Whitehorse Daily Star

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CHART SYSTEM UNVEILED – Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical health officer, answers questions during Wednesday afternoon’s weekly COVID-19 strategy briefing. Photo courtesy YUKON GOVERNMENT

Chart helps parents determine kids’ health status

Yukon students have been back in the classroom for four weeks.

By John Tonin on September 17, 2020

Yukon students have been back in the classroom for four weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon, during the weekly COVID-19 press conference, chief medical officer Dr. Brendan Hanley and Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee addressed concerns they’ve heard from parents.

“This is a school year like no other, but we are pleased the majority of our schools have been able to return to full-time face-to-face learning and that all Yukon students are able to connect with their friends and teachers every day,” said McPhee.

“We are very fortunate here in the Yukon to be in a position where our students can return to the classroom. It truly takes a community to raise and educate our children.”

Hanley acknowledged the challenges of learning and teaching in an “altered environment,” but said we are all learning.

“One of the most challenging areas we’ve all been grappling with as parents and caregivers, or as children or staff in schools is knowing what the right thing to do is when children are sick,” said Hanley.

To assist parents and caregivers, Hanley introduced a chart, which he said all parents should receive by the end of the week. It’s designed to assist them in determining what sick means for a school child during this new normal.

“The literature to date, along with data accumulated from some large jurisdictions, does indicate to us which symptoms are safer and which symptoms are higher risk,” said Hanley.

“Thus, we have created a new tool based on a stoplight approach.”

The first step is to assess the child every morning before he or she goes to school. In the green situation, where there are no symptoms, the student can attend classes.

Hanley noted the green section also includes pre-existing symptoms from previous health conditions using the example of allergies.

The yellow light category includes a list of lower-risk symptoms.

“In these cases, keep the child at home and observe for 24 hours,” said Hanley. “If these symptoms resolve in 24 hours, children can return to school without having a COVID-19 test.

“If symptoms last more than 24 hours, children must get tested or stay home for 10 days before returning to school.”

The exception to this, Hanley said, is an isolated runny nose.

“We know that this symptom alone is only very rarely associated with COVID and we all know how common this symptom is during the fall and winter months,” he said.

In the red light scenario, COVID testing is strongly recommended.

Symptoms include a cough, fever and chills, difficulty breathing and a loss of taste and smell.

“With this information, we hope to help keep illness out of the school while keeping children in school as much as we can in the current context,” said Hanley.

“Students and staff continue to adapt and settle in very well. Every additional day that goes on well shows that our working premise that the best place for children to be during the school year, is in school.”

Meanwhile, six new charges were laid under the Civil Emergency Act last Friday and the past Tuesday, bringing the total to 12.

Two charges were given out last Friday: failure to self-isolate and failure to transit through the Yukon.

Four charges were laid Tuesday: two failures to self-isolate and two failures to behave in a manner consistent with the declaration.

“We will not provide information that may identify anyone, such as their name or where they received the charge,” the government said in a statement.

Travellers who are required to self-isolate must complete their entire 14-day isolation when they arrive back in the Yukon.

This includes people who spent time in B.C., the N.W.T. or Nunavut after they travelled from other regions of Canada or internationally.

People must also be reachable at the phone number and address they’ve provided on their declaration form throughout their period of self-isolation.

They may receive a spot check call from the government. These calls are separate from the Public Health Agency of Canada checks that are for people who have been outside the country.

As of Wednesday, the government had received 795 complaints:

• failure to self-isolate: 441;

• social gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 23;

• failure to transit through the Yukon in 24 hours or stay on the designated route: 308;

• businesses failing to comply with orders: eight; and

• failure to abide by a declaration form or not permitted entry into the Yukon: 13.

A total of 45,685 travellers have come into Yukon, with resident travellers numbering 9,379, B.C. residents 8,615, N.W.T. residents 257 and other approved jurisdictions (Nunavut) 623.

There have been 261 decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles permitted in the territory.

As of Wednesday, the COVID case count for the Yukon remained at 15, with everyone having recovered. There have been 3,020 tests administered.

From Sept. 9 to Sept.16, 129 people were tested at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse.

With Halloween creeping ever closer, Hanley said his office is working on some guidance so children and parents can celebrate the occasion even in a modified COVID context.

Comments (9)

Up 2 Down 6

Juniper Jackson on Sep 22, 2020 at 4:47 am

I am so glad I do not have children to raise these days. Little ones, kindergarten and first grade being terrorized. Wear this mask, don't touch anyone, don't trust anyone, don't get close to anyone. The ages when it's important to know how to talk to other people, play together, make a friend, be a friends, team work, trust.. turned into fear. Those little kids don't have the vocabulary to voice those fears, and so, going quietly, and lonely, through their days. What's that strange little beast going to be like in 10 years? Children have to be socialized..learn what is appropriate.. apparently Hanley doesn't care about the side effects of the agenda he's pushing..or Trudeau.. and certainly not Teresa Tam. My neighbor is slapping his wife around again.. where is she going to go? The shelters are full.. his workplace has shut down, no job for him to go to. He's looking though, I'll give him that..

Up 5 Down 6

JayW on Sep 20, 2020 at 3:35 am

Masks may not be 100% effective, as per your article that you cited JohnW, there still is an effectiveness to the mask. Would you take the risk of wearing no mask or would you take the chance of reducing the risk by wearing a mask? I am in a totally different mindset of making a Yukon bubble, nobody in or out but that may be a little totalitarian.

Up 9 Down 5

WE the scandalous on Sep 19, 2020 at 2:48 pm

This new normal... A sickening and disgusting phrase repeatedly uttered by maniacal despots with little ability or regard for intelligent thought... It’s threatening.

This Orwellian dream has been an intellectual coups d'état of the weak minded. It could have only occurred in a world of Millennials and Gen-Zedders whose propensities for conformism to authoritarian rule are unparalleled in any other time or history outside of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia in the early to mid 1900s.

The assault on the individual and on reason is the true nature of these current measures - It is unbelievable that the world would fall for the same tactics it once ‘repulsed’.

In case you had doubts... I am making a direct comparison between today’s social control laws and those that led other people in other times astray. Beware your privilege as you sit at the controls because absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Up 10 Down 17

JohnW on Sep 18, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Masks and respirators do not work.
There have been extensive studies, which all show that masks do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.
Furthermore, the relevant known physics and biology, are such that masks should not work. It would be a paradox if masks worked, given what we know about viral respiratory diseases: The main transmission path is long-residence-time aerosol particles (< 2.5 μm), which are too fine to be blocked, and the minimum-infective-dose is smaller than one aerosol particle.
This study [https://tinyurl.com/y5mqjy9u] about masks illustrates the degree to which governments, the mainstream media, and institutional propagandists can decide to operate in a science vacuum, or select only incomplete science that serves their interests. Such recklessness is also certainly the case with the current global lockdown of over 1 billion people, an unprecedented experiment in medical and political history.

Up 23 Down 4

Maddad on Sep 18, 2020 at 9:10 am

How did it go from "stay home til your symptoms subside" to "stay home for 10 days", and somehow get construed as being better for parents?
Hanley am I missing something? My kid's school plan says to keep him home until symptoms subside for 24 hours or a negative test. So if he is sick for 2 days and no symptoms for a day, he goes to school.
Now according to this new "plan" he has to stay home for 10? What the hell are you trying to do to parents?

Up 6 Down 6

JC on Sep 17, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Sounds like a good plan.

Up 27 Down 24

Max Mack on Sep 17, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Silver and crew getting tough on crime? Nope. But, they are keen to brag about charges they've laid under the Civil Emergency Act. Gotta get tough on those pesky Americans that stop to shop for groceries or get vehicle repairs! Karens of the world unite and Silver and Hanley will act to save you from the dreaded COVID!

Zero Covid hospitalizations. Zero Covid deaths. An infection rate that is practically zero. Time to end the fear-mongering and the lockdowns. Time to end authoritarian rule.

Up 25 Down 19

Yukoner on Sep 17, 2020 at 2:27 pm

Or how about we just require anyone entering the territory to take a test. We have no cases so the only way its coming here is by being brought back by someone so go to the source. By the time it makes it to a kid in school it could have jumped a couple times.

They are leaving parents with poor options, subject your kid to a horrible test or take lots of time off work, not all of us have unlimited sick and special leave and some actually have work to get done.

Absolutely ridiculous how this government has handled the response in relation to kids in school.

Up 40 Down 18

Matthew on Sep 17, 2020 at 1:39 pm

“If symptoms last more than 24 hours, children must get tested or stay home for 10 days before returning to school.”
The exception to this, Hanley said, is an isolated runny nose.

Wow, it's true, some runny noses can last longer than 24 hours! Sick for 2 days, off of school for 2 weeks! I wonder how this will affect the parents who are lucky enough to have work to go to..


I give the entire liberal government a RED light for following orders from the UNELECTED, UN and WHO. Whose failed and wrong predictions have got us here to begin with! Want to be healthy? Take care of your immune system! Come on Hanley and Silver, let's chat, ON the record!

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