The Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott has declared a COVID-19 outbreak in the Grade 4 class at Johnson Elementary School in Watson Lake. At this time, three cases are linked to this outbreak. These cases have no known exposure sources other than the Grade 4 classroom. It is most likely that these cases caught COVID-19 within their class cohort and there is no indication of spread in the school beyond this class.
The students in this class are currently isolating as per direction from Yukon Communicable Disease Control. Teachers and educational assistants are isolating or self-monitoring, based on their vaccination status. Grade 4 students and staff are urged to seek testing, whether or not they have symptoms, if they have not been tested after September 17. A rapid response team will arrive in Watson Lake and this testing will be available starting Tuesday, September 21.
Yukon Communicable Disease Control is working closely with the school to perform contact tracing and ensure all necessary measures are in place to protect students and staff.
There is no change in the recommendations for the Grade 1 class or the rest of Johnson Elementary School at this time.
The health and safety of students and staff is always our first priority, and our schools are ready to support students with continued learning from home and to respond to COVID-19 with Operational Plans for Communicable Disease. At this time, it is important for us to continue working together to stay calm and support our community. We all have a part to play in keeping our schools safe, and a big part of that is responding to these situations with kindness and compassion. Please take care of yourselves, take care of each other and stay home from school if you feel unwell.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
We are well prepared for this outbreak and our schools remain safe places for our children. We have recommended school measures to limit spread and I am so grateful to see that their implementation that has done exactly that. We continue to be actively engaged with our school and community partners to respond to this outbreak. The best way to keep our schools safe is for all eligible adults and youth to get vaccinated. Vaccinated people prevent spread and protect us all.
Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott