Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

ISOLATION RULES TIGHTEN – Premier Sandy Silver, Mary Tiesen, the Yukon government’s American sign language interpreter, and Dr. Brendan Hanley are seen left to right at the Oct. 21 COVID-19 briefing. This morning, the premier and doctor discussed changes to Yukon-B.C. border restrictions.

COVID-19 escalations blow away Yukon-B.C. ‘bubble’

Effective Friday, the bubble the Yukon has had with British Columbia will be halted, and all people travelling or returning to the territory will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

By Whitehorse Star on November 19, 2020

Effective Friday, the bubble the Yukon has had with British Columbia will be halted, and all people travelling or returning to the territory will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Premier Sandy Silver and chief medical officer Dr. Brendan Hanley made the announcement at a press conference held Thursday morning.

Silver said his government has been monitoring closely the rising cases of COVID-19 in other regions across Canada.

“Over the last week, the number of COVD-19 cases has been rising here and across the country,” said Silver. “In some cases, very dramatically.

“We have been watching other jurisdictions closely and in particular, we have been thinking of our northern neighbours in Nunavut.”

Hanley said he and his team have been watching the daily tally in B.C., analyzing the numbers and data and watching what restrictions were being applied in which areas.

Projections in B.C., Hanley said, are for a continued surge.

“So even though we have not had cases directly linked to the B.C. bubble, we recognize that the risk is increasing while at the same time we are seeing more Yukoners identified as contacts of cases down south,” said Hanley. “Or, as contacts in cases linked to travel.

“We are aware that this worsening situation poses an increasing risk of introduction of COVID in our territory. Given the increasing risk of multiple cases or outbreaks in Yukon and the increasing case activity in B.C., I therefore gave my recommendation to cabinet (Wednesday) that government consider suspending the bubble until such a time we see cases in B.C. stabilize.

“We will need to get to a point where we are once again comfortable that cases are contained and the curve is once more flattened.”

The Yukon still remains in a state of emergency, which Silver said has been “integral to our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Our actions throughout the pandemic have been guided by epidemiological data and the recommendations of the chief medical officers,” said Silver.

“As you are aware, the situation changes rapidly. COVID-19 numbers are accelerating quickly in jurisdictions across Canada.

“In light of these surges, and following the recommendation of the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, we are ending the B.C. territory mobility bubble and expanding the self-isolation requirements to all those entering our territory.”

Silver admitted it is not welcome news to a lot of Yukoners but “we must consider what is needed to keep Yukoners safe.

“The new cases we have seen in Yukon recently, combined with cases in Nunavut and British Columbia and across the country made this a necessary decision,” the premier said.

“I also heard (B.C.) Premier John Horgan’s call to restrict non-essential travel within Canada.

“We support B.C.’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in that province and we must do our part to contribute to the national efforts to contain this disease.”

Travellers and Yukon residents returning home must have a self-isolation plan in place before entering the territory, and all will be required to sign a declaration.

Critical service workers do not need to self-isolate as long as they are following the guidelines put in place by the chief medical officer of health and are travelling and returning to Yukon for work purposes.

People transmitting through the Yukon are still required to stay on the designated route – that has not changed, Silver said.

Residents of communities of the B.C., Yukon border areas such as Atlin and Lower Post who rely on Whitehorse to access amenities and essential services will be able to still enter the Yukon without being required to self-isolate provided they have not travelled to the rest of British Columbia or Canada in the last 14 days.

Both Hanley and Silver recommended that Yukoners who had travel plans to B.C. to reconsider their itineraries – whether it is to cancel them or rearrange them.

Silver said the decision to close the border was not made lightly, and recognizes it will have an impact on Yukon businesses. He encouraged people to shop local during the holiday season.

Hanley became choked up when speaking of the difficulty of the recommendation to end the B.C. bubble.

“These decisions are so difficult to make and we know,” said a teary Hanley. “We know there will be family and friends, students and visitors with broken hearts.

“But I feel this decision is in the overall best interest of Yukoners at this moment in these difficult days.

“It does feel like going backward. But in other ways, this will give us more capacity here to meet the COVID threat and allow us to continue to move forward.”

Comments (31)

Up 0 Down 3

Mick on Nov 25, 2020 at 2:37 pm

@ June
Lucky for us, it isn't you making decisions on our behalf, we'll leave that to the professionals. We'd look like Trumpland. Have you drank your bleach today?

Up 15 Down 13

Sandy Jamesen on Nov 23, 2020 at 4:11 pm

Can’t you folks do anything right? I’ll help ALL of you. 1. Wear a mask 2. Maintain 6 feet of distance 3. Don’t gather in groups larger than 6 - You’re ALL welcome.

Up 21 Down 17

Sheepchaser on Nov 23, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Dear Lori,
My elder family members are safe at home or practicing physical distancing. I practice all the recommended precautions to keep them and myself safe.

However, I feel that that’s where it must end. Enable and support those who should stay home due to vulnerability. Make sure they are safe. Do not shut down the world, sink two generations coming up behind them deeper into debt and eradicate the hard fought liberties my great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and I sacrificed to for *through service*.

You have only moral outrage. I swore an oath and continue to honour it. Your fear of this virus may be paramount, but I fear a society of cowards who do not have the brain power to contemplate what today’s fear is doing to our future.

Up 12 Down 11

Juniper Jackson on Nov 23, 2020 at 10:41 am

LEE: I am writing to support you. A thumbs up doesn't seem to have the depth of meaning. I have also read most of those reports, and I post in 5 of the UN/WHO forums (of, at least 200 forums sponsored out of the UN and WHO). There are thousands of poster supporting your comments. All over the world people are going to civil disobedience. The Trudeau government has ordered 36,000 units of tear gas. https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/canada/it-harms-everyone-canadian-human-rights-group-calls-for-ban-on-tear-gas-1.5091794?cache=yes?clipId=263414 While I can not conceive of a circumstance in which Canadians would use this against their fellow Canadian's.. unless Trudeau is expecting major pushback against what you describe as 'draconian'. I objected right from the start Silver putting a state of emergency in place. People didn't seem to realize that that relieved them of ALL of their civil liberties and constitutional rights. That the government did not put a 6 PM curfew in place, and if they are jailing people it hasn't hit the news.. hefty fines I think but that's not hitting the news either. No matter what evidence is presented, or who presents it, the sheeple will never look at it, they will cling to their soothers and abuse anyone who tries to take it away from them.

Up 10 Down 13

JohnW on Nov 22, 2020 at 1:32 pm

"Asymptomatic transmission is not or has ever been a driver by which respiratory infections are spread in epidemics." -- Dr. Anthony Fauci
Symptoms are proportional to the concentration of viruses in the body and the rate of shedding.

The idea of masks, is that they protect others from being exposed to your asymptomatic shedding of viral particles and thus infecting others. This misinformation is contrary to medical science, because in reality, we should welcome being exposed to asymptomatic shedding viruses as these folks are shedding at very low levels. That's how our immunity gets the benefit of developing knowledge without the dangers of exposure to high dosage rates as one would find from someone who is highly symptomatic.

Covid restrictions have turned fear into a virtue. Those who are afraid believe they are better people than those who aren't, and will subconsciously look for ways to multiply fear, because it's their virtue.

Up 20 Down 11

Lori on Nov 22, 2020 at 11:41 am

Dear Sheepchaser and signed everyone under forty,
Shame on you. I’m sure your parents and grandparents would be so proud of you.

Up 40 Down 4

My Opinion on Nov 22, 2020 at 2:01 am

So why are First Nations still allowed to cross borders at will, citing their treaty rights. What about our constitutional right to free movement?

Different standards you say?????

Up 21 Down 31

EJ on Nov 20, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Glad the Yukon Party came to its senses and is now supporting the border closures. They were really on the fence for a long time.

Up 6 Down 3

Max Mack on Nov 20, 2020 at 10:23 pm

@ Derp
Small population bias. Look it up. It's a thing.

Up 26 Down 25

Lee on Nov 20, 2020 at 7:52 pm

This was an open letter to Civic, Territorial and Federal Authorities
As one who enjoys research I have spent a good deal of time seeking the facts, the truth and potential motives in trying to understand the present situation. I have since the beginning had a disquieting feeling that something is not right. I present verifiable 'facts' from published / peer reviewed sources, and trusted authorities which if accepted would challenge the ongoing measures put in place which I consider draconian, and cause more damage than the virus.

Regarding the decision to make face masks mandatory in CGC and Takhini Arena and re-constitute quarantine measures between B.C.

These decisions are entirely inappropriate and continue to perpetuate disportionate fear and concern. On a number of fronts this is patently absurd.
Fundamental to this is the absolute lack of scientific evidence on the efficacy of masks. If you are immune to factual evidence you will consider that the widespread mandating of masks verifies their validation. This is simply superstition. Here are samples of studies which have found no usefulness in masks...
A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)
A Covid-19 cross-country study by the University of East Anglia found that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection. (Source)
I copied the first 3 of a multitude of others archived at a clearing house of source documents and Facts about Covid-19 – "Swiss Propaganda Research"
If you open this link and run down to number 10. Masks in the list you can find an archive of appropriate studies which conclude almost unanimously "no appreciable effect"... Also the links there take you to the actual studies.

Secondly Cases identified by the PCR test are not only highly suspect but over estimated by probably orders of magnitude. Not only are there an unknown % of false positives, but they do not identify someone with the disease infection but only the presence of a viral fragment, and do not discriminate between other Corona type viruses ( the common cold) which may have been from former illnesses. In short, they are no representation of an actual disease. A person in hospital with some other illness, generic respiratory or other condition with a PCR test positive is put down as Covid-19 completely without basis. ( and hyper inflates the true numbers of covid deaths) Further Information on PCR tests can be found also in the link I provided under number 13. PCR tests explaining the inappropriate use of these tests. The widespread use of this highly flawed test is used as validation for all measures.

Thirdly one of the world expert epidemiologists Dr. John Ioannidis of Stanford University included 61 studies and 74 estimates world-wide and has concluded that the median Infection Fatality Rate for Covid-19 was 0.23 putting it in a normal to moderate flu category. For people under 70 the Infection Fatality Rate is 0.05 making it much less dangerous than influenza... This paper is now peer reviewed and published in the bulletin of the WHO. One can find and read a copy of this paper also in the link I sent you under number 1. Lethality I
One asks oneself why is this public information not widely published in Media. The widespread dissemination of this scientific study should immediately puncture the fear balloon constantly pumped up by the media representation of the surge of "rising cases" of .... spurious infections.

Finally we have virtually no evidence of any danger in the Yukon ( even if this was a dangerous disease, and masks were effective) One or two 'cases' does not constitute an emergency (even if one believes in PCR tests having any relationship with the actual infection) We have been, thankfully, relatively at ease for the past many months... nothing new has occurred, and yet now you decide to put in place stricter measures. Thus this is completely based on 'nothing scientific' and only perpetuates a completely false narrative about what's happening.

So one is left with very disturbing conclusions. First IF the "Chief Medical Officer" of the Yukon does not have this information where have they been? Anyone can find this information, surely those responsible for public health would go out of their way to confirm and make sure that their decisions were based on sound evidence... all evidence !!! Even in the Yukon their decisions have already been catastrophic for many businesses... those peoples livelihoods have been ruined by your complacency.... or? If you are simply following the Pied Piper who is that? ...you need to stand up and begin questioning who is calling the shots and why?

If you want me to avoid the obvious conclusion that this whole program is being put in place "in spite of and opposed" to all medical and scientific evidence then you need to come clean. Which authorities are really determining and implementing these decisions, and why? If you are simply following directions it behooves you to do your own investigation. What's going on? You will be held to account at some time, even if it's by God Almighty. You need to be honest with yourselves.


Up 26 Down 11

JohnW on Nov 20, 2020 at 5:37 pm

@Derp, the Covid mortality rate in the Yukon is zero percent. Nobody has died from Covid. One elderly person with multiple comorbidities died with Covid. Learn the difference between 'with' and 'from'.

Up 13 Down 7

How is mortality 4%? on Nov 20, 2020 at 4:20 pm

Take population, divide by dead

"The territory’s population was 42,052 as of July 1," (from Whitehorse Star)
There are 2 dead. So 2/42052 =.00004752

That's the percentage. Unless you're doing by "number of cases" which is useless because you don't know the number of people tested. So if less than the majority is tested, the number will rise!

Up 13 Down 8

JC on Nov 20, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Derp: I think you're the one that has a problem with math. Out of a population of about 36,000, total Yukon has only one Covid19 death, not 1440. And I would like to see the medical proof of that.

Up 11 Down 29

Derp on Nov 20, 2020 at 3:00 pm

@Max Mack
I guess math isn't your strong suit eh?
Mortality rate in the Yukon for COVID sits at 4%

Up 28 Down 21

At home in the Yukon on Nov 20, 2020 at 2:52 pm

I really enjoyed the window of access we had with BC. However, BC has become COVID-ridden. I am actually surprised that the bubble with BC hasn't been popped earlier. I am four-square in support of the "divorce" with BC.

What I would like to see is a jurisdictional standard to determine when borders open and close. I would propose that we say that any established jurisdiction that has fewer than 1 new case per 100,000 automatically bubbles with us. I would propose that any bubbled jurisdiction that exceeds 2 new cases per 100,000 automatically lose its bubble status. BC, with its current 12+ cases per 100,000 certainly doesn't qualify by this standard.

Up 25 Down 31

DL on Nov 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm

Back in March 2020 they claimed the covid lockdowns were temporary, and only to “flatten the curve”. But we never even had any significant covid curve! Now they’re claiming we need to ‘stop the spread’ of covid. See how they keep moving the goal posts? Even the WHO recently acknowledged that covid infections have now reached 10% worldwide. At this rate, eradication of covid is not gonna happen, ever. Eventually our immune systems are going to adapt to it, as we have with other viruses over millions of year.

By now we know that covid isn’t any worse than a bad flu season. It’s been known for decades that the flu kills thousands of elderly folks every year, and also some younger people. Yet we don’t declare pandemics and lockdowns for the flu.

Lockdowns KILL our life sustaining economic and social systems. Yes, lockdowns kill people. It’s been proven that suicides and overdose rates exploded during covid lockdowns, also domestic abuse and child abuse. All of which have extreme and long term consequences far worse than covid ever had.

Look up “The Great Barrington Declaration” signed by thousands of health professionals who oppose lockdowns and recommend a focused approach such as supporting vulnerable people who wish to self-isolate until this covid virus passes. Why isn’t mainstream media talking about this?
Also look up “Dr. Roger Hodkinson on how governments responded to COVID”, which is a November 2020 presentation made by Dr. Hodkinson to Edmonton city council, urging them to drop mask and lockdown measures. Dr. Hodkinson’s expertise is in virology.

Up 16 Down 12

Justsayin... huh? on Nov 20, 2020 at 1:28 pm

You're assuming I don't know. Bad assumption. The person was 64 years of age and I'm aware of their underlying medical issue.
No medevac to Vancouver or Whitehorse.

He had serious health conditions. He was told to stay home and isolate the hospital could do nothing for him. The question is, if the hospital wanted, could they have put him on a ventilator in B.C.?

He just wasn't important enough. If Hanley got it, I'm sure he'd get every health option available. So Just Sayin.
Go ahead, be afraid, be very afraid, and live in that bubble that says "but the hospital will help me if I'm dying!" (ralph wiggum voice)

Up 17 Down 45

SheepChaser on Nov 20, 2020 at 10:59 am

Dear Denis,

I hope your remaining few years seem worth it at the expense of all our futures.

Everyone Under Forty

Up 31 Down 47

Max Mack on Nov 20, 2020 at 9:00 am

Christmas coming and the fascists cannot help themselves by issuing more restrictions. This has been going on for almost 9 months, and they are still claiming emergency powers for a virus that has better than a 99% survival rate.

How many people are going to unnecessarily suffer this Christmas because of this nonsense? People should be marching in the streets.

Up 9 Down 3

Ian Skinner on Nov 20, 2020 at 8:10 am

Using a traveler's postal code would be a much higher level of the persons background when it comes to highly infected Covid areas. It probably won't be completely accurate but using provinces as "Covid zones" is missing the mark.

Up 27 Down 7

Just Sayin' on Nov 20, 2020 at 8:07 am

"What difference does it make?" has a very poor understanding of the death that occurred in Watson Lake. That death - when actually considering the facts surrounding the death - does not reflect a faulty healthcare system that is unable to do anything.

Our resources could very well be strained if community spread occurs, especially considering our aging population.

Up 30 Down 27

Darwin davies on Nov 20, 2020 at 3:04 am

Keep up the good work Dr Hanley and premier silver keeping Yukoners safe we will get through this together.

Up 27 Down 24

DL on Nov 20, 2020 at 12:36 am

Once again, the media is pushing the “increasing covid 19 cases” narrative, but fails to provide the relevant information. We still don’t know whether these “cases” are simply positive test results. These people may not even be sick at all. The PCR tests which are used to detect the covid virus were never meant to detect illness, they only detect fragments of the virus. Or perhaps these folks only have mild symptoms and recovering from home as with any other cold, and how does that qualify as a ‘pandemic’.

We need responsible journalism with specific information, because so far we don’t have anything substantial to justify another lockdown. Such as, how many critically ill people from covid in ICUs in the Yukon, BC and NWT, and how does this compare to previous years’ flu data? How many people died OF covid, instead of WITH covid and other pre-existing conditions? Every year thousands die from the flu, so at which point are we dealing with a ‘pandemic’? Vague pronouncements about “increasing cases” contribute to fearmongering, and a frightened public is led down the path of government policies that have disastrous consequences. Governments and health care professionals do make mistakes. Remember the dismal residential school system, the over-prescription of antibiotics that created superbugs, the opioid crisis created by big pharma, etc, etc.

Look up the Globe and Mail article entitled “Overdoses are killing more people in Western Canada than COVID-19.”

Up 29 Down 17

NATHAN DOIRON on Nov 19, 2020 at 9:15 pm

Let me guess the critical workers will include the politicians like Saaandy, and our beloved leader Trudeau

Up 21 Down 28

Yukoner32 on Nov 19, 2020 at 7:27 pm

I'm pleasently surprised to see the Yukon Party and NDP come together to support the government on this.

Now that they both agreed we are in a real emergency and that border closures are necessary, perhaps those business owner "freedom fighting" yahoos will drop their frivolous lawsuit to open everything up. I mean when no political party is willing to back your position, that should be a pretty clear sign that you are being unreasonable. Again, kudos to Kate White and Currie Dixon, you guys rock!

Up 23 Down 3

northerngirl on Nov 19, 2020 at 3:25 pm

Why not administer a rapid test at the airport before boarding the plane? Then require a 5 day self isolation after arriving home. Day 5 retest with a more robust test, and if negative end quarantine

Up 12 Down 14

Juniper Jackson on Nov 19, 2020 at 3:10 pm

I have been in favor of testing everyone from the get go! But, way back, they said it was too expensive..though in Ontario they had hundreds of thousands, of the same healthy people getting tested every week. Testing has always been the way to go, to catch those 21 to 30% that show no symptoms, and to capture the numbers of people that had it, but recovered. They also said way back when, masks are useless and closing the borders are useless.. Who knows what to believe when Trudeau has brought 5 million people in untested. I have felt right along that the outbreak of covid was to big to be contained.. And here we go, lock downs, and shut ins. are back.. the first things that failed to contain it.

Up 16 Down 11

Wilf Carter on Nov 19, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Yukoners there is not magic solution to this situation but we have to protect ourselves and our Yukoners.
Anyone exposed CV19 should take precautions to not affect the general public. Failing to do that they should be charged and judged according.
Yukoners we are talking about our health and lives here.
Ones that don't take it serious send them some where else.
I had problems that looked CV19 but had not left my house.
SO my doctor sent me for the test and it came back negative.
When not sure be checked.

Up 56 Down 47

What difference does it make? on Nov 19, 2020 at 1:47 pm

People say "oh we're worried with a serious outbreak you'd overrun the hospital."
Why not let people face the reality that if you're found with "Covid" and are in serious need of medical attention, the response is
"Send them home."

That's what was done in Watson Lake. The person died at their home because the hospital said they couldn't do anything there. So what sort of joke is it that our "resources" are going to be strained. Wouldn't make a lick of difference.

Up 67 Down 59

Denis on Nov 19, 2020 at 1:39 pm

Thanks very much Mr. Premier & Dr. Hanley.
We are in our 80's and worried sick. We are trying to do everything correctly.
Please keep up the good work.

Up 77 Down 28

Matt on Nov 19, 2020 at 1:24 pm

Time to get tests that are rapid... 1 hour at the airport or upon arrival. Pass = no isolation....no test = isolation and fail = isolation.

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