COVID-19 Updates

 

Yukon Government COVID-19 Update

Updated Data As of January 5, 2022

  • There have been over 2,000 COVID-19 cases in the Yukon and 15 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic
  • 302 active current cases reported in the territory – an unprecedentedly high number – and it is believed that cases are actually much higher than this due to challenges with testing, asymptomatic cases, and underreporting
  • The average new daily case count is 50 cases over the last 7 days, and 63 cases over last 3 days; this means that the case count is rising
  • Nearly 90% have received 1 vaccine dose and 80% have received 2 doses (people aged 5+)
  • Approximately 33% of eligible adult Yukoners have received their boosters 
  • Boosters are now available for people aged 18+ who had their second dose over 2 months ago; appointments are available and recommended, but walk-ins are also being accommodated where possible
  • 4 ICU beds exist in Whitehorse, and these are the only beds in the territory, which means that surge capacity is very limited

Summary

  • New measures enforced under Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) are beginning on January 7, 2022 and are intended to limit contact between individuals and limit transmission
  • The Yukon Emergency Relief Program and Vaccine Verification Rebate are government-funded support for businesses and organizations impacted by new public health measures
  • The Paid Sick Leave Rebate is still available for up to 10 days’ worth of wages for workers who are sick, isolating or caring for others. This program is available for those who have already accessed it.
  • “Schools should be the last thing to close down in a pandemic” and are staying open at this time with safety protocols in place: masks inside at all times, distancing, and more.
  • To monitor the safety of schools, YG and public health officials are monitoring case numbers in schools, cases in school-aged children, transmissibility taking place in schools specifically, and severity of disease among children.
  • The Omicron variant is highly transmissible and affects all people including those who are vaccinated however, the risk of severe illness or death is much higher for those who are not vaccinated, those who are elderly and those who live with chronic disease.

New Measures in Effect on January 7, 2022

  • Indoor personal gatherings: limited to 10 people from a maximum of two households if all eligible people are vaccinated; single-household members only if any eligible people are unvaccinated.
  • Outdoor personal gatherings: limited to 25 people from a maximum of three households regardless of vaccination status.
  • Organized gatherings: proof of vaccination is required; indoor gatherings limited to 25 people or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is less; outdoor gatherings limited to 50 people.
  • Restaurants, bars and nightclubs: proof of vaccination required for table service with a limit of six people per table; tables need to be spaced two metres (six feet) apart; no bar or counter eating or service; no moving between tables and no dancing.
  • Entertainment venues, including movie theatres, theatres and museums: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50% venue capacity, whichever is less.
  • Recreation and leisure sites, including gyms, fitness studios, sports facilities and art studios: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is less.
  • Recreational team sports: proof of vaccination is required; activities within cohort or teams only up to a limit of 25 people (e.g., practice, skills and drills); no games between teams. Out of territory travel for sporting events is not recommended.
  • Businesses and retail: maximum 50% capacity. Businesses are strongly recommended to have operational plans in place to limit close contact between people and keep their employees and customers safe.
  • Personal services establishments: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50% of venue, whichever is less.
  • Faith-based services: proof of vaccination is required; limited to 25 people or 50% of venue capacity, whichever is less.
  • Public saunas and steam rooms or baths are not allowed to operate.
  • Mandatory masking in all indoor spaces and outdoor spaces where physical distance is not maintainable

Testing

    • Due to the rapid spread of Omicron, testing systems are becoming overwhelmed and Yukoners will not be able to book a test within reasonable time periods
  • PCR testing should be reserved for those who have underlying health conditions, and those whose professional or familial duties require them to have absolute certainty of their COVID-19 status. These people should be prioritized for PCR testing. If you are healthy (do not have underlying health conditions) and do not require PCR testing to fulfil your familiar or professional duties, the government is requesting that you do not get a PCR test.
  • If you are symptomatic, fully vaccinated and do not have any underlying health conditions, do not get a PCR test; consider yourself positive and isolate for 7 days. Isolation should end after 7 days as long as you have no symptoms.
  • If you are symptomatic and not healthy or have underlying health conditions, isolate yourself immediately and call your primary health care provider to determine your safest and the best course of action
  • If you are symptomatic and do not fall into any of the categories above, isolate for 10 days
  • If someone who you have had contact with tests positive for COVID-19, follow these steps

Conclusions

  • The Yukon Government is working on getting access to rapid at-home testing and is working with the federal government to get supply
  • Stay home if you feel sick even with mild symptoms
  • Practice the Safe 6, follow masking guidelines especially when indoors, get vaccinated. 
  • Vaccination is the best form of protection against COVID-19 infection and illness
  • When you are fully vaccinated, you are less likely to be infected, to infect others, to be hospitalized, to experience severe illness or death.
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • The Yukon Government is encouraging all eligible people to get vaccinated, including those who have previously been infected by COVID-19
  • Wearing a mask and getting vaccinated is not just for yourself, but for others and those around you, in your community, health care workers and those who cannot limit their contact.

Links

Get the latest updates and information on the Council of Yukon First Nation – COVID-19 Information Hub.