April 6, 2020: Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health provides update on COVID-19

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

COVID-19 cases and recoveries

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

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

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

Contact tracing

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

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

COVID-19 transmission

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

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

Personal protective equipment

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

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

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

Safe Easter recreation

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

Latest information

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

To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners are encouraged to visit Yukon.ca/COVID-19.

Contact 

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

News release #: 
20-092