Yukon Confirms New COVID-19 Cases, Issues Potential Exposure Notices in Whitehorse

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Yukon health officials announced fresh cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the province’s tally of active cases to 9 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley said at a news conference Wednesday morning that three of the currently infected persons are hospitalized.

Hanley additionally acknowledged Wednesday morning that things had changed “quite dramatically” since last week, when there were no known active cases in the region.

As of Wednesday morning, Hanley said there were three confirmed cases in Whitehorse, as well as another probable case in the city, and another probable case in an unnamed rural area.

Later on Wednesday, officials said one of the probable cases had been confirmed, and they additionally announced another confirmed case, bringing the region’s tally of cases to 92, with 9 currently considered active.

The two most recent confirmed cases involve a Whitehorse resident, and a resident from a community.

Officials additionally issued new potential exposure notices on Wednesday afternoon, both in Whitehorse on Thursday, June 3:

  • Save On Foods, between 2 and 3 p.m.
  • Bigway Foods, between 3 and 3:45 p.m.

The new cases in recent days come after three confirmed cases at the Victoria Gold’s Eagle mine near Mayo, Yukon. Those cases were reported over the weekend.

Hanley said Wednesday morning that officials are still trying to figure out the source of infection for all the recent cases in the province.

“We don’t have the answers yet,” Hanley said.

“This could be different introductions of infection causing different outbreaks, or it could be all part of one outbreak. So clearly that’s information we’re interested in.”

He said it is possible the number may continue to rise.

“Be prepared for higher case counts,” he said.

Hospitalized people not vaccinated

Hanley said the three persons now in hospital are in “stable” condition. He additionally said that none of those people had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The hospitalization rate for the new cases is “remarkable”, Hanley said, given that so few of Yukon’s earlier cases led to hospitalization.

Hanley additionally confirmed that the three infected persons at the Victoria Gold mine had all received at least one shot of the vaccine, and one of those persons had gotten both shots.

“Infections in fully-vaccinated people are rare, but they do occur,” Hanley said.

He additionally argued that the situation would be in Yukon right now if the vaccination rate was lower than it is.

He additionally argued that the condition would be worse in Yukon right now if the vaccination rate was lower than it is.

As of Monday 7, around 79% of eligible adults in Yukon had received their first shot and around 71% had received two doses.

Hanley said the goal at the moment is to see at least 75% of eligible Yukon residents fully vaccinated, and ideally, 80%. The more people get vaccinated, the more secure we will be”, Hanley said.

Isolation requirements eased for children

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee also said on Wednesday that Yukon will soon be relaxing some isolation requirements of unvaccinated kids.

As of June 18, any kids under 12 who are traveling with fully vaccinated parents or caregivers won’t have to isolate for 14 days when they enter the province.

In May, the region also eased the 14-days isolation requirement for anybody arriving in the province at least 14 days after their second vaccine dose.

McPhee said on Wednesday that no additional restrictions will be lifted until at least 75% of eligible Yukoners are fully vaccinated.

“Vaccinations are not a silver bullet when it comes to COVID-19, but they do provide considerable protection,” she said.

McPhee additionally said the fresh cases in the territory

“provide a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet.”

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