May 5, 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, May 5, at 2 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.

All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,041 individuals have been tested.

We have traced each case in Yukon so far to its origin which means there continues to be no known community spread in the territory. We assume community spread has occurred when we can no longer trace how somebody became infected.

Daily updates

The Government of Yukon publishes information about COVID-19 tests daily 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.

Yukon modelling

Modelling shows that because Yukoners have followed the six steps to staying safe, we have successfully reduced the spread of COVID-19 in the territory. If we had not put restrictions in place when we did, our modelling shows we would have expected to have seen around 2,500 cases of COVID-19 by May 1. Instead we saw 11.

We would also have expected approximately 150 people to be in a hospital by May 1. No one in Yukon infected by COVID-19 has had to go to a hospital and, on average, there are 28 unoccupied hospital beds every day. If we’d had 10 cases and no restrictions, we could have seen more than 7,000 cases, with close to 1,000 hospitalizations.

We will provide a technical briefing about modelling in Yukon soon.

Pandemic impact on Yukoners

It’s vital that Yukoners continue to practise the six steps to staying safe. As a territory, we must take a long-term view of the pandemic and move gradually and in an evidence-based way that’s specific to Yukon circumstances towards easing restrictions so we can ensure we’re always prepared for any changes in our situation.

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everybody in different ways, depending on our circumstances and vulnerabilities. We cannot always anticipate how each of us will be affected. Yukoners can play a role in supporting others through this difficult experience as well as making sure we seek help for ourselves when we need it.

We must also balance our personal responses to the pandemic with the risks to other Yukoners’ health. Each safe action we take helps others who are vulnerable.

Spartan Cube machines

On April 17, 2020, we said we expected to receive the Spartan Cube machines we had ordered from the federal government around the end of May for portable, rapid testing around the territory. However, because of problems with the Spartan Cube’s performance, Health Canada will no longer be supplying the machines.

Six steps to staying safe

The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of more than 10; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.

Latest information

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

Contact 

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

News release #: 
20-123