Whitehorse Daily Star

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CAUTION EXPRESSED – Dr. Brendan Hanley, seen at Wednesday’s weekly briefing, is strongly encouraging all members of a household to consider self-isolation for 14 days when family members return from outside the territory.

Cases of COVID’s Brazilian variant reported in territory

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, announced two more COVID-19 cases Wednesday in Whitehorse.

By Tim Giilck on April 15, 2021

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, announced two more COVID-19 cases Wednesday in Whitehorse.

The new cases are part of what he called a “family cluster”. The bad news is that they are infected with the so-called “P” or Brazilian variant that is causing concern around the world.

“Obviously, we’re concerned,” Hanley said during his weekly briefing. “It’s the first cases of this variant.”

The family in question is self-isolating and being monitored, Hanley said.

The Brazilian variant is of particular concern since it’s not clear whether the existing vaccines, such as the Moderna vaccine being used in the Yukon, is effective against it.

Hanley said the issue is under research but nothing can confidently be said about the vaccine and the variant.

It’s already somewhat unclear how long the current vaccines may offer protection for, or if they prevent someone who is fully vaccinated from transmitting the virus.

Statistically, Hanley said, even these new vaccines, which have performed impressively in studies, give a window of five to 10 per cent for a person to catch the virus. The severity of the infection should be limited, he added, but there’s a lot of uncertainty about things.

The cluster of infections, he said, came from a family who travelled into the Yukon from Outside.

He wouldn’t identify the location, but indicated it was from one of the provinces where the Brazilian variant had been previously noted.

That’s been the pattern for most of 2021 in the territory, Hanley said. Small incidences of COVID-19 keep appearing, and all are related to travel.

There is no sign of community transmission, and that’s how he’d like to keep it.

“We’ve had success due to a variety of strategies,” Hanley said.

He continued to say he’s concerned about the relative lack of vaccine uptake amongst younger adults.

They are making up the bulk of infections across Canada currently, Hanley said. Here in the Yukon, vaccine uptake in this group is rising by one per cent a week.

One new item of information is bound to interest the public. Quoting from some of the latest studies, Hanley said he would no longer recommend people bother to go out of their way to overindulge in cleaning surfaces, or worry about becoming infected from handling groceries or mail.

The latest information indicates surface infections are rare and unlikely from most commonly handled items, he said.

“No single measure will stop COVID,” Hanley said. “”Even the vaccine may not work on its own. That’s why it’s hard to say when restrictions might be lifted.”

With classes ending for many college and university students, Hanley said, there might be changes coming to self-isolation requirements.

He strongly encouraged all members of a household to consider self-isolation for 14 days when family members return from outside the territory. He also suggested wearing masks inside during the period and not sharing meals together.

Those measures could be made mandatory as Yukon medical officials say they need it.

Comments (39)

Up 14 Down 4

Ray’s Sister on Apr 20, 2021 at 12:29 pm

Hello Hammer - We cannot call it the Wuhan or China flu because that is racist. Brazilian is racist because it suggests something about Latinos. However, if you get a Brazilian then it is just a matter of a haircut? What about Brazil nuts? What do they call them in Brazil?

Everything is about race these days... And we should tolerate any ambiguity from those who would use these ideas to control us, to tell us how and what to think... And within the traditional Indigenous way of knowing one cannot separate the self from place, from the land, the land is knowing and belonging - Stop racisming!

Up 29 Down 12

motive unclear on Apr 20, 2021 at 7:57 am

First of all, thank you Whitehorse Star for this comment section! It is allowing a greatly needed vent for public frustration.

As for the insinuation, that if one is opposed to having his life, friendships, income and family destroyed because he is selfish, I do not think that is entirely fair. Furthermore, if acting in self interest is so inherently evil, then why hasn't there been one single announcement wherein any govt official is reducing or eliminating his salary during this terrible plague? Or am I missing something?

I would argue that we all act selfishly, if we are even slightly honest with ourselves, but if you want a really good example of it, look to your shepherds!
The people have paid a terrible price in suffering already, especially those business owners who have refused to go on welfare during this time, old people dying alone, not understanding why their loved ones don't seem to care anymore have also paid a terrible price.

Young people, who have had to endure endless tiresome mandates and lock downs when they should be most enjoying life, who have lost opportunities for summer employment going into the second summer now. These are the people I am arguing for and not myself only. And while all this is going on, the Yukon's leaders and all the bureaucrats, continue to collect full salary and benefits, not giving up one solitary penny!
Yet they dare to use words like "equality", sustainability", "diversity" and suggest comically that "we are all in this together" ....???

So yes, Mama Grizzly, I am a selfish person, but my selfishness extends to some concern for the elderly, the young, and all those among us who have suffered the most during these "challenging times". So if it is selfish to want their suffering to end, i guess that's the label i have to wear instead of that great status symbol of caring, the oxygen preventer.

Now probably you will go back to your teevee. Just go on believing their terrifying stories and don't believe your own lying eyes.. People are DYING! Whole ecosystems are COLLAPSING! I want you to PANIC!

Up 7 Down 3

TheHammer on Apr 20, 2021 at 6:09 am

Buenos Dias@ It's not about race it's about place of origin.

Up 19 Down 22

Wowzers on Apr 19, 2021 at 4:56 pm

Just so I have this clear:

There is a global conspiracy to control everyone through masks and vaccines and the Government of Yukon has been invited to sit at that table and play a part in it?
The government of a population of less than 50 thousand people has been included in a worldwide conspiracy. And that makes complete sense to you.


Up 27 Down 3

North_of_60 on Apr 19, 2021 at 4:24 pm

@JustSayin, I agree with you up to the last point, but...
How about the people who do not want to stop smoking, or do not want to stop eating junk food, or don't want to stop drinking and driving or using harmful street drugs, sign a waver stating they are relinquishing their right to receive medical help if they get sick or injured? Is that what you want?

Up 8 Down 32

Magic School Bus on Apr 19, 2021 at 3:39 pm

@ Disappointed - I love the irony... A group of conservatives getting together to concoct a counter-narrative to refute the Left’s narrative of socialism, Communism and the fascistic fear-porn continually on the assault of logic, reason, and sciences. Wow - That is some kind of special.

You realize that Conservatives are less likely to be at bars than the Liberal Lefty’s, RIGHT? Something about church and morality and decency etc... I think - You should try it.

It is a scientific fact that Lefty-Liberals have a greater propensity for mental ill-health and that the Conservatives who are mentally ill are closeted Liberals... So not really Conservative.

FFS! The idea that you equate school and experience as some path to correctness on the maters currently before the public - You’re effing nuts! It’s political theatre, sophistry for the m’asses. The idea that there are people out there who embrace and endorse this pathology - SICKEN ME - Worse than any version of Covid Could!

There must be something in all that ganja you Lefty’s be smoken!?!?

Up 14 Down 18

JustSayin' on Apr 19, 2021 at 11:47 am

Until a real vaccine which confers complete immunity is derived, the government must accept we are going to live with this. Society needs to understand using the paradigm of technology to fix everything is not going to work. The Spanish flu is something we have lived with since its first infection. It mutates at least once a year and people die from it. Yet we are not running about, requesting the Government develop a vaccine. We all need to be accountable for our actions and the effects of them. How about the people who do not want a "vaccine" and do not want to wear a mask, sign a wavier stating they are relinquishing their right to receive medical help if they get COVID and/or a variant?

Up 8 Down 15

Josey Wales on Apr 19, 2021 at 11:31 am

oops, sorry folks...been sanitized.
Musta has the wrong opinion, and dared express it.
My Gaaaawwd...what a complete monster and clearly am morally bankrupt eh?

"I know it's out of fashion
And a trifle uncool
But I can't help it
I'm a"... free thinking fool ...Martha & the Muffins, snowflake soundtrack I think?

guess Grizzlies are now a protected class?

Up 25 Down 32

Disappointed on Apr 19, 2021 at 11:00 am

More of the usual posters; letting fly with conspiracy theories and facts they picked up from their buddies at the bar. To all those like bonazajoe, motive unclear: this isn't about just you, this is on a worldwide scale, regardless of how good the Yukon is doing. Have some empathy for your common man and realize that just because you could be fine, or your friends could be fine, there are others who won't be. Do I agree with all of Dr. Hanley's points? No, but I bet he went to school a lot longer than most of us.

Up 36 Down 19

DL on Apr 19, 2021 at 12:07 am

The key words here, quoting Hanley: "The family in question is self-isolating and being monitored". Are these people even sick? And if they're sick at all, it sounds like an ordinary cold where we normally stay at home to wait it out. Just like the other 74 previous 'cases'.

How accurate are those tests? What exactly is the goal? Hanley says that covid is here to stay, get vaccinated, but even if you're vaccinated transmission is still possible, a transmission of a virus that you don't know you have until you get 'tested', so the restrictions will stay in place. This is completely absurd.

People wake up.

Up 15 Down 23

Atom on Apr 18, 2021 at 10:43 am

Man...whether Covid is here or not it's apparent folks are infected with ridiculous GOP ideals and notions.
Nuclear bombs Bonanza? Conspiracy? Power grab?
I did love the fear porn suggestion, though not because I believe the conspiracy thing but because of the obvious 'brazilian' linkage there....which brings good thoughts...
So, given science is always lauded as fact I guess reading comments in WS could be a true Sunday morning cartoon for '20-'21.
Thank you all, it's been a long year.

Up 36 Down 20

Rogue Kodiak on Apr 17, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Dear Mama Grizzly - You are insulting our intelligence. Facts do not care about your feelings. The contradictory messages that “they” have been pumping out about this shamdemic are grossly disproportionate to any consideration of credibility let alone facts or evidence. Then there is the issue of the lack of evidence on support of mass violations of human rights and charter rights. It does not matter what “they” say!

Are they lying to you intentionally or unintentionally - It does not matter because they are “lying”... And those who would support the lie, are accomplices after the fact, but just as culpable in the damage being done to society.

Is this sham being used for an ulterior motive... I ask you this: Does a bear poop in the woods?

Up 32 Down 30

Charlie's Aunt on Apr 17, 2021 at 5:00 pm

I have kept quiet on this thread so far, but you can now have at it with the thumbs down. I cannot believe the thoughtlessness and short shortsightedness of some posters. Does anyone watch the news and see what is happening elsewhere? Most success in preventing spread has been from strict lock-downs, far more severe than we have.
Ed is correct, fully open the borders and we are in trouble. Essential travel is one thing, but otherwise stay put and don't bring bugs home. Many of our small businesses have managed to stay open and we have few restrictions compared with elsewhere.
Anti maskers: what's the big deal? Mamma Grizzly is right on; it's not about you, it's about how much you respect and value others you come in contact with and as with many other diseases, people can be innocent carriers. For those who think otherwise, the vaccine doesn't prevent anyone catching the virus, it is supposed to prevent you from becoming seriously ill with it.

Up 28 Down 52

Mamma Grizzly on Apr 17, 2021 at 1:57 pm

@motive unclear. Your comments make me both sad and angry. PEOPLES’ LIVES are at stake. Covid is real. The restrictions are meant to keep everyone - as a community- safe from harm. If you are reading media that tells you otherwise, please please challenge yourself to read real information and credible sources. And please Consider that the restrictions aren’t ABOUT YOU, they are about protecting other people.
We are nowhere near herd immunity yet without our kids being vaccinated. I have a child who has compromised health and will be at huge risk of he gets covid. PLEASE consider that the restrictions are to protect people like him, and the many in our community like that who can’t get vaccinated yet. They have rights too.

Up 38 Down 22

motive unclear on Apr 17, 2021 at 6:51 am

Do you, yourself, apart from all outside influence and fear, personally believe that the restrictions on your freedoms are necessary and helpful?
If you do, fine, please go to your room and shut the door and come out when you feel it is safe.

As for those who answer "no" or "hell no", why are you obeying these overlords of ours? Isn't it because of fear? Fear of punishment? Fear of public reaction to your disobedience of the state?
Enough of us overcoming our fear of state power can end this and clearly nothing else will.

Up 31 Down 10

NickyB on Apr 16, 2021 at 7:27 pm

I want to know if I'm immune to Covid. Canadian company LifeLabs www.lifelabs.com developed an internationally recognized antibody test for Covid immunity. Millions of tests have been done. However the CMO will not permit this test for Yukoners. Why isn't the Covid immunity test available here?

Is the government afraid to discover that 80% of Yukoners are already immune to Covid? That's what immunity tests in other jurisdictions have shown. It sure looks like we're being purposefully misinformed to prolong their lockdown & restrictions agenda indefinitely.

Up 36 Down 20

Grouchop d'North on Apr 16, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Mandatory testing for all entering the Yukon. Just do it!

Up 29 Down 13

we have a vaccine on Apr 16, 2021 at 2:16 pm

hey @ed, how scary!

Good thing we have a vaccine with 94%+ effectiveness eh? Quit the fear mongering.

Up 25 Down 39

Ed on Apr 16, 2021 at 10:36 am

Assuming your 1% survival rate is acceptable, then if every Canadian is infected, 300 Yukoners will die. 300,000 Canadians will die.

Many others will have long term side effects, some serious, but they'll live.
What you see now is nothing compared to what you'll see when the borders are opened again.

Up 51 Down 8

Daniel Lewis on Apr 15, 2021 at 10:59 pm

Why don’t people just get tested on return? I hired a Hummingbird Mobile Health. A nurse came to my house and swabbed me while I was in isolation. I had my result the same day and at least knew I was most likely not going to get anyone sick. It was well worth the money.

Up 31 Down 25

Question on Apr 15, 2021 at 9:45 pm

So the variants are now coming our way. How is this happening? Well fellow Yukoners are still travelling south for shopping and R & R. So why is it the border into Skagway is allowing them to go down thru, then to Juneau, go to Seattle and then south? Same as flying to Vancouver unnecessarily?
Hanging out south - messy spring is here and coming. THIS IS WHY WE ARE GETTING NEW CASES. Testing not done at airports properly either? Let truth be known, stop the unnecessary, so the rest of us can live and not worry about variants and COVID in Yukon. Very few need be doing this and those who are needing to come for work/essential/necessary trips are being penalized by stupidity of others, now flights carrying COVID shoppers, holidayers and the like. Some do follow CMO and Canada guidelines for their home lands as set forth.

Up 31 Down 39

Wick on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:57 pm

We should be concerned, there’s vulnerable people that are around, and people saying don’t fear the variant should listen to the doctor. I can’t believe people are so selfish. Think about other people. It is serious and don’t bring political stuff into it. It has nothing to do with the virus. It’s people’s health we should be concerned with - come on, think about vulnerable people.

Up 35 Down 45

motive unclear on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:27 pm

Everything about this story and the response to the story is wrong wrong, wrong. The lungs are designed to dispel carbon dioxide and inhale fresh oxygen. Masks prevent both actions so how can this be "healthy"? Injecting everyone, which is apparently the goal with an experimental genetic altering mechanism is so obviously wrong it shouldn't need stating. Would anyone of us be willing to give this injection to someone they love without having the faintest idea what it will do to them in the next 6 months, 6 years? I sure wouldn't! Especially considering the extremely low death rate of a "virus" which no one has found! The ludicrous lockdowns, the maniacal distancing, the foolish germaphobic compulsive handwashing, are all harmful to a healthy population, and destructive to one that is actually ailing.

Again, everything about this story is sick, unhealthy and destructive. Stay away from these people and their witches brew, shoot your tv and let the pushers of this insanity push themselves off a cliff.

Up 47 Down 9

HJ on Apr 15, 2021 at 7:22 pm

Dr. Hanley is being disingenuous about these vaccine details. Everything I've seen suggests its effectiveness is not impacted by the Brazilian variant, or at the very least, it remains effective against severe disease and death. As for transmission, there are several quality studies out now from Israel, the UK, the CDC - which conclude that the mRNA vaccines are 90-95% effective against INFECTION, symptomatic or asymptomatic. You can't transmit an infection you don't have. Also, portraying 90% effectiveness as 'leaving a 10% window' reflects a misunderstanding of what vaccine efficacy is. It means the risk of infection is 90% lower than it would be with no vaccine. In the Yukon this risk is extremely low; if you're vaccinated it's 90% lower than extremely low.

If Dr. Hanley wants more young people to get vaccinated, he should tell the government to return to their previous plan to lift all restrictions once most people are vaccinated. Younger people who are not particularly at risk from Covid don't have much incentive to get vaccinated, especially now that the narrative has turned to this nonsense about indefinite restrictions, whether you're vaccinated or not.

Up 41 Down 15

Buenos Dias on Apr 15, 2021 at 6:31 pm

Wait a minute... Isn’t racist to call it a Brazilian variant? Duplicitly, duplicitous, by those who would use duplicity to rule the kingdom of the duplicit, dupes. How much more hypocrisy can we tolerate?

Up 24 Down 9

Murray. on Apr 15, 2021 at 6:16 pm

Ivermectin works for all strains. 90% reduction in transmission. Safe. Why is this not being used? Many countries on this now but not heard of by many people here.

Up 41 Down 35

Matthew on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:50 pm

It's clear now that this madness will NEVER STOP. Unless us citizens grow a pair and realize that covid is the biggest scam since fractional reserve banking! Honestly.. what are you scared of? I'm way more scared of all the unknown chemicals that are allowed to be sprayed all over our foods that the gov and WHO deem safe to eat..

Up 46 Down 17

Juniper Jackson on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:16 pm

"He strongly encouraged all members of a household to consider self-isolation for 14 days when family members return from outside the territory. He also suggested wearing masks inside during the period and not sharing meals together."

"Those measures could be made mandatory as Yukon medical officials say they need it."

Hanley has fallen out of his tree, stark staring nuts. Mandatory? That I wear a mask INSIDE, with my family? How are you going to enforce that? Covid police at my house? to check up? I guess we'd find out just what I am capable of. This is right on line with MR. Tam saying, no face to face sex, wear 3 masks, don't touch each other, don't kiss.. MR. Tam never had a tree. You'd best rethink this one. I am not the only Mother that has been waiting for my children to come home. I can do the isolation, but I will not, EVER wear a mask in my home, let you, or anyone else tell me what I can and can't do in my home. A public street is one thing, MY bedroom, MY bathroom, MY kitchen, MY home? That's something else. ESAD Hanley.

Up 40 Down 19

Max Mack on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Way to keep the fear porn alive, Hanley.

How much longer before people can't take it anymore?

Up 17 Down 15

bonanzajoe on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:02 pm

NickyB: Giddyup on that one.

Up 29 Down 88

bonanzajoe on Apr 15, 2021 at 5:02 pm

Not our biggest problem: And don't forget about the tens of thousands of nuclear bombs hanging over our lives. And many of them in the hands of rogue governments and dictators. And don't forget Biden a demented old man holding on to the red phone and nuclear codes. That folks is, in my estimation the greatest problem facing the word. For those who are so worried about carbon dioxide emissions, and climate change, you will soon get nuclear radiation and a whole lot of climate change to worry about.

Up 74 Down 75

bonanzajoe on Apr 15, 2021 at 4:55 pm

I think a lot of us have just about had enough of this power grab scam. Soon most if not all of us will have had enough as well and we will just go on with our normal lives. If we get it we will just choose to take our chances. The government and the doc spoiled one summer for us, they're not going to spoil this one. Anybody afraid, just stay home and leave the rest of us alone. And that goes for Silver and the Doc.

Up 77 Down 71

nooo on Apr 15, 2021 at 4:47 pm

Oh no. Only 70% of the eligible population has had the first shot, and 50% are fully vaccinated. what are we to do?

Let's stop listening and go back to our lives. The threat is not here.

Up 68 Down 6

martin on Apr 15, 2021 at 4:41 pm

"all members of a household to consider self-isolation for 14 days when family members return from outside the territory?" That's going to be a though one. This case shows it; the visitors - while in quarentine- infected the locals and the locals went about town.

Up 79 Down 50

NickyB on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:46 pm

The weekly doses of fear-porn to justify indefinite restrictions are increasingly redundant. I'm not believing any of the CMO's proclamations until he explains why he will not permit Covid Immunity tests for Yukoners. Is it because evidence of the high levels of natural Covid immunity that occur in most healthy populations would remove his excuse for never-ending restrictions?
It sure looks like it.

Up 29 Down 34

Casa loma on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:42 pm

1% of deaths - so don't worry, be happy like Bob Marley says and watch out for them snakes in the grass.

Up 62 Down 47

At home in the Yukon on Apr 15, 2021 at 3:04 pm

Ooooh, Brazillian variant. Fear!
The vaccine works against the Brazillian variant. Israel is hardly vaccinated more than we are and has clearly achieved herd immunity, despite the Brazillian variant. The UK is less vaccinated than we are, has the variants, and has probably achieved herd immunity. We are MUCH MORE vaccinated than the rest of Canada.

It is time to open up, folks!

Up 47 Down 28

Mike on Apr 15, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Yep. Everyone go get your vaccine because we are continuing to only supervise our borders 18 hours a day instead of 24. The sick ones can just come on in. The worst Variant and we get it here. Perfect. Maybe we can think liberal and hand out more free money and that'll help out. No hope.

Up 49 Down 30

Not our biggest problem on Apr 15, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Anybody talking about the reason these viruses are evolving in the first place? Factory farming, cruelty, poaching, wet markets.

We are going to have to accept that corona virus / 'covid 19' is here to stay and people are going to get sick, some will have permanent or semi permanent damage, and a few will die. That's what happens when your population is at plague level, you do not care about the destruction of the ecosystem or abuse of non-human animals, and you do not take any notice of your place in the system.

Covid 19 is a joke compared to what is coming. Empty oceans, non-fertile farmland, diverted rivers to water the desert for population expansion, more viruses, the ascendency of China, increasing economic inequality in the first world (always been the case in the developing and 3rd world).

I'm not distracted by the shiney whirligig. Maybe we better start talking about the much larger underlying problems and looming disasters, and I'm not talking about Carbon Dioxide.

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