March 25, 2020: Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health provides update on COVID-19

This news release has been updated to provide further clarification. 

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 test results

As of today, March 25, at 10 a.m. there are three cases of COVID-19 in Yukon.

This third case is related to travel outside of Yukon. The individual was tested on Monday, March 23 and test results were received this morning. The individual is doing well at home and contact tracing has begun.

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

Services for hospital outpatients

Yukon hospitals are suspending all non-urgent or routine services from Thursday, March 26. This includes bloodwork and lab tests, x-rays, CT scans and other imaging services, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, and specialist appointments.

Yukoners should not go to a hospital for a non-urgent service, treatment or exam at this time. The hospitals continue to provide urgent emergency care.

These measures are being taken to help the hospitals make sure they have enough staff and resources to respond to the pandemic and ensure only those who need to be in hospital are in a hospital. These steps also support their efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 – and practice physical distancing from each other.

Health care insurance

Clarification: Temporary absences have been extended to allow clients until June 30, 2020 to sign in with Insured Health and Hearing Services. People registering for the first time will be able to register by phone but will still have to fulfill a waiting period before being eligible for Yukon Health Care Insurance.

Respiratory assessment centre

The respiratory assessment centre in Whitehorse is now open to support people with acute respiratory illness such as influenza or COVID-19 who need medical assessment. Yukoners will be referred to the centre from 811, a family physician’s office, Yukon Communicable Disease Control or a hospital emergency department.

Self-isolation

Yukoners and any visitors are reminded they must self-isolate for 14 days as soon as they arrive in Yukon if they have travelled within Canada or internationally. People must not stop to get groceries or make visits but go straight home and then arrange the support they need.

Yukoners should also self-isolate if they have been identified as a close contact of someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Self-isolation means staying at home for 14 days, monitoring for symptoms and avoiding close contact with other people when going outside for fresh air. The term “quarantine” is not used in Yukon, as it is used by the Public Health Agency of Canada to mean a mandatory restriction of movement in a location determined by that agency.

Yukon.ca

Yukon.ca continues to be the central place to find information about the territory’s response to COVID-19 and is regularly updated to provide support for Yukoners. Yukoners are reminded to use the online assessment tool on Yukon.ca if they have concerns about COVID-19.

Contact 

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

News release #: 
20-069