The Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health issues strong recommendations for Watson Lake

The Yukon’s acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott is strongly recommending that people in Watson Lake wear masks in indoor public spaces. She is also recommending those at risk of severe disease keep their contacts to a minimum, including those over the age of 65 and those with chronic health conditions. This recommendation is for anyone while they are in Watson Lake, regardless of their home community. People from Watson Lake can safely travel throughout the territory by following the public health recommendations where they travel. All Yukoners with COVID-19 symptoms should stay home and get tested when sick; they should also get their vaccine.

Her recommendations come following the identification of seven new cases in Watson Lake overnight, bringing that community’s total active case number as of today to 25. She reports a total of nine new cases in the Yukon since noon Wednesday, September 22, to noon today. The total active case count for the Yukon is 42.

Watson Lake cases have been identified in the elementary and high schools, family clusters and adults in the community. When there are a number of unlinked situations such as this, it indicates that there is transmission in the community. Fewer than 75 per cent of those eligible in southeast Yukon have been fully vaccinated, therefore ongoing sustained transmission is possible in the absence of these measures.

A rapid response testing team will be in Watson Lake holding testing clinics from Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. People who tested negative prior to Friday, September 17, 2021, are being asked to get re-tested while the team is in the community next week.

Vaccine clinics will be held at the Watson Lake Health Centre on October 1, 8 and 15 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Phone the health centre at 867-536-5255 for more information or to book. Walk-ins are welcome.

I am concerned about the increasing number of cases in Watson Lake and the potential for spread given the population vaccination rate. Now is the time for us all to pull together and take the necessary steps to keep each other safe. This includes masking in indoor public spaces, practicing the Safe 6 and, for those who are eligible, getting your vaccine. The best way to protect seniors, Elders and children is to get your vaccine. Your vaccine protects you. Your vaccine protects your community.

Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Catherine Elliott

Backgrounder 

Public exposure notice

The acting Chief Medical Officer of Health has issued the following public exposure notice:

  • Air North flight (4N510)
    Tuesday, September 21, 2021
    Vancouver to Whitehorse
    Departure: 9:25 a.m., arrival: 11:50 a.m.

This is considered a low risk exposure and everyone on this flight is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, until Tuesday, October 5 and to arrange for testing if they develop any symptoms.

Testing and vaccines

Anyone experiencing symptoms in Whitehorse should call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book online to arrange for testing.

People in communities should contact their rural community health centre to arrange for testing.

Contact 

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

News release #: 
21-361