Health response plan for Yukon communities: COVID-19

The Government of Yukon, in coordination with Yukon First Nations and municipalities, has implemented measures to meet health care needs in all communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include processes in communities for accessing:

  • assessments and testing;
  • self-isolation and supports when in self-isolation;
  • mental health supports and supports for vulnerable populations; and
  • regular health care supports.
Community health care centres during the pandemic

Measures to keep health care centres safe

It's important that Yukoners continue to access health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care centre staff continue to serve communities and are working to ensure these centres stay safe for those seeking care.

Measures to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 include:

  • Signage asking those with symptoms to stop and call the health care centre to make arrangements to limit contact with others and provide them with hand sanitizer and a mask before they enter the facility;
  • Greeters at the doors who will screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and ensure that anyone arriving for testing is given hand sanitizer and a mask; and
  • Stagger appointments for non-urgent medical needs to avoid crowding in waiting areas and allow people to physically distance themselves.

Services available at health care centres and hospitals during the pandemic:

  • Non-urgent bloodwork, laboratory tests, x-rays and other imaging services (laboratory tests and x-rays remain available in rural communities by appointment);
  • Physio and occupational therapy services (reduced at Yukon hospitals in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake); and

Read the latest information about the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s response to COVID-19.

Health care centres

Please call the health care centre before arrival so staff can prepare for your visit.

Beaver Creek

Phone: 867-862-4444

Carcross

Phone: 867-821-4444

Carmacks

Phone: 867-863-4444

Dawson City Public Health

Phone: 867-993-4300

Destruction Bay

Phone: 867-841-4444

Faro

Phone: 867-994-4444

Haines Junction

Phone: 867-634-4444

Mayo

Phone: 867-996-4444

Old Crow

Phone: 867-966-4444

Pelly Crossing

Phone: 867-537-4444

Ross River

Phone: 867-969-4444

Teslin

Phone: 867-390-4444

Watson Lake Public Health

Phone: 867-536-5255

Whitehorse Public Health

Phone: 867-667-8864

Hospitals

Dawson City Community Hospital

Phone: 867-993-4444

Watson Lake Community Hospital

Phone: 867-536-4444

Whitehorse General Hospital

Phone: 867-393-8700

Phone toll free: 1-877-307-9042

Assessment, testing and treatment

Assessment

Anyone who has symptoms should self-isolate and assess their symptoms by 1 of the following means:

Following an assessment, if a symptomatic person requires testing they should call ahead to the local health centre to request an appointment. Same day appointments are available and will be prioritized.

Call ahead

Community members should call first before visiting an emergency department, family doctor, walk-in clinic or local health centre.

If you have symptoms and need immediate, urgent medical attention, call 911 and tell them you may have COVID-19.

Testing for COVID-19 in communities

Testing for COVID-19 can be conducted by:

For the latest information about the criteria for COVID-19 testing, visit the online self-assessment tool or call 811.

Process for testing at a health care centre

  1. You will be met at the door and asked to wash your hands with hand sanitizer and will be given a mask.
  2. A nurse will take you to a designated room for assessment and testing. The test is simple and relatively painless and involves inserting a swab into the back of a your nose where the virus can live. You may also be asked to wait in your vehicle until the nurse is available.
  3. Once the swab is complete, and if you are well enough to go home, the nurse will provide information about self-isolating. You must remain in self-isolation until you hear from the health care centre or Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC).
  4. The nurse will also assess your situation for any possible barriers that may impact your ability to self-isolate. If barriers are identified, the nurse will work with you and/or your family to connect you with the appropriate supports and ensure you are able to self-isolate. Anybody who needs assistance in securing suitable accommodations and supports for self-isolation can email covid19info@yukon.ca or call Self-Isolation Facility Assistance at 867-332-4587.
  5. The swab will be sent away for processing and will be transported out of the community as a priority. Results are typically received within 3-4 days, depending on the date and time of collection.
  6. If the test result comes back as negative, you should continue to self-isolate based on the guidance of YCDC and/or the nurse in the community.

Action taken when there's a positive test result for COVID-19

  1. If you test positive for COVID-19, Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) is notified by the lab performing the test.
  2. A nurse from the health centre or YCDC will contact you to advise you of the result. The nurse will:
    • Start the process of contact tracing; and
    • Assess your medical needs to determine whether your care can be managed at home or if you will require access to a higher level of care.

If you can be managed at home, the nurse will provide daily monitoring by phone to help assess your symptoms, ensure you are appropriately self-isolating and provide further care as needed.

If it is determined that your medical needs cannot be managed at home, or by the community health centre, arrangements will be made to safely transport you to Whitehorse. A nurse will assess the best way to transport, such as Emergency Medical Services or a private vehicle.

Privacy and non-disclosure of names or rural community cases

To protect the privacy of the individual and to comply with Yukon's Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA), the name of the individual and the community will remain confidential.

Individual cases that are contained do not increase the risk to the public, so there is no public health need to disclose the name of the community or the individual. This reflects the practice for all communicable diseases.

There are procedures and protocols in place to ensure the appropriate authorities in each community are made aware of a positive case.

If a symptomatic person was working or attending an event or location where there was a possibility of passing the virus to others, the Chief Medical Officer of Health may determine that there is a need for broader communication to the public about a possible exposure to COVID-19. In these situations, information will be shared through press briefings, public exposure notices and direct communication with community officials as needed.

Self-isolation at home

You must self-isolate when you have symptoms of COVID-19. Self-isolation is also required when:

  • you enter Yukon from outside the territory; and
  • it's possible that you have been exposed to the virus.

Yukon residents can self-isolate in all communities. You may travel to your home community to safely self-isolate if you are returning from travel outside of the territory and arrive in Whitehorse. Avoid contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others.

You must self-isolate at home when it is possible and safe to do so. You should stay home for 14 days or until you are advised by your health care provider that you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others.

A nurse will follow-up if you are symptomatic, waiting for a swab and/or test positive. In some situations, there may be follow up by Yukon Communicable Disease Control.

More information on self-isolation, including who needs to self-isolate and how to safely self-isolate.

Self-isolating in Whitehorse rather than the community

If you cannot safely self-isolate at home or in your community, the Self-Isolation Facility Assistance (SIFA) team can help you. They can arrange for transportation to Whitehorse where you can stay at the self-isolation facility.

To access advice or support when in the self-isolation facility, contact SIFA.

  • Phone: 867-332-4587, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of those hours, you can leave voicemails. The team returns voicemails on the following business day.

If you are not a Yukon resident and you must self-isolate, you must do so in Whitehorse.

Find more information on self-isolation, including who needs to self-isolate and how to safely self-isolate.

Mental health support

Mental health and substance use supports are available for individuals who are self-isolating in the communities and in Whitehorse.

Services include phone support, psychiatric support, detox, medication administration.

Rapid access counselling services

Daily slots are available for one-to-one support. Phone to schedule an appointment:

Carcross

Phone: 867-332-3157

Carmacks, Pelly Crossing, Ross River and Faro

Phone: 867-332-5468

Dawson City, Mayo, and Old Crow

Phone: 867-993-4300

Haines Junction, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek

Phone: 867-334-5688

Teslin

Phone: 867-332-4088

Watson Lake

Phone: 867-536-3222

Whitehorse

Phone: 866-456-3838 (Toll-free)

Other resources

Find more information about mental health and wellness supports available from governments and non-governmental organizations.

Vulnerable populations

There are supports in place to help vulnerable populations throughout Yukon stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • people who are experiencing precarious housing or homelessness;
  • gender-based violence;
  • underlying health conditions; and
  • substance use or mental health challenges.

It also includes older adults and people with a disability.

Read the vulnerable populations guidelines.

Travel to rural communities

COVID-19 could pose a risk to rural and remote Yukon communities. Travellers are asked to protect the Yukoners who call these places home. Be respectful of community members’ requests when entering a community or a business.

Read the travel to Yukon communities guidelines.

Measures to keep health care centres safe

It's important that Yukoners continue to access health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Health care centre staff continue to serve communities and are working to ensure these centres stay safe for those seeking care.

Measures to help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 include:

  • Signage asking those with symptoms to stop and call the health care centre to make arrangements to limit contact with others and provide them with hand sanitizer and a mask before they enter the facility;
  • Greeters at the doors who will screen for symptoms of COVID-19 and ensure that anyone arriving for testing is given hand sanitizer and a mask; and
  • Stagger appointments for non-urgent medical needs to avoid crowding in waiting areas and allow people to physically distance themselves.

Services available at health care centres and hospitals during the pandemic:

  • Non-urgent bloodwork, laboratory tests, x-rays and other imaging services (laboratory tests and x-rays remain available in rural communities by appointment);
  • Physio and occupational therapy services (reduced at Yukon hospitals in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Watson Lake); and

Read the latest information about the Yukon Hospital Corporation’s response to COVID-19.

Health care centres

Please call the health care centre before arrival so staff can prepare for your visit.

Beaver Creek

Phone: 867-862-4444

Carcross

Phone: 867-821-4444

Carmacks

Phone: 867-863-4444

Dawson City Public Health

Phone: 867-993-4300

Destruction Bay

Phone: 867-841-4444

Faro

Phone: 867-994-4444

Haines Junction

Phone: 867-634-4444

Mayo

Phone: 867-996-4444

Old Crow

Phone: 867-966-4444

Pelly Crossing

Phone: 867-537-4444

Ross River

Phone: 867-969-4444

Teslin

Phone: 867-390-4444

Watson Lake Public Health

Phone: 867-536-5255

Whitehorse Public Health

Phone: 867-667-8864

Hospitals

Dawson City Community Hospital

Phone: 867-993-4444

Watson Lake Community Hospital

Phone: 867-536-4444

Whitehorse General Hospital

Phone: 867-393-8700

Phone toll free: 1-877-307-9042

Assessment

Anyone who has symptoms should self-isolate and assess their symptoms by 1 of the following means:

Following an assessment, if a symptomatic person requires testing they should call ahead to the local health centre to request an appointment. Same day appointments are available and will be prioritized.

Call ahead

Community members should call first before visiting an emergency department, family doctor, walk-in clinic or local health centre.

If you have symptoms and need immediate, urgent medical attention, call 911 and tell them you may have COVID-19.

Testing for COVID-19 in communities

Testing for COVID-19 can be conducted by:

For the latest information about the criteria for COVID-19 testing, visit the online self-assessment tool or call 811.

Process for testing at a health care centre

  1. You will be met at the door and asked to wash your hands with hand sanitizer and will be given a mask.
  2. A nurse will take you to a designated room for assessment and testing. The test is simple and relatively painless and involves inserting a swab into the back of a your nose where the virus can live. You may also be asked to wait in your vehicle until the nurse is available.
  3. Once the swab is complete, and if you are well enough to go home, the nurse will provide information about self-isolating. You must remain in self-isolation until you hear from the health care centre or Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC).
  4. The nurse will also assess your situation for any possible barriers that may impact your ability to self-isolate. If barriers are identified, the nurse will work with you and/or your family to connect you with the appropriate supports and ensure you are able to self-isolate. Anybody who needs assistance in securing suitable accommodations and supports for self-isolation can email covid19info@yukon.ca or call Self-Isolation Facility Assistance at 867-332-4587.
  5. The swab will be sent away for processing and will be transported out of the community as a priority. Results are typically received within 3-4 days, depending on the date and time of collection.
  6. If the test result comes back as negative, you should continue to self-isolate based on the guidance of YCDC and/or the nurse in the community.

Action taken when there's a positive test result for COVID-19

  1. If you test positive for COVID-19, Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) is notified by the lab performing the test.
  2. A nurse from the health centre or YCDC will contact you to advise you of the result. The nurse will:
    • Start the process of contact tracing; and
    • Assess your medical needs to determine whether your care can be managed at home or if you will require access to a higher level of care.

If you can be managed at home, the nurse will provide daily monitoring by phone to help assess your symptoms, ensure you are appropriately self-isolating and provide further care as needed.

If it is determined that your medical needs cannot be managed at home, or by the community health centre, arrangements will be made to safely transport you to Whitehorse. A nurse will assess the best way to transport, such as Emergency Medical Services or a private vehicle.

Privacy and non-disclosure of names or rural community cases

To protect the privacy of the individual and to comply with Yukon's Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA), the name of the individual and the community will remain confidential.

Individual cases that are contained do not increase the risk to the public, so there is no public health need to disclose the name of the community or the individual. This reflects the practice for all communicable diseases.

There are procedures and protocols in place to ensure the appropriate authorities in each community are made aware of a positive case.

If a symptomatic person was working or attending an event or location where there was a possibility of passing the virus to others, the Chief Medical Officer of Health may determine that there is a need for broader communication to the public about a possible exposure to COVID-19. In these situations, information will be shared through press briefings, public exposure notices and direct communication with community officials as needed.

Self-isolation at home

You must self-isolate when you have symptoms of COVID-19. Self-isolation is also required when:

  • you enter Yukon from outside the territory; and
  • it's possible that you have been exposed to the virus.

Yukon residents can self-isolate in all communities. You may travel to your home community to safely self-isolate if you are returning from travel outside of the territory and arrive in Whitehorse. Avoid contact with other people to help prevent the spread of disease to others.

You must self-isolate at home when it is possible and safe to do so. You should stay home for 14 days or until you are advised by your health care provider that you are no longer at risk of spreading the virus to others.

A nurse will follow-up if you are symptomatic, waiting for a swab and/or test positive. In some situations, there may be follow up by Yukon Communicable Disease Control.

More information on self-isolation, including who needs to self-isolate and how to safely self-isolate.

Self-isolating in Whitehorse rather than the community

If you cannot safely self-isolate at home or in your community, the Self-Isolation Facility Assistance (SIFA) team can help you. They can arrange for transportation to Whitehorse where you can stay at the self-isolation facility.

To access advice or support when in the self-isolation facility, contact SIFA.

  • Phone: 867-332-4587, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of those hours, you can leave voicemails. The team returns voicemails on the following business day.

If you are not a Yukon resident and you must self-isolate, you must do so in Whitehorse.

Find more information on self-isolation, including who needs to self-isolate and how to safely self-isolate.

Mental health and substance use supports are available for individuals who are self-isolating in the communities and in Whitehorse.

Services include phone support, psychiatric support, detox, medication administration.

Rapid access counselling services

Daily slots are available for one-to-one support. Phone to schedule an appointment:

Carcross

Phone: 867-332-3157

Carmacks, Pelly Crossing, Ross River and Faro

Phone: 867-332-5468

Dawson City, Mayo, and Old Crow

Phone: 867-993-4300

Haines Junction, Destruction Bay, Burwash Landing and Beaver Creek

Phone: 867-334-5688

Teslin

Phone: 867-332-4088

Watson Lake

Phone: 867-536-3222

Whitehorse

Phone: 866-456-3838 (Toll-free)

Other resources

Find more information about mental health and wellness supports available from governments and non-governmental organizations.

There are supports in place to help vulnerable populations throughout Yukon stay healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • people who are experiencing precarious housing or homelessness;
  • gender-based violence;
  • underlying health conditions; and
  • substance use or mental health challenges.

It also includes older adults and people with a disability.

Read the vulnerable populations guidelines.

COVID-19 could pose a risk to rural and remote Yukon communities. Travellers are asked to protect the Yukoners who call these places home. Be respectful of community members’ requests when entering a community or a business.

Read the travel to Yukon communities guidelines.