Following the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Respiratory Assessment Centre (RAC) will close end of day on Sunday, May 31, 70 days after opening.
The RAC was established to respond to the need for respiratory illness assessment, high rates of influenza and COVID-19 testing outside of the acute care system and at Yukon Communicable Disease.
The centre was open to individuals who had travelled and were experiencing symptoms, and also to members of the general public who were experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness. With physicians’ offices closed to most in-person visits, the RAC was designated as the location for testing.
The RAC currently sees an average of five patients daily, influenza season has peaked and the COVID-19 risk in Yukon is currently low. Therefore, these small volumes of patients can be easily absorbed by the emergency department, with persons with a travel history or contacts still being screened at Yukon Communicable Disease Control. The RAC has effectively supported Yukon’s efforts to assess and test for COVID-19 and limit the spread of infection in the territory.
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley
Thank you to everyone who worked together to get the Respiratory Assessment Centre up and running so quickly and a big thank you to the front line workers who screened and tested the hundreds of Yukoners who used the RAC. We are lucky in the territory that our public health measures are working. If the RAC is needed again, we are poised to have it set up within one day.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
The Respiratory Assessment Centre operated out of the Yukon Convention Centre on Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse.
During the 70 days of operation, it assessed more than 400 individuals; more than 225 of those were tested for COVID-19.
Currently we have a total 13 staff, two nurse practitioners and 13 physicians on contract working at the RAC. Daily we have between five to six staff, one nurse practitioner and one physician working.
Individuals who are returning from travel outside Yukon and experience symptoms should contact 811.
Individuals who have not travelled but are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness should contact 811.