State of emergency declared in response to increased spread of COVID-19 in the Yukon

In the past three days more than 80 cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health, bringing the total number of active cases in the Yukon to 169. In response to this significant surge in COVID-19 cases in the territory and widespread community transmission in Whitehorse, the Government of Yukon is declaring a state of emergency under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) effective immediately.

Declaring a State of Emergency will allow the Government of Yukon to quickly implement new temporary measures recommended by the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health to rapidly decrease transmission and ensure the territory’s healthcare capacity is not overwhelmed.

The new measures include:

  • Mandatory masking in all indoor public settings and in outdoor public settings where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
  • Limits on personal gatherings to 10 people from a maximum of two households if all eligible people are vaccinated; household members only if any eligible people are unvaccinated.
  • Limits on organized gatherings, including conferences and weddings: indoor gatherings limited to 25 individuals with proof of vaccination required; outdoor gatherings limited to 50 individuals.
  • Limits on seated ticketed events, including arts and sporting events: maximum 50 per cent of venue capacity with proof of vaccination required; seating limited to individual households with physical distancing between households.
  • Limits on faith-based and cultural gatherings: maximum 50 per cent of venue capacity with proof of vaccination required; seating limited to individual households with physical distancing between households.
  • Restrictions on restaurants, bars and nightclubs: proof of vaccination required for table service with a limit of six individuals per table; no counter service, no moving between tables and no dancing.
  • Restrictions on gyms, fitness and yoga studios and classes: high intensity classes are suspended; proof of vaccination required for low intensity classes and organized sports.
  • Restrictions on personal services: proof of vaccination required.
  • Limits on other indoor public spaces: maximum 50 per cent of venue capacity.
  • Individual workplaces may be required to temporarily close under direction of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

Yukoners are strongly encouraged to follow these new measures immediately and they will be enforced under CEMA starting on November 13, 2021.

The new measures will be in place until at least December 3, 2021. The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health will continue to actively assess the risk levels in the territory associated with COVID-19 transmission and adjust recommendations as necessary.

The Government of Yukon is moving rapidly to implement the proof of vaccination requirement for designated settings to align with the new recommendations from the acting Chief Medical Officer of Health.

As of November 13, 2021, individuals will be required to provide proof that they have received two doses of an approved vaccine to access a designated setting. The list of designated settings is being finalized and will be made public before November 13, 2021.

The acting Chief Medical Officer of Health is recommending that schools remain open with the following additional measures:

  • students wear masks when in classrooms and seated at their desks; and
  • activities between schools are suspended until further notice.

Masks are currently required in all indoor school settings outside the classroom, including common areas and hallways. With the new recommendations, masks will now be required at all times inside schools.

Yukon communities are at significant risk from the current case activity. The acting Chief Medical Officer is recommending that travel between communities, and between communities and Whitehorse, be avoided until further notice.

We are seeing a resurgence of COVID-19 in the territory and we need to take immediate action to protect the health and safety of Yukoners. Declaring a State of Emergency and introducing new temporary measures will help limit the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the strain on our healthcare system. All Yukoners have a role to play in keeping our communities safe. Following the safe six, masking up, and getting vaccinated are steps you can take to protect your friends, families and neighbours.

Premier Sandy Silver

We are seeing dramatic increases in COVID-19 spread in Yukon and need to take strong measures to prevent further transmission. We need to pull together now to prevent severe illness from COVID-19 and protect our healthcare system. Please follow these measures and continue to support our healthcare workers who remain dedicated through this long response.

acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott

Quick facts 
  • The State of Emergency will be in place for up to 90 days and may be terminated at any time.

  • The vaccine clinic in Whitehorse is open five days a week:

    • Monday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    • Thursday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
    • Friday: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • The clinic in Whitehorse is located at the Yukon Convention Centre, 4051-4th Avenue. Vaccines are also available in all Yukon communities at local health centres. 

  • Yukoners can request their proof of vaccination credential online at yukon.ca/vaccine-proof or on the phone via the COVID-19 InfoLine at 1-877-374-0425, seven days a week, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Contact 

Renée Francoeur
Cabinet Communications
867-334-9194
renee.francoeur@yukon.ca

ECO Communications
867-332-3135
ecoinfo@yukon.ca

News release #: 
21-444