Twelve cases overnight; vaccination the key to prevention of further spread

Yukon’s Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott is issuing a strong recommendation that anyone not yet vaccinated make an appointment for their shot at the mass clinic in Whitehorse or at their health centre in rural Yukon. Her recommendation comes after 12 new cases of the COVID-19 Gamma variant (P.1) were diagnosed overnight.

Ten of the cases are in Whitehorse and two in rural Yukon communities. Positive cases range in age from 10 to 40 years. All cases are linked to a Whitehorse contact. Only one individual in this most recent group was vaccinated. Of the 36 cases diagnosed since June 4, only two have been fully vaccinated. Three of our earlier cases have now recovered. We currently have 33 active cases.

This outbreak involves several groups:

  • graduating Whitehorse high school students and their close contacts;
  • two classes at Elijah Smith Elementary School; and
  • adults who are socializing at parties and in bars.

Specific guidance has been provided by Yukon Communicable Disease Control to all student groups and parents, as well as individual positive cases.  

Letters sent to parents and guardians  

  • Read the letter sent to parents and guardians with children at Elijah Smith Elementary School.
  • Read the letter sent to parents and guardians with children in Kindergarten to Grade 7 at other Yukon schools.

The events of the past 11 days are deeply concerning, we are seeing the effects of COVID-19 in a way we have not before seen in Yukon, and we are all touched by this in one way or another. It is important now to recognise that since this pandemic began, we have worked hard together to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. We know how to do this. Vaccine plus continued adherence to the Safe 6 plus masking is our way back to a good place.

It is now more important than ever to get vaccinated. The science shows that our best shot at protection is full vaccination.  We also protect ourselves and others by practicing the Safe 6 plus 1. Most people in Yukon are doing the right things. Now is also the time for us each to do our part, to be kind, to be respectful and to support each other.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott

Backgrounder 

Public exposure notices

There are no public exposure notices however any person who is unvaccinated and not following the Safe 6 plus 1 is considered to be at risk of contracting COVID-19 and should monitor for symptoms. Any additional exposure notices will be posted to https://yukon.ca/covid-19-exposure.

People with symptoms

With current active cases in Yukon, testing for COVID-19 infection is more important than ever in order to identify possible community spread. People who are vaccinated may acquire COVID-19 in rare circumstances and should seek testing if symptoms develop.
 

Anyone experiencing symptoms in Whitehorse should call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book on-line to arrange for testing at https://book-covid-19-test.service.yukon.ca/en/.  People in communities should contact their rural community health centre.

Safe 6 plus 1

Everyone in Yukon should follow the Safe 6 plus 1 (plus 1 means wear a mask) at: practisesafe6.ca

COVID-19 symptoms reminder

Anyone experiencing any of the following symptoms should self-isolate and arrange to be tested immediately:

- fever
- chills
- cough
- difficulty breathing
- shortness of breath
- runny nose
- sore throat
- loss of sense of taste or smell
- headache
- fatigue
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting

Contact 

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

News release #: 
21-185