should be closely monitored for signs of illness.
  • you should contact a veterinarian if they become sick. Call ahead to ensure your veterinarian is aware of the circumstances.

All animals entering Canada must meet import requirements set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). There are currently no specific requirements in place in Canada restricting the import of animals related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Are veterinary clinics currently open?

Veterinary clinics in Yukon are currently open but are taking measures that allow for social distancing. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • reducing hours,
  • limiting the number of clients in the clinic at any given time, and
  • postponing non-emergency appointments.

Please call your clinic prior to visiting. Learn about any restrictions that they have introduced to help minimize spread of illness. These new measures will help keep their staff healthy so they can continue to serve their clients and patients.

Is it ok for my dog to interact with other dogs and people?

There is currently no indication that pets can pass COVID-19 to people, nor that a pet can pass the virus to another animal. It does seem possible for COVID-19 to be transmitted to pets from infected owners.

There may be a very small risk of the virus being transferred from one animal to another. For example, transfer could occur in the case of dogs playing together where one of the dogs may have the virus on their hair coat or in their nasal passage.

Although the risk is considered very low, it may be prudent to consider practicing social distancing with your pet(s). Err on the side of caution by not allowing your pet(s) to closely interact with other animals or people at this time.

More information on animals and COVID-19:

World Health Organization

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health Agency of Canada

Community health centres and hospitals

What are the health centres doing to protect the community? Are the health centres still open?

Yes, all community health centres are open.

We ask you to follow the instructions that are posted outside or on the front door of your community health centre. Where possible, phone ahead to book an appointment. All clients will be asked COVID-19-related screening questions upon arrival at the health centre or when they phone. They will receive direction to put on a mask if they display symptoms. Clients will then be directed to waiting areas at the health centre or, if it is busy, asked to wait in their vehicle until a nurse is available.

What will happen to my upcoming medical appointment not related to COVID-19?

We are deferring some non-urgent appointments for now. If possible, phone ahead for emergency visits. We will be limiting persons accompanying patients to one person per patient.

Can I visit someone in the hospital?

In-patient visitations are not permitted at the territory’s three hospitals, with limited exceptions. A strict limit of two people will be permitted to visit newborn/maternity patients, sick children, patients at end of life or in emergency situations. Caregivers of a person with a disability and substitute decision makers are also permitted to visit.

Screening is in place at all hospitals. Anyone coming to hospital will be asked the reason for their visit, their symptoms and their travel history.

How do I contact my community health centre?

Find the contact information of all Yukon community health centres and hospitals.

Driver medical examination exemption period

Medical examination certificate deadline extended: commercial drivers and drivers 70 years of age

We signed a new Ministerial Order under the Civil Emergency Measures Act. This order allows for the extension of the timeline to provide the certificate. It also means that drivers who cannot provide the medical certificate at this time will not be penalized.

How we're notifying affected drivers

  • Press release announcing and detailing the changes
  • Sharing this information on social media and on Yukon.ca.
  • Reaching out to commercial drivers through the Yukon Transportation Association.

New deadline

Until September 27, 2020.

Affected drivers will have this period to become compliant with the law and provide a medical examination certificate.

On March 18, the Yukon Medical Association advised Motor Vehicles that physician offices would not be booking driver medical examinations for the foreseeable future. The Ministerial Order is retroactive to that date. This decision affects all classes of licences (commercial and seniors 70 years of age and older).

The effect on commercial drivers

Over the next 6 months, from April to September, 835 commercial drivers will be affected.

The effect on drivers 70 years of age and older

Over the next 6 month, from April to September, 247 persons 70 years of age and older will be affected.

Exception: suspension removed

If a driver’s licence was suspended after March 18, 2020, but before the declared state of emergency on March 27, 2020, and the only reason for the suspension was that the person did not file a medical examination certificate, these suspensions have been automatically removed.

Suspension remains in place

Your will continue to be suspended if:

  • you were non-compliant; or
  • your licence was suspended before the start of the exemption period.

Expiring licences

If your licence expires, you'll still need to renew it. Our offices are following the chief medical officer of health's recommendations for physical distancing. We ask that you do not renew your licence in person.

You can renew your drivers’ licence:

  • over the phone;
  • by email; or
  • fax.

If you have to provide a medical examination certificate at the same time that your licence expires, we'll waive the requirement until the public health emergency has been lifted.

Long-haul truckers or drivers who are driving in other jurisdictions

These drivers will still have a valid licence, provided it has not expired. The Ministerial Order has temporarily disabled the medical requirements. The licences of drivers who must file medical exam certificates, but have not yet been able to, are not being automatically suspended. Once the public health emergency has been lifted, these drivers will have a grace period to bring themselves into compliance with the act.

Driver 70 years of age and older: driver’s exam or eye exam

To comply with physical distancing measures, driving tests are currently suspended. New licence applications that require a road test are not being processed. The Motor Vehicles office is still able to conduct vision tests at the office for licence renewals.

Events

Why should I avoid public gatherings?

Attending even small gatherings increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. This increases the chance of participants being infected and carrying the virus into their communities, where they can pass it on to vulnerable friends and family, particularly seniors, Elders and people with existing health conditions.

We understand people will be disappointed at the postponement of events and travel plans, but our common priority now is to slow the spread of the disease, contain the chain of transmission and protect our most vulnerable family and community members.

Is it safe to participate in cultural gatherings (e.g. sweat lodges, potlatches, ceremonies and other gatherings)?

We acknowledge the significance of cultural gatherings in our communities and the lingering negative memories and trauma caused by past practices of banning cultural activities. 

Currently, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has banned all gatherings of more than 10 people to protect public health, especially that of Elders and those with chronic diseases. Even gatherings of fewer than 10 people require an assessment of risk – more so if the event will entail travel and shared accommodations. Communities are encouraged to consider alternatives, such as holding smaller events now and postponing the larger events until a later date. If you are holding a small event, consider having bag lunches rather than shared meals, ensure there are opportunities to wash and/or sanitize hands and please practice social distancing.  

The implications of sweat lodge ceremonies for viral transmission of COVID-19 is unknown. Participants are asked to proceed with caution.

Should I still attend events within Yukon?

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising all people avoid unnecessary travel due to the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19. Public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned. Yukoners should not attend any social gatherings, even those with fewer than 10 people if they have:

  • any flu-like symptoms; or
  • have an underlying health condition.

What are the recommendations for what to do if someone dies from COVID-19? Is it safe to care for the body and attend the funeral?

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (for example, within about 6 feet or 2 metres) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19. The virus spreads primarily through droplets of bodily fluid produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how colds and flus spread. This type of spread is not a concern after death.

Housing supports

A new time-limited regulation to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is one of the Government of Yukon’s strategies to support Yukoners and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Read the COVID-19 Regulation – Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

What can a tenant do if they can’t pay their rent because they have lost their job or had their hours cut owing to COVID-19?

If a tenant is unable to pay rent on time because of COVID-19 related job loss or reduced income, they must immediately notify their landlord by providing them with following information:

  • the reason why the tenant is unable to pay rent;
  • confirmation that the tenant is unable to pay rent (Record of Employment or email from the employer that identifies the loss or reduction of employment) ;
  • the date the rent is due and the amount of rent that is due;
  • the measures that the tenant is taking to access other sources of income;
  • the date when  the tenant expects to be able to pay the rent; and
  • any change to the above.

The regulation talks about “health protection measures.” What does that mean?

A “health protection measure” means any of the following as it relates to a tenant or a member of the tenant’s household and COVID-19:

  • self-isolation of the individual;
  • restriction on the movement of the person or class of people, to and from the rental unit. A health officer imposes it under the Public Health and Safety Act;
  • restriction of an individual's movement. It is recommended by or is under the authority of the Chief Medical Officer of Health or the Chief Public Health Officer. It does not include physical distancing; and
  • hospitalization of the individual.

What happens if a tenant or a member of their household has COVID-19?

If a tenant or a member of their household becomes subject to a health protection measure, the tenant must immediately notify the landlord and provide the following information:

  • state that they are subject to a health protection measure;
  • the date that they expect the health protection measure to be lifted; and
  • any change to the above.

Can the landlord ask for proof?

A landlord may ask a tenant to provide evidence that is reasonable.

The landlord cannot ask a tenant to provide a certificate issued by a doctor or nurse practitioner. The purpose of this is to not overload the medical system as it is.

If the landlord is not satisfied with the evidence, they can apply to the Residential Tenancies Office for a determination whether a term of the Regulation applies.

What is the effect on the landlord if a tenant gives notice that they cannot pay rent because of job loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19? 

The landlord must not serve the tenant with notice to end the tenancy for non-payment or late payment of rent or apply for an order of possession for as long as the Regulation is in force.

The payment of rent is deferred until the day when the tenant is able to pay rent or the Regulation is no longer in force – whichever comes first.

Can a landlord enter a unit under a health protection order?

If a tenant gives a landlord notice that they or a member of their household is under a health protection order, the landlord cannot enter the rental unit unless:

  • the landlord has an order from the Residential Tenancies Office;
  • the tenant appears to have abandoned the rental unit; or
  • there is an emergency and it is necessary for the landlord to enter the rental unit to protect life or property.

What the tenant must do if they notify the landlord that they cannot pay rent because of job loss or reduced income as a result of COVID-19?

The tenant must pay the unpaid rent as soon as they are able to pay or the Regulation is no longer in force – whichever comes first. 

The tenant may end the tenancy early without penalty by giving the landlord 30 days’ notice.

What about filing applications for dispute resolution?

If a tenant has given the landlord notice that either they or a member of their household is subject to a health protection measure, the time for either party to file an application for dispute resolution or make any other application does not start to run until the 4th day after the health protection measure is lifted.

If a tenant has given the landlord notice that they are not able to pay rent because they have experienced a job loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19, the time for either party to file an application for dispute resolution or make any other application does not start to run until the day after the Regulation is repealed.

What about serving documents?

If one party has the email address for another, they may serve documents by sending them to that email and mailing a copy by Canada Post to their address.

The documents will be deemed the earlier date that the party confirmed receipt by email or five days after they were mailed.

What if the landlord doesn’t believe that the regulation should apply to the tenancy?

The landlord may apply to the Residential Tenancies Office for an exemption.

How long will this regulation be in effect for?

It will be in effect from March 27, 2020, to June 23, 2020. It can be extended if the situation

Where can I get more information?

Contact the Residential Tenancies Office for support.

Email: rto@gov.yk.ca

Phone: 867-867-667-5944 or toll free in Yukon, 1-800-661-0408, extension 5944

How does COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:

  • through bodily fluids dispersed when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet or 2 metres).

What does community spread mean?

Community spread is when we can’t trace how someone became infected.  For example, that person doesn’t have a history of travel or a connection to a known case. 

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

  • No vaccine for COVID-19 exists.
  • It can take years to develop a vaccine for a new disease and to produce enough for the populations that need them.
  • If you have received a flu vaccine, it will not protect against coronaviruses.
  • No natural health products are certified to treat or protect against COVID-19.
Paid leave program

10-day Paid Sick Leave Rebate for employers and the self-employed

Reimburses employers who pay their employees to:

  • take sick days; and
  • self-isolate.

It is in effect from March 11, 2020, to September 11, 2020.

Find out about the Paid Sick Leave Rebate for employers, workers and self-employed.

Protecting yourself

What can I do to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Download one of our hand-washing signs to post as a reminder.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue immediately into the trash.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your inner elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

What can I do to reduce the risk of potential complications from COVID-19?

To reduce the risk of potential complications, stay as healthy as possible now (i.e. stop smoking/vaping, ensure chronic illnesses like diabetes are well managed, get the seasonal flu shot, etc.).

Should I wear a face mask?

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.

Homemade, cloth masks have not been proven to protect the people wearing them. However, wearing a mask can help play a part in reducing the chance of respiratory droplets contaminating other people or landing on surfaces and can make people feel safer.

Anyone deciding to make and wear a mask should be aware they still need to practise all measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including regular hand washing, greater hygiene and safe spacing.

Wearing a face mask in a health care facility

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, you may be asked to wear a face mask as a precaution to prevent infecting others, if you’re in a:

  • doctor’s office;
  • health centre;
  • continuing care facility; or
  • hospital.

Health care providers interact with many sick patients every day. Health care providers wear face masks to protect themselves from infection from sick patients and to prevent themselves from infecting others. 

Safe spacing and self-isolation

Safe spacing means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • Avoiding non-essential gatherings.
  • Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes and hugs.
  • Avoiding crowded places such as concerts, arenas, conferences and festivals.
  • Limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health.
  • Keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from others.
  • Only use safe greetings that do not include physical contact.

Why is safe spacing important?

When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close and the person has the COVID-19 virus, you may contract it. Avoiding physical contact while greeting friends, family and community members helps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to the people we care about.​

Safe spacing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak, so it is important that we all do what we can to limit exposure to one another until things settle down.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation means staying at home and not going to work or school. It also means monitoring yourself for symptoms for 14 days.

If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home, avoid other people and call 811 as soon as possible.

Who needs to self-isolate?

It’s mandatory for travellers returning to Yukon to self-isolate for 14 days when they return. This means you must return home directly upon arrival and stay there for 14 days. Do not stop anywhere on your way. You can have friends or family pick up necessary grocery items or prescriptions and leave those for you at your door.

If you do not have a home to self-isolate in, or cannot safely self-isolate at home, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca prior to your arrival for information and advice. If you develop symptoms during the 14 days phone 811.

What do I need when self-isolating?

The Public Health Agency of Canada has published resources for community-based measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These include a list of supplies to get when self-isolating.

We recognize that a number of these supplies may not be readily available in your community, such as masks, gloves, Tylenol, thermometers and hand sanitizer. We are currently seeking solutions to this issue. We are encouraging all people to buy only what they need to help us solve this problem.

I am infected and I live with other people. How do I self-isolate?

  • Stay and sleep in a room with good airflow away from other people.
  • Use a separate bathroom if you can.
  • Wear a face mask if you are in the same room with anyone.
  • Avoid face-to-face contact.
  • Do not share towels or face cloths.
  • Have friends and family drop off food outside your room or home.
  • If you live with an Elder, senior or someone with a chronic health condition, it would be best if those people could stay in the home of other family or friends.  ​

What happens if someone in my community is infected? 

If someone in the community is infected, they must self-isolate. People who were in close contact with that person (i.e. people living in the same household) should also self-isolate for 14 days.

What happens if one person in my household is infected but no one else has symptoms?

The whole household must self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus to anyone outside of your household.

Ideally, someone who is self-isolating should not be in contact other people. If you need assistance finding somewhere for that person to stay in your community while they self-isolate, please contact covid19info@gov.yk.ca

What should I do if someone in my house gets sick with COVID-19?

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members if possible.
  • Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person and maintain a distance of two metres from them.
  • Clean handles, high-used surface regularly.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food and drinks.

How can we prepare our community members for self-isolation?

Community members can help each other out during this time of need by:

  • Identifying people who may need food or other supplies dropped off, and developing a system to make sure they are able to get the resources they need.
  • Identifying people who may have difficulty self-isolating and may require extra assistance with finding a place to self-isolate.

Is there assistance for individuals and communities who are struggling?

The federal government is providing support for Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  It is also providing support to businesses that have been negatively affected by COVD-19. 

Find Government of Canada information for both individuals and businesses.

Find Government of Yukon information for businesses.

Support for employers

What can I do to keep my employees safe from COVID-19?

You should:

Review the guidelines for the delivery of critical, essential and other services in Yukon communities.

Should I close my business/office?  

Many types of services are prohibited by order under the Civil Emergency Measures Act until further notice, including:

  • bars;
  • personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons and massage therapists;
  • restaurants for seated service (take-out and delivery service exempted); and
  • non-urgent dental treatment.

Read more about prohibited services on Yukon.ca.

Read about essential services in Yukon during COVID-19.

Read about critical services in Yukon during COVID-19.

Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and people are asked to practice social distancing (i.e. keeping a distance of approximately 6 feet or 2 metres from others). Read the full list of legal orders.

Other guidance includes:

  • 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.
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene at your place of work.
  • Continue to keep your place of work clean, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces often.
  • Employees who have returned from travel outside of the country are required to self-isolate for 14 days and should not be working.

For more information check the Government of Canada’s Risk Informed Decision Making webpage

Where can I find more information about support for my business?

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.

Public health officials are urging all Canadians to stay home unless it is absolutely essential to go out and to practice social distancing and good hygiene. For businesses, this means:

  • Facilitating flexible and remote work arrangements.
  • Preparing your workplace for COVID-19.
  • Understanding how to keep your employees safe.

Find information about supports for employees, businesses and resources on how to maintain a safe workplace on Canada.ca.

Find information about supports available for Yukoners.

How can work camps stay safe?

The Government of Yukon has produced guidelines for work camps operating during the COVID-19 pandemic – find them on Yukon.ca.

  • Be sure to provide staff and camp residents access to the most up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19.
  • Ensure all staff and camp residents are informed of the infection prevention and control measures that are being implemented in the camp to help reduce and minimize the risk of potential disease transmission in the camp.
  • Inform the staff and camp residents of procedures to follow should they become sick.
  • It is advised that employees do not work when they are sick. We recommend that employers provide remuneration to employees who are on isolation precautions. This should be provided throughout their duration of self isolation as this will help to ensure those who are sick will report their symptoms and to ensure the employee will adhere to isolation protocols – both are essential in helping to control the transmission of COVID-19.
  • Employers should not require the worker to provide a doctor’s note for sick leave if they are sick or are required to self-isolate.

Find Government of Yukon COVID-19 information for businesses here

Testing for COVID-19

When should someone get tested for COVID-19?

Someone should be tested for COVID-19 if:

they’ve travelled OR have had close contact with a person with a recent travel history who was or is now symptomatic OR are a known close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and you have any symptoms such as cough, fever/chills, sore throat, headache, runny nose or nasal congestion, vomitting, diarrhea, fatigue or muscle aches or difficulty breathing

OR

If they have not travelled outside of Yukon but have symptoms such as cough, fever and/or chills, or difficulty breathing

In either case, phone 811 before visiting a testing site.

How can people get tested?

In communities:

Call your local health centre to arrange for testing. Find a community health centre.

In Whitehorse:

Call 811 or your family physician. They may refer you to the Respiratory Assessment Centre if needed. Only people who meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 will be tested.

How long will it take to get results?

Test results are received within 2 to 5 days of testing.

Can I assess myself for COVID-19?

If you think you may have COVID-19, take the online self-assessment.

Travel

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

You will need to:

  • monitor your health for symptoms; and
  • follow healthy respiratory practices.

If you do develop symptoms within 14 days, continue to isolate yourself from others, phone a health care provider and inform them about your symptoms and travel history. They will provide advice on what you should do.

In communities outside Whitehorse:

Phone your local health centre to arrange for testing.

In Whitehorse:

Phone 811 or your family physician. They may refer you to the Respiratory Assessment Centre if needed.

If your symptoms become severe and you need immediate medical care phone 911.

Residents leaving Yukon

Choosing to stay at home and not travel outside Yukon is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our communities from the spread of COVID-19. By playing your part and staying put, you are supporting our healthcare workers as they respond to meet the challenges of this global pandemic.

This means that if you have plans to travel, you should consider cancelling or postponing your trip.

Yukon residents that are currently outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to home and should consider returning to Canada now.

Although it is not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:

  • Check travel advisories before travelling.
  • Know the health risks for your destination.
  • Understand the risks of your safety and security abroad.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted.
  • Be prepared if airlines revise scheduled flights to and from your destination.

If you travel abroad, you will be subject to the measures of other countries. Your scheduled trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care and your travel health insurance will likely not provide coverage in a pandemic.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health would also like to reiterate that you should avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak until further notice.

If our community members are travelling, how do we know that they are not bringing the virus back into community?

As much as possible, community members should seek to minimize interaction with other people, particularly with groups of more than 10 people, though this can be difficult to control during travel. For this reason, we recommend that all travel be assessed to determine if it is essential at this time.

Postponing events and travel will support individual and community health and minimize the spread of the virus. When travelling, people need to be extra diligent with preventative practices, such as handwashing often, using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and avoiding touching the face. ​People who choose to travel outside the territory are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Yukon.

There is a mine or employer near my community who frequently brings in employees from out of territory. Should we be concerned?

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources are working very closely with the individual mines. Each mine must be evaluated to assess levels of risk and determine if operations can continue in a safe manner.

The Government of Yukon has produced guidelines for work camps during COVID-19 - find them on Yukon.ca.

Should I still travel within Yukon?

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising all people avoid unnecessary travel due to the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19. Public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned. Yukoners should not attend any social gatherings, even those with fewer than 10 people if they have:

  • any flu-like symptoms; or
  • an underlying health condition.
Vulnerable populations

What is the risk for infants?

Recent evidence suggests the risk to infants is low – very few children under five show serious illness from COVID-19, though they are not immune.

What are the risks for pregnant women?

We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result.

Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.

What are the risks for people who use drugs or alcohol?

See the BC Centre for Centre for Disease Control’s website for more information about people who use drugs or alcohol and COVID-19.

Yukon nominees and employers

Information for nominees

Job loss because of COVID-19: will your permanent residence application be affected

No. Lay-offs caused by COVID-19 will neither affect your Yukon Nominee Program status nor impact your permanent residency application for the duration of the state of emergency. You do need to contact the Yukon Immigration Unit.

Laid-off: do you qualify for Employment Insurance?

The Government of Canada administers Employment Insurance benefits. Phone toll free 1-800-206-7218 to find out if you're eligible.

Laid-off: work permit is about to expire

Contact our office immediately. If your work permit or nomination is going to expire during the state of emergency, we'll issue you a support letter to extend your work permit so you can maintain legal status in Canada.

Information for employers

Your nominee signed a Tri-Partite Agreement: affecting on the 35 to 40 hours per week agreement

To give businesses more flexibility during the pandemic, the usual 35 ro 40 hour obligation for nominees has been waived. If you need to reduce hours for all staff and the nominee’s work hours are also affected, please keep track of this reduction of hours. If your nominee is laid-off, please notify our office.

Laying off staff: what to do about current nominees

Nominees who lose their employment during the state of emergency will remain in the program without penalty. After the state of emergency has ended they will be given 90 days to return to their previous employer or find a new employer.

Application in process to sponsor an overseas nominee: how to proceed

Applications will still be accepted as long as:

  • you have not laid off any Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • your operations are continuing as usual.

Before your assessment we'll confirm that:

  • you're continuing to recruit domestically; and
  • you wish to proceed with the application.

Current territorial travel restrictions mean only essential and critical workers can enter Yukon by road or air. Monitor our website for updates to this information. Federal travel restrictions may affect a worker wanting to enter Canada.

Laying off a nominee: rehiring

If you lay off your nominee, you can rehire them. No new application will be required.

Application in process: putting it on hold

We can hold applications for employers waiting to determine how their operations will be affected by the state of emergency. To have your application put on hold, please phone or email us as soon as possible.

Nominee arriving in Yukon: employer responsibilities

Anyone entering Canada is required to self-isolate upon arrival. Employers cannot prevent workers from meeting these requirements.

During self-isolation, the employer:

  • has to pay the worker regular pay and benefits for the self-isolation period;
  • cannot make any payroll deductions related to self-isolation measures;
  • has to provide accommodation that meets all self-isolation requirements, including alternate accommodation (for example, hotel) if the requirements cannot otherwise be met; and
  • must monitor the worker’s health on a daily basis by phone or email, and report any symptoms to the appropriate authority.

The worker cannot be asked to perform any duties during the self-isolation period.

If the nominee has symptoms they must self-isolate in the 1st city they arrive in Canada. If they do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) they can travel to their final destination and self-isolate there.

Information for foreign nationals

Applying to the Yukon Nominee Program: lost your job, or cannot find a job

To be eligible for the Yukon Nominee Program, you will need a job offer from an employer. Then, the employer will apply to the program to hire you.

On a study permit: can you work full time?

Restrictions on employment are handled by the Government of Canada. Find more information about working in Canada if you're on a study permit.

More information

How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services.

Frequently asked questions: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program regarding COVID-19

For questions about this or other immigration issues email yukon.nominee@gov.yk.ca, or phone 867-667-5131, toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0407 extension 5131.

Other questions

Should I buy extra toilet paper?

You should stock your household with the essential supplies you will need if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. It is not necessary to stockpile large quantities of toilet paper or any other supplies in excess of the amount required during a self-isolation period. Stockpiling creates supply issues for everyone.

How long can the virus last on surfaces?

The latest information suggests that the virus can remain in an aerosol (airborne mist) for hours and persist on surfaces for up to a few days. It may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes; however, this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

Can the virus live on clothes?

The virus can survive on porous surfaces such as skin and clothing as well as other materials and surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface. Regular clothes washing is recommended.

Is a humidifier helpful or harmful?

Yukoners in communities are encouraged to pose this question to their community health nurse, as the benefits of a humidifier may depend on an individual’s existing health condition.

Is bleach a safe and effective alternative to sanitizer wipes?  If so, what ratio of bleach to water should be used?

Here is information on cleaning and disinfecting your home or workplace.

To make spaces as safe as possible from bacteria and viruses that cause people to be sick, you need to both clean and disinfect hard surfaces. Bleach is an effective disinfectant, and the recommended ratio is 1 part bleach to 100 parts water (i.e. 10 ml bleach in 1 litre water). Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and household cleaners and disinfectants are also effective against coronaviruses.

We need posters and materials to increase awareness to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Can the Government of Yukon help?

Download posters, handouts and brochures.

If people are off work because their work is closed or they need to be home for childcare, how can they obtain financial support?

Watch for updates on the Government of Canada’s webpage to find out about how federal funding can be accessed.

What is novel coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses; some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals.
  • Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses similar to the common cold.
  • Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people. More rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact. For more information go to Public Health Services.
  • COVID-19 is a new disease that has not been previously identified in humans.
  • COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
  • Yukon declared a Public Health Emergency because of COVID-19 on March 18, 2020.

Where can I find trusted information about COVID-19?

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses like the flu and common cold. Find out about symptoms of COVID-19.

How long does it take for symptoms to show up?

The time it takes for symptoms to appear after initial exposure to COVID-19 vary from person to person, but may be as long as 14 days.

If you think you may have COVID-19, take the self-assessment.

Who is most at risk?

Elders and people with chronic health or respiratory conditions are most at risk.
Pregnant women may also be at more risk for complications.

On March 18 the Chief Medical Officer of Health declared a public health emergency.

What is a public health emergency?

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.

What is closed? 

Below is a list of public places that are currently closed.

  • All indoor public recreational facilities are required to close until further notice. This includes the Canada Games Centre, ice rinks, and recreation centres throughout Yukon.
  • Libraries will be closed until further notice.
  • All three Yukon hospitals are closed to visitors, with limited exceptions. A strict limit of two people will be permitted to visit newborn/maternity patients, sick children, patients at end of life or in emergency situations. Caregivers of a person with a disability and substitute decision makers are also permitted to visit. Screening is in place at all hospitals. Anyone coming to hospital will be asked the reason for their visit, their symptoms and their travel history.

Are territorial parks and campgrounds closed?

Yukon territorial parks and campgrounds will remain closed until June. Find out what activities you can and cannot do in parks and campgrounds.

Are schools closed?

Yes, all 30 Yukon public schools have been ordered to remain closed until the end of the 2019‒20 school year, as a control and protective measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes all continuing education programs. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Education. Continue to watch for updates on Yukon.ca.

Find information for parents and students.

This is to make a conscious effort to ensure a physical distance between students. Social distancing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. This means keeping a distance of approximately 6 feet or 2 metres from others.

Schools have many high-touch surfaces and shared materials which make it impossible for staff to maintain a clean environment at all times.

We are aware of the significant impacts this decision will have on families, students and the broader community, but this precaution is necessary to keep Yukoners safe.

We recognize this situation may cause some people to become anxious. If you need to talk to anyone, please call the Mental Wellness and Substance Use Services at 867-456-3838 (1-866-456-3838), children can call the Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868. Don’t hesitate to make use of these services – this is a stressful time, and talking to someone about it can help.

Are licensed child care centres closed?

Day home and child care centres have not been ordered to close at this time.

Childcare programs have been designated as essential services that should remain open 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 keep Yukoners safe. Daycare operators have been briefed on how to maintain safe social distancing measures within a daycare environment.

Can animals spread COVID-19 to people or other animals?

A small number of dogs and cats in several countries have tested positive for COVID-19 or antibodies to the virus. In addition, the virus has been detected in tigers and lions in zoo collections, as well as in farmed mink in Europe. Some positive animals have had symptoms of respiratory disease, but typically these are mild and not fatal. All cases are presumed to be due to exposure to infected people (for example, transmission from infected people to animals).

COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) is in the family of viruses that caused the SARS outbreak in 2003. Research on COVID-19 has examined animals known to have cell receptors that allow infection by SARS viruses including cats, ferrets and pigs. Cats, hamsters and ferrets can be infected, develop illness and can pass the virus to other animals of the same species through direct contact. Dogs are apparently less susceptible, and pigs, ducks and geese have not been positive.

There’s no evidence that animals play a significant role in spread of COVID-19. People with COVID-19 should exercise precautions to avoid spreading the virus to pets, especially cats, hamsters and ferrets. Testing animals in Canada is not recommended at this time, but may be performed in exceptional situations. Veterinarians must consult with the Chief Veterinary Officer for guidance on animal testing.

If you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have contact with animals

It’s plausible that the virus could survive on the hair of animals as it can on other surfaces. Until we know more, it’s recommended that if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you have a pet or other animal:

  • avoid close contact with them (for example, letting them lick you, sit in your lap or sleep on your bed);
  • practise good cough etiquette; cover your mouth or nose with a tissue  or cough or sneeze into your upper arm or elbow (avoid sneezing or coughing on your animals);
  • have another member of your household care for your animals;
  • if someone else cannot care for your animals, always wash your hands before and after touching or feeding them; and
  • limit your animal’s contact with other people and animals.​

Livestock and COVID-19

Livestock owners should continue to practice normal biosecurity measures. This includes limiting visitors or workers who may have travelled to, or been in contact with, someone from a COVID-19 affected area. For more information about on-farm disease prevention, producers are encouraged to consult:

Can humans become infected with COVID-19 from food?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. This includes meat from livestock or Yukon wildlife. Good food safety practices are always encouraged. Avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Is the virus killed if you freeze the meat?

There is currently no evidence that freezing meat would kill the virus. However, the virus is sensitive to heat, and like other viruses, can be inactivated by cooking at high temperatures.

Can humans become infected with COVID-19 from handling or eating food, or wild meat?

There is currently no evidence to suggest that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus. This includes meat from livestock or Yukon wildlife. Good food safety practices are always encouraged. Safe food handling and preparation practices are always recommended.

Avoid contamination of uncooked foods and avoid consuming raw or undercooked animal products.

Potential transmission of the virus through food, such as meat, would require contamination of the surface by a person infected with the virus, during handling or meal preparation.

Read the Food Safety Checklist for your home.

Read the Food Safety Checklist for Older Adults.

Learn more about safe handling of food at home.

Can I bring in animals from another country right now?

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending limiting or postponing the import of animals from affected areas. This includes importers, rescue organizations, and adoptive families. If animals are imported from an affected area:

  • they should be closely monitored for signs of illness.
  • you should contact a veterinarian if they become sick. Call ahead to ensure your veterinarian is aware of the circumstances.

All animals entering Canada must meet import requirements set out by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). There are currently no specific requirements in place in Canada restricting the import of animals related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Are veterinary clinics currently open?

Veterinary clinics in Yukon are currently open but are taking measures that allow for social distancing. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • reducing hours,
  • limiting the number of clients in the clinic at any given time, and
  • postponing non-emergency appointments.

Please call your clinic prior to visiting. Learn about any restrictions that they have introduced to help minimize spread of illness. These new measures will help keep their staff healthy so they can continue to serve their clients and patients.

Is it ok for my dog to interact with other dogs and people?

There is currently no indication that pets can pass COVID-19 to people, nor that a pet can pass the virus to another animal. It does seem possible for COVID-19 to be transmitted to pets from infected owners.

There may be a very small risk of the virus being transferred from one animal to another. For example, transfer could occur in the case of dogs playing together where one of the dogs may have the virus on their hair coat or in their nasal passage.

Although the risk is considered very low, it may be prudent to consider practicing social distancing with your pet(s). Err on the side of caution by not allowing your pet(s) to closely interact with other animals or people at this time.

More information on animals and COVID-19:

World Health Organization

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association

Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Public Health Agency of Canada

What are the health centres doing to protect the community? Are the health centres still open?

Yes, all community health centres are open.

We ask you to follow the instructions that are posted outside or on the front door of your community health centre. Where possible, phone ahead to book an appointment. All clients will be asked COVID-19-related screening questions upon arrival at the health centre or when they phone. They will receive direction to put on a mask if they display symptoms. Clients will then be directed to waiting areas at the health centre or, if it is busy, asked to wait in their vehicle until a nurse is available.

What will happen to my upcoming medical appointment not related to COVID-19?

We are deferring some non-urgent appointments for now. If possible, phone ahead for emergency visits. We will be limiting persons accompanying patients to one person per patient.

Can I visit someone in the hospital?

In-patient visitations are not permitted at the territory’s three hospitals, with limited exceptions. A strict limit of two people will be permitted to visit newborn/maternity patients, sick children, patients at end of life or in emergency situations. Caregivers of a person with a disability and substitute decision makers are also permitted to visit.

Screening is in place at all hospitals. Anyone coming to hospital will be asked the reason for their visit, their symptoms and their travel history.

How do I contact my community health centre?

Find the contact information of all Yukon community health centres and hospitals.

Medical examination certificate deadline extended: commercial drivers and drivers 70 years of age

We signed a new Ministerial Order under the Civil Emergency Measures Act. This order allows for the extension of the timeline to provide the certificate. It also means that drivers who cannot provide the medical certificate at this time will not be penalized.

How we're notifying affected drivers

  • Press release announcing and detailing the changes
  • Sharing this information on social media and on Yukon.ca.
  • Reaching out to commercial drivers through the Yukon Transportation Association.

New deadline

Until September 27, 2020.

Affected drivers will have this period to become compliant with the law and provide a medical examination certificate.

On March 18, the Yukon Medical Association advised Motor Vehicles that physician offices would not be booking driver medical examinations for the foreseeable future. The Ministerial Order is retroactive to that date. This decision affects all classes of licences (commercial and seniors 70 years of age and older).

The effect on commercial drivers

Over the next 6 months, from April to September, 835 commercial drivers will be affected.

The effect on drivers 70 years of age and older

Over the next 6 month, from April to September, 247 persons 70 years of age and older will be affected.

Exception: suspension removed

If a driver’s licence was suspended after March 18, 2020, but before the declared state of emergency on March 27, 2020, and the only reason for the suspension was that the person did not file a medical examination certificate, these suspensions have been automatically removed.

Suspension remains in place

Your will continue to be suspended if:

  • you were non-compliant; or
  • your licence was suspended before the start of the exemption period.

Expiring licences

If your licence expires, you'll still need to renew it. Our offices are following the chief medical officer of health's recommendations for physical distancing. We ask that you do not renew your licence in person.

You can renew your drivers’ licence:

  • over the phone;
  • by email; or
  • fax.

If you have to provide a medical examination certificate at the same time that your licence expires, we'll waive the requirement until the public health emergency has been lifted.

Long-haul truckers or drivers who are driving in other jurisdictions

These drivers will still have a valid licence, provided it has not expired. The Ministerial Order has temporarily disabled the medical requirements. The licences of drivers who must file medical exam certificates, but have not yet been able to, are not being automatically suspended. Once the public health emergency has been lifted, these drivers will have a grace period to bring themselves into compliance with the act.

Driver 70 years of age and older: driver’s exam or eye exam

To comply with physical distancing measures, driving tests are currently suspended. New licence applications that require a road test are not being processed. The Motor Vehicles office is still able to conduct vision tests at the office for licence renewals.

Why should I avoid public gatherings?

Attending even small gatherings increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. This increases the chance of participants being infected and carrying the virus into their communities, where they can pass it on to vulnerable friends and family, particularly seniors, Elders and people with existing health conditions.

We understand people will be disappointed at the postponement of events and travel plans, but our common priority now is to slow the spread of the disease, contain the chain of transmission and protect our most vulnerable family and community members.

Is it safe to participate in cultural gatherings (e.g. sweat lodges, potlatches, ceremonies and other gatherings)?

We acknowledge the significance of cultural gatherings in our communities and the lingering negative memories and trauma caused by past practices of banning cultural activities. 

Currently, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has banned all gatherings of more than 10 people to protect public health, especially that of Elders and those with chronic diseases. Even gatherings of fewer than 10 people require an assessment of risk – more so if the event will entail travel and shared accommodations. Communities are encouraged to consider alternatives, such as holding smaller events now and postponing the larger events until a later date. If you are holding a small event, consider having bag lunches rather than shared meals, ensure there are opportunities to wash and/or sanitize hands and please practice social distancing.  

The implications of sweat lodge ceremonies for viral transmission of COVID-19 is unknown. Participants are asked to proceed with caution.

Should I still attend events within Yukon?

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising all people avoid unnecessary travel due to the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19. Public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned. Yukoners should not attend any social gatherings, even those with fewer than 10 people if they have:

  • any flu-like symptoms; or
  • have an underlying health condition.

What are the recommendations for what to do if someone dies from COVID-19? Is it safe to care for the body and attend the funeral?

There is currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads. The virus that causes COVID-19 is thought to mainly spread from close contact (for example, within about 6 feet or 2 metres) with a person who is currently sick with COVID-19. The virus spreads primarily through droplets of bodily fluid produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how colds and flus spread. This type of spread is not a concern after death.

A new time-limited regulation to the Residential Landlord and Tenant Act is one of the Government of Yukon’s strategies to support Yukoners and slow the spread of COVID-19. 

Read the COVID-19 Regulation – Residential Landlord and Tenant Act

What can a tenant do if they can’t pay their rent because they have lost their job or had their hours cut owing to COVID-19?

If a tenant is unable to pay rent on time because of COVID-19 related job loss or reduced income, they must immediately notify their landlord by providing them with following information:

  • the reason why the tenant is unable to pay rent;
  • confirmation that the tenant is unable to pay rent (Record of Employment or email from the employer that identifies the loss or reduction of employment) ;
  • the date the rent is due and the amount of rent that is due;
  • the measures that the tenant is taking to access other sources of income;
  • the date when  the tenant expects to be able to pay the rent; and
  • any change to the above.

The regulation talks about “health protection measures.” What does that mean?

A “health protection measure” means any of the following as it relates to a tenant or a member of the tenant’s household and COVID-19:

  • self-isolation of the individual;
  • restriction on the movement of the person or class of people, to and from the rental unit. A health officer imposes it under the Public Health and Safety Act;
  • restriction of an individual's movement. It is recommended by or is under the authority of the Chief Medical Officer of Health or the Chief Public Health Officer. It does not include physical distancing; and
  • hospitalization of the individual.

What happens if a tenant or a member of their household has COVID-19?

If a tenant or a member of their household becomes subject to a health protection measure, the tenant must immediately notify the landlord and provide the following information:

  • state that they are subject to a health protection measure;
  • the date that they expect the health protection measure to be lifted; and
  • any change to the above.

Can the landlord ask for proof?

A landlord may ask a tenant to provide evidence that is reasonable.

The landlord cannot ask a tenant to provide a certificate issued by a doctor or nurse practitioner. The purpose of this is to not overload the medical system as it is.

If the landlord is not satisfied with the evidence, they can apply to the Residential Tenancies Office for a determination whether a term of the Regulation applies.

What is the effect on the landlord if a tenant gives notice that they cannot pay rent because of job loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19? 

The landlord must not serve the tenant with notice to end the tenancy for non-payment or late payment of rent or apply for an order of possession for as long as the Regulation is in force.

The payment of rent is deferred until the day when the tenant is able to pay rent or the Regulation is no longer in force – whichever comes first.

Can a landlord enter a unit under a health protection order?

If a tenant gives a landlord notice that they or a member of their household is under a health protection order, the landlord cannot enter the rental unit unless:

  • the landlord has an order from the Residential Tenancies Office;
  • the tenant appears to have abandoned the rental unit; or
  • there is an emergency and it is necessary for the landlord to enter the rental unit to protect life or property.

What the tenant must do if they notify the landlord that they cannot pay rent because of job loss or reduced income as a result of COVID-19?

The tenant must pay the unpaid rent as soon as they are able to pay or the Regulation is no longer in force – whichever comes first. 

The tenant may end the tenancy early without penalty by giving the landlord 30 days’ notice.

What about filing applications for dispute resolution?

If a tenant has given the landlord notice that either they or a member of their household is subject to a health protection measure, the time for either party to file an application for dispute resolution or make any other application does not start to run until the 4th day after the health protection measure is lifted.

If a tenant has given the landlord notice that they are not able to pay rent because they have experienced a job loss or reduction in income related to COVID-19, the time for either party to file an application for dispute resolution or make any other application does not start to run until the day after the Regulation is repealed.

What about serving documents?

If one party has the email address for another, they may serve documents by sending them to that email and mailing a copy by Canada Post to their address.

The documents will be deemed the earlier date that the party confirmed receipt by email or five days after they were mailed.

What if the landlord doesn’t believe that the regulation should apply to the tenancy?

The landlord may apply to the Residential Tenancies Office for an exemption.

How long will this regulation be in effect for?

It will be in effect from March 27, 2020, to June 23, 2020. It can be extended if the situation

Where can I get more information?

Contact the Residential Tenancies Office for support.

Email: rto@gov.yk.ca

Phone: 867-867-667-5944 or toll free in Yukon, 1-800-661-0408, extension 5944

COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning how it spreads.

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person:

  • through bodily fluids dispersed when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet or 2 metres).

What does community spread mean?

Community spread is when we can’t trace how someone became infected.  For example, that person doesn’t have a history of travel or a connection to a known case. 

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

  • No vaccine for COVID-19 exists.
  • It can take years to develop a vaccine for a new disease and to produce enough for the populations that need them.
  • If you have received a flu vaccine, it will not protect against coronaviruses.
  • No natural health products are certified to treat or protect against COVID-19.

What can I do to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses like COVID-19?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Download one of our hand-washing signs to post as a reminder.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are touched often.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue immediately into the trash.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with your inner elbow when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

What can I do to reduce the risk of potential complications from COVID-19?

To reduce the risk of potential complications, stay as healthy as possible now (i.e. stop smoking/vaping, ensure chronic illnesses like diabetes are well managed, get the seasonal flu shot, etc.).

Should I wear a face mask?

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.

Homemade, cloth masks have not been proven to protect the people wearing them. However, wearing a mask can help play a part in reducing the chance of respiratory droplets contaminating other people or landing on surfaces and can make people feel safer.

Anyone deciding to make and wear a mask should be aware they still need to practise all measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including regular hand washing, greater hygiene and safe spacing.

Wearing a face mask in a health care facility

If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection, you may be asked to wear a face mask as a precaution to prevent infecting others, if you’re in a:

  • doctor’s office;
  • health centre;
  • continuing care facility; or
  • hospital.

Health care providers interact with many sick patients every day. Health care providers wear face masks to protect themselves from infection from sick patients and to prevent themselves from infecting others. 

Safe spacing means making changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • Avoiding non-essential gatherings.
  • Avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes and hugs.
  • Avoiding crowded places such as concerts, arenas, conferences and festivals.
  • Limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health.
  • Keeping a distance of at least 2 metres from others.
  • Only use safe greetings that do not include physical contact.

Why is safe spacing important?

When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain the virus. If you are too close and the person has the COVID-19 virus, you may contract it. Avoiding physical contact while greeting friends, family and community members helps to prevent COVID-19 from spreading to the people we care about.​

Safe spacing is proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak, so it is important that we all do what we can to limit exposure to one another until things settle down.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation means staying at home and not going to work or school. It also means monitoring yourself for symptoms for 14 days.

If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home, avoid other people and call 811 as soon as possible.

Who needs to self-isolate?

It’s mandatory for travellers returning to Yukon to self-isolate for 14 days when they return. This means you must return home directly upon arrival and stay there for 14 days. Do not stop anywhere on your way. You can have friends or family pick up necessary grocery items or prescriptions and leave those for you at your door.

If you do not have a home to self-isolate in, or cannot safely self-isolate at home, email covid19info@gov.yk.ca prior to your arrival for information and advice. If you develop symptoms during the 14 days phone 811.

What do I need when self-isolating?

The Public Health Agency of Canada has published resources for community-based measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. These include a list of supplies to get when self-isolating.

We recognize that a number of these supplies may not be readily available in your community, such as masks, gloves, Tylenol, thermometers and hand sanitizer. We are currently seeking solutions to this issue. We are encouraging all people to buy only what they need to help us solve this problem.

I am infected and I live with other people. How do I self-isolate?

  • Stay and sleep in a room with good airflow away from other people.
  • Use a separate bathroom if you can.
  • Wear a face mask if you are in the same room with anyone.
  • Avoid face-to-face contact.
  • Do not share towels or face cloths.
  • Have friends and family drop off food outside your room or home.
  • If you live with an Elder, senior or someone with a chronic health condition, it would be best if those people could stay in the home of other family or friends.  ​

What happens if someone in my community is infected? 

If someone in the community is infected, they must self-isolate. People who were in close contact with that person (i.e. people living in the same household) should also self-isolate for 14 days.

What happens if one person in my household is infected but no one else has symptoms?

The whole household must self-isolate to prevent the spread of the virus to anyone outside of your household.

Ideally, someone who is self-isolating should not be in contact other people. If you need assistance finding somewhere for that person to stay in your community while they self-isolate, please contact covid19info@gov.yk.ca

What should I do if someone in my house gets sick with COVID-19?

Most people who get COVID-19 will be able to recover at home:

  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members if possible.
  • Clean hands regularly by handwashing with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with the sick person and maintain a distance of two metres from them.
  • Clean handles, high-used surface regularly.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, food and drinks.

How can we prepare our community members for self-isolation?

Community members can help each other out during this time of need by:

  • Identifying people who may need food or other supplies dropped off, and developing a system to make sure they are able to get the resources they need.
  • Identifying people who may have difficulty self-isolating and may require extra assistance with finding a place to self-isolate.

Is there assistance for individuals and communities who are struggling?

The federal government is providing support for Canadians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  It is also providing support to businesses that have been negatively affected by COVD-19. 

Find Government of Canada information for both individuals and businesses.

Find Government of Yukon information for businesses.

What can I do to keep my employees safe from COVID-19?

You should:

Review the guidelines for the delivery of critical, essential and other services in Yukon communities.

Should I close my business/office?  

Many types of services are prohibited by order under the Civil Emergency Measures Act until further notice, including:

  • bars;
  • personal services, such as hair salons, barber shops, tattoo parlours, nail salons and massage therapists;
  • restaurants for seated service (take-out and delivery service exempted); and
  • non-urgent dental treatment.

Read more about prohibited services on Yukon.ca.

Read about essential services in Yukon during COVID-19.

Read about critical services in Yukon during COVID-19.

Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and people are asked to practice social distancing (i.e. keeping a distance of approximately 6 feet or 2 metres from others). Read the full list of legal orders.

Other guidance includes:

  • 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.
  • Continue to practice good hand hygiene at your place of work.
  • Continue to keep your place of work clean, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces often.
  • Employees who have returned from travel outside of the country are required to self-isolate for 14 days and should not be working.

For more information check the Government of Canada’s Risk Informed Decision Making webpage

Where can I find more information about support for my business?

Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy. During this extraordinary time, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help Canadian businesses as COVID-19 is affecting them, their employees and their families.

Public health officials are urging all Canadians to stay home unless it is absolutely essential to go out and to practice social distancing and good hygiene. For businesses, this means:

  • Facilitating flexible and remote work arrangements.
  • Preparing your workplace for COVID-19.
  • Understanding how to keep your employees safe.

Find information about supports for employees, businesses and resources on how to maintain a safe workplace on Canada.ca.

Find information about supports available for Yukoners.

How can work camps stay safe?

The Government of Yukon has produced guidelines for work camps operating during the COVID-19 pandemic – find them on Yukon.ca.

  • Be sure to provide staff and camp residents access to the most up-to-date and accurate information about COVID-19.
  • Ensure all staff and camp residents are informed of the infection prevention and control measures that are being implemented in the camp to help reduce and minimize the risk of potential disease transmission in the camp.
  • Inform the staff and camp residents of procedures to follow should they become sick.
  • It is advised that employees do not work when they are sick. We recommend that employers provide remuneration to employees who are on isolation precautions. This should be provided throughout their duration of self isolation as this will help to ensure those who are sick will report their symptoms and to ensure the employee will adhere to isolation protocols – both are essential in helping to control the transmission of COVID-19.
  • Employers should not require the worker to provide a doctor’s note for sick leave if they are sick or are required to self-isolate.

Find Government of Yukon COVID-19 information for businesses here

When should someone get tested for COVID-19?

Someone should be tested for COVID-19 if:

they’ve travelled OR have had close contact with a person with a recent travel history who was or is now symptomatic OR are a known close contact to a confirmed case of COVID-19 and you have any symptoms such as cough, fever/chills, sore throat, headache, runny nose or nasal congestion, vomitting, diarrhea, fatigue or muscle aches or difficulty breathing

OR

If they have not travelled outside of Yukon but have symptoms such as cough, fever and/or chills, or difficulty breathing

In either case, phone 811 before visiting a testing site.

How can people get tested?

In communities:

Call your local health centre to arrange for testing. Find a community health centre.

In Whitehorse:

Call 811 or your family physician. They may refer you to the Respiratory Assessment Centre if needed. Only people who meet the screening criteria for COVID-19 will be tested.

How long will it take to get results?

Test results are received within 2 to 5 days of testing.

Can I assess myself for COVID-19?

If you think you may have COVID-19, take the online self-assessment.

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

You will need to:

  • monitor your health for symptoms; and
  • follow healthy respiratory practices.

If you do develop symptoms within 14 days, continue to isolate yourself from others, phone a health care provider and inform them about your symptoms and travel history. They will provide advice on what you should do.

In communities outside Whitehorse:

Phone your local health centre to arrange for testing.

In Whitehorse:

Phone 811 or your family physician. They may refer you to the Respiratory Assessment Centre if needed.

If your symptoms become severe and you need immediate medical care phone 911.

Residents leaving Yukon

Choosing to stay at home and not travel outside Yukon is the best way to protect yourself, your family, and our communities from the spread of COVID-19. By playing your part and staying put, you are supporting our healthcare workers as they respond to meet the challenges of this global pandemic.

This means that if you have plans to travel, you should consider cancelling or postponing your trip.

Yukon residents that are currently outside of Canada should find out what commercial options are still available to return to home and should consider returning to Canada now.

Although it is not advised, if you are still considering travel outside of Canada, you should do the following:

  • Check travel advisories before travelling.
  • Know the health risks for your destination.
  • Understand the risks of your safety and security abroad.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient finances and necessities, including medication, in case your travels are disrupted.
  • Be prepared if airlines revise scheduled flights to and from your destination.

If you travel abroad, you will be subject to the measures of other countries. Your scheduled trip may become much longer. You may also have reduced access to quality health care and your travel health insurance will likely not provide coverage in a pandemic.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health would also like to reiterate that you should avoid all travel on cruise ships due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak until further notice.

If our community members are travelling, how do we know that they are not bringing the virus back into community?

As much as possible, community members should seek to minimize interaction with other people, particularly with groups of more than 10 people, though this can be difficult to control during travel. For this reason, we recommend that all travel be assessed to determine if it is essential at this time.

Postponing events and travel will support individual and community health and minimize the spread of the virus. When travelling, people need to be extra diligent with preventative practices, such as handwashing often, using hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, and avoiding touching the face. ​People who choose to travel outside the territory are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning to Yukon.

There is a mine or employer near my community who frequently brings in employees from out of territory. Should we be concerned?

The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources are working very closely with the individual mines. Each mine must be evaluated to assess levels of risk and determine if operations can continue in a safe manner.

The Government of Yukon has produced guidelines for work camps during COVID-19 - find them on Yukon.ca.

Should I still travel within Yukon?

The Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising all people avoid unnecessary travel due to the increased risk of spreading the COVID-19. Public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned. Yukoners should not attend any social gatherings, even those with fewer than 10 people if they have:

  • any flu-like symptoms; or
  • an underlying health condition.

What is the risk for infants?

Recent evidence suggests the risk to infants is low – very few children under five show serious illness from COVID-19, though they are not immune.

What are the risks for pregnant women?

We do not currently know if pregnant women have a greater chance of getting sick from COVID-19 than the general public nor whether they are more likely to have serious illness as a result.

Pregnant women experience changes in their bodies that may increase their risk of some infections. With viruses from the same family as COVID-19, and other viral respiratory infections, such as influenza, women have had a higher risk of developing severe illness. It is always important for pregnant women to protect themselves from illnesses.

What are the risks for people who use drugs or alcohol?

See the BC Centre for Centre for Disease Control’s website for more information about people who use drugs or alcohol and COVID-19.

Information for nominees

Job loss because of COVID-19: will your permanent residence application be affected

No. Lay-offs caused by COVID-19 will neither affect your Yukon Nominee Program status nor impact your permanent residency application for the duration of the state of emergency. You do need to contact the Yukon Immigration Unit.

Laid-off: do you qualify for Employment Insurance?

The Government of Canada administers Employment Insurance benefits. Phone toll free 1-800-206-7218 to find out if you're eligible.

Laid-off: work permit is about to expire

Contact our office immediately. If your work permit or nomination is going to expire during the state of emergency, we'll issue you a support letter to extend your work permit so you can maintain legal status in Canada.

Information for employers

Your nominee signed a Tri-Partite Agreement: affecting on the 35 to 40 hours per week agreement

To give businesses more flexibility during the pandemic, the usual 35 ro 40 hour obligation for nominees has been waived. If you need to reduce hours for all staff and the nominee’s work hours are also affected, please keep track of this reduction of hours. If your nominee is laid-off, please notify our office.

Laying off staff: what to do about current nominees

Nominees who lose their employment during the state of emergency will remain in the program without penalty. After the state of emergency has ended they will be given 90 days to return to their previous employer or find a new employer.

Application in process to sponsor an overseas nominee: how to proceed

Applications will still be accepted as long as:

  • you have not laid off any Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
  • your operations are continuing as usual.

Before your assessment we'll confirm that:

  • you're continuing to recruit domestically; and
  • you wish to proceed with the application.

Current territorial travel restrictions mean only essential and critical workers can enter Yukon by road or air. Monitor our website for updates to this information. Federal travel restrictions may affect a worker wanting to enter Canada.

Laying off a nominee: rehiring

If you lay off your nominee, you can rehire them. No new application will be required.

Application in process: putting it on hold

We can hold applications for employers waiting to determine how their operations will be affected by the state of emergency. To have your application put on hold, please phone or email us as soon as possible.

Nominee arriving in Yukon: employer responsibilities

Anyone entering Canada is required to self-isolate upon arrival. Employers cannot prevent workers from meeting these requirements.

During self-isolation, the employer:

  • has to pay the worker regular pay and benefits for the self-isolation period;
  • cannot make any payroll deductions related to self-isolation measures;
  • has to provide accommodation that meets all self-isolation requirements, including alternate accommodation (for example, hotel) if the requirements cannot otherwise be met; and
  • must monitor the worker’s health on a daily basis by phone or email, and report any symptoms to the appropriate authority.

The worker cannot be asked to perform any duties during the self-isolation period.

If the nominee has symptoms they must self-isolate in the 1st city they arrive in Canada. If they do not have symptoms (asymptomatic) they can travel to their final destination and self-isolate there.

Information for foreign nationals

Applying to the Yukon Nominee Program: lost your job, or cannot find a job

To be eligible for the Yukon Nominee Program, you will need a job offer from an employer. Then, the employer will apply to the program to hire you.

On a study permit: can you work full time?

Restrictions on employment are handled by the Government of Canada. Find more information about working in Canada if you're on a study permit.

More information

How the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is affecting immigration, refugees, citizenship and passport services.

Frequently asked questions: Changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program regarding COVID-19

For questions about this or other immigration issues email yukon.nominee@gov.yk.ca, or phone 867-667-5131, toll free in Yukon 1-800-661-0407 extension 5131.

Should I buy extra toilet paper?

You should stock your household with the essential supplies you will need if you are required to self-isolate for 14 days. It is not necessary to stockpile large quantities of toilet paper or any other supplies in excess of the amount required during a self-isolation period. Stockpiling creates supply issues for everyone.

How long can the virus last on surfaces?

The latest information suggests that the virus can remain in an aerosol (airborne mist) for hours and persist on surfaces for up to a few days. It may be possible for a person to contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes; however, this is not thought to be the primary way the virus spreads.

Can the virus live on clothes?

The virus can survive on porous surfaces such as skin and clothing as well as other materials and surfaces for hours to days, depending on the surface. Regular clothes washing is recommended.

Is a humidifier helpful or harmful?

Yukoners in communities are encouraged to pose this question to their community health nurse, as the benefits of a humidifier may depend on an individual’s existing health condition.

Is bleach a safe and effective alternative to sanitizer wipes?  If so, what ratio of bleach to water should be used?

Here is information on cleaning and disinfecting your home or workplace.

To make spaces as safe as possible from bacteria and viruses that cause people to be sick, you need to both clean and disinfect hard surfaces. Bleach is an effective disinfectant, and the recommended ratio is 1 part bleach to 100 parts water (i.e. 10 ml bleach in 1 litre water). Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol and household cleaners and disinfectants are also effective against coronaviruses.

We need posters and materials to increase awareness to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Can the Government of Yukon help?

Download posters, handouts and brochures.

If people are off work because their work is closed or they need to be home for childcare, how can they obtain financial support?

Watch for updates on the Government of Canada’s webpage to find out about how federal funding can be accessed.