Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health declares COVID-19 outbreak

Yukon’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott is declaring a COVID-19 outbreak in Whitehorse with six new cases since Friday. The Gamma variant has been identified in this outbreak. There are now 18 active cases and Yukon’s total case count is at 104.

The outbreak is linked to youth and adults who are not yet vaccinated. It includes participants at both organized and informal events linked to high school graduation, as well as adults who are socializing in close proximity such as at bars and house parties.

The outbreak includes 18 cases; 15 cases are in Whitehorse and three are in rural Yukon. There are no new public exposure notifications.

Of the six new cases:

  • all are linked to this outbreak; and
  • all are self-isolating and recovering at home.

How to protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19

  • All contacts of a person with COVID-19 must isolate for an entire 14 days since last exposure.
  • Contacts who are fully vaccinated must isolate only if they are a household contact of a person with COVID-19. A household contact is defined as living with a case or having direct physical contact (e.g. caregiver, partner) even if not living with an individual.
  • Contact means sharing saliva, or coughing on another person, talking for 15 minutes without physical distancing and other similar types of shared activities.

*If you are given advice by Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) that is different from this, please follow their advice as the health professionals.

People with symptoms

With current active cases in Yukon, testing for COVID-19 infection is more important than ever in order to identify possible community spread. People who are vaccinated may acquire COVID-19 in rare circumstances and should seek testing if symptoms develop.

Testing turnaround times remain very quick, 36 hours in the previous week, and negative results can now be accessed online at https://service.yukon.ca/forms/en/get-covid19-test-result.

Anyone experiencing symptoms in Whitehorse should self-isolate and call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book on-line to arrange for testing at https://book-covid-19-test.service.yukon.ca/en/

People in communities should contact their rural community health centre.

Safe 6 plus 1

Everyone in Yukon should follow the Safe 6 plus 1 (plus 1 means wear a mask) at: practisesafe6.ca

COVID-19 symptoms reminder

Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms should self-isolate and arrange to be tested immediately.

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

We are seeing this outbreak in groups of people who are not yet vaccinated. It is a strong reminder of how important it is to get your shots in order to protect our loved ones and our communities. We can slow the spread down by doing our part; you can book your vaccine appointment at any time. Please follow the Safe 6 + 1, maintain your social bubbles diligently and I encourage all Yukoners to continue to self-monitor for symptoms.

Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee

An outbreak among people who are not yet vaccinated is concerning and we are very likely to see more cases in the coming days. It is now more important than ever that people in Whitehorse follow the Safe 6 + 1, that people with symptoms isolate and get tested, and that we all get vaccinated against COVID-19. The Gamma (P.1) variant is highly transmissible in groups who are not yet vaccinated. The vaccine is protective. Our response goal is to keep people healthy and protect those at risk of severe disease. This requires us all to follow this guidance.

Yukon’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott

Contact 

Renee Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

Pat Living
Communications, Health and Social Services
867-335-1531
patricia.living@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-179