As Yukon’s active case count continues to decline and vaccination rates increase in the territory and across Canada, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH) has provided new recommendations regarding public health measures in place to protect Yukoners from COVID-19.
Effective August 4, the Yukon government will lift the requirement for people to self-isolate upon entry to the territory, the requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces and the requirement for physical distancing at bars and restaurants, allowing these establishments to return to full capacity as it was before the pandemic.
Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn announced the changes today alongside Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott.
The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to provide guidance on best practices to Yukoners. For example, the CMOH continues to recommend that Yukoners self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, get tested as appropriate, stay home from work and school when they are sick, wear a mask in some instances and continue frequent hand washing and practising other good hygiene measures.
Protecting the health and wellbeing of Yukoners while also protecting the quality of life in the territory remains a priority for this government and has been a complex balancing act since the outset of this pandemic. After almost 17 months with restrictions in place, we are now able to begin lifting these restrictions and start living with COVID-19 as part of our day to day reality. Yukoners can begin to live their lives in a way that is more in keeping with the way things used to be.
Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn
We must target our efforts toward the greatest risk in Yukon right now: the spread from person to person, particularly those who are not yet fully vaccinated. The risk of importation from our neighbors has fallen dramatically with the end of their waves and their rising vaccination rates. In Yukon, we continue to see cases on a daily basis and this number is decreasing over time as well. In the future, we may well see small surges and even outbreaks. As we have done throughout this pandemic, we will respond to each risk as it comes, provide guidance based on the facts and together, we will move forward with our lives.
Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott
The masking order was implemented in December 2020. While masks will no longer be required in indoor public spaces as of August 4, the Chief Medical Officer of Health recommends that masks continue to be used in specific settings such as physicians’ offices, hospitals and long-term care facilities. Businesses may also request that masks be worn.
Yukon’s case count is stabilizing with the number of active cases decreasing daily while the vaccine rate continues to increase for those 12 years and older.
Yukon is currently leading Canada in successfully vaccinating its population. As of July 16, 2021, 85 per cent of eligible adults had received their first dose and 79 per cent their second dose. First dose vaccine uptake for age groups range from 81 per cent for those aged 18 to 29 to 94 per cent for those aged 70 and older.
There is emerging evidence of vaccine effectiveness in preventing transmission including against known variants currently circulating in Canada.