First cases of COVID-19 variants of concern identified in Yukon

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has confirmed two new cases of COVID-19 today, including Yukon’s first case of a variant of concern.  The second case is not considered a Yukon case. 

Case 73 is a Yukon resident who resides in Whitehorse and is linked to international travel. Existing federal processes were followed including COVID-19 testing at time of arrival in Canada. There is a presumptive positive for a variant of concern. The specific type of variant is not yet known and the sample is undergoing further testing. The individual is doing well and has been in self-isolation since arriving in Yukon.

The second case is a non-Yukon resident who arrived in Yukon on March 21. Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) was contacted by another jurisdiction and this case has tested positive for B.1.1.7 and is linked to an outbreak in another jurisdiction. The individual is doing well and has been in self-isolation since arriving in Yukon. 

Exposure notices

People may have been exposed to COVID-19 infection if they were on the following flight:

Sunday, March 21, 2021

  • Air North Flight Vancouver to Whitehorse
    • Flight Number: 4N574
      ​6:40 p.m. (PST) to 8:41 p.m. (PST)

Although the risk is low, anyone on this flight is asked to self-monitor for symptoms. If any of the following symptoms present, individuals should self isolate and arrange to be tested immediately:

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

Yukon residents can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at the Whitehorse Convention Centre. Walk-ins are accepted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

People in Whitehorse with symptoms

Any Yukoner who is experiencing even mild symptoms should call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book an appointment online at https://book-covid-19-test.service.yukon.ca/en/  for testing. After testing, individuals must self-isolate until their test results come back.  People in communities should contact their rural community health centre.

We anticipated that we would see variants of concern, like B.1.1.7 in Yukon at some point and we are prepared to handle it. We can be thankful that both of these individuals have taken the proper precautions with self-isolation, and with the quick work of Yukon Communicable Disease Control, we will be able to control these cases and prevent any spread. This is a reminder that Yukoners must remain vigilant. COVID-19 is always lurking around the corner.

Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley

Contact 

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

News release #: 
21-094