Whitehorse Daily Star

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Ted Hupé

‘COVID-19 is alive and well’

The head of the Yukon Association of Education Professionals says COVID-19 is still rumbling through territorial schools.

By Tim Giilck on May 16, 2022

The head of the Yukon Association of Education Professionals says COVID-19 is still rumbling through territorial schools.

Ted Hupé told the Star this morning that while the situation has improved somewhat this spring over what was happening during the winter, absenteeism amongst students and teachers has been steady.

It’s just not being publicized by the government, he pointed out.

It’s an out-of-sight, out-of-mind situation, he said.

“COVID-19 is alive and well,” Hupé said.

With changes in testing and reporting making it more difficult to analyze statistics, dealing with the pandemic has gone from being reasonably well reported to its current status as a “free-for-all”, Hupé said.

It’s not uncommon for teachers or students to have prolonged absences of a week or longer as they deal with the virus, but no one talks about it anymore, he said.

At one time, staff and students were under more pressure to report their positive cases, but now there’s no onus.

When people are absent for a week or more, Hupé said, there’s a presumption they’ve had COVID-19, but no one knows for sure.

“There’s no stigma to it anymore,” he said.

The Star has received informal and anecdotal accounts that some schools were seeing as few as eight students attending in the last week.

Hupé agreed that roughly matched what he is hearing, although he declined to identify any specific schools experiencing problems.

Prior to May, elementary schools were being hit hardest by the virus, he said, but now it’s across the board.

“It doesn’t matter how many students are out,” he said. “It’s the number of teachers that matters (for purposes of keeping classes operating). That’s the reality.”

Technically, Department of Education regulations that are in place state that any irregular pattern of absenteeism, or rates of more than 10 per cent of students and/or teachers, should be reported to the department.

However, Hupé said the rates have been at and above 10 per cent for so long it’s become the new normal, so the definition of what’s unusual is now being stretched.

“I couldn’t tell you what the standard is now,” Hupé told the Star.

It’s up to the school principals to make that call, he pointed out, adding to their responsibilities and stress.

The availability of substitute teachers and support staff such as educational assistants continues to be a challenge, Hupé said.

There simply aren’t enough to go around, he said flatly.

No one from the department was available to discuss Hupé’s concerns before press time this afternoon.

The numbers for COVID-19 cases in the territory are remaining fairly stable.

According to Friday afternoon’s numbers, as posted by the government, there were 48 active cases and eight new diagnoses.

The testing positivity rate is 29.4 per cent.

Data from the past weekend were unavailable this morning.

Comments (32)

Up 1 Down 0

StatisticsFirst on May 25, 2022 at 5:58 pm

Face diapers do not stop aerosols. Omicron is a nothing illness. Absenteeism during flu seasons is normal. There was never any justification for face-diapers, specially not for kids.

Up 5 Down 0

North_of_60 on May 20, 2022 at 6:22 pm

It’s a common misconception that Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is only caused by the HIV virus. This simply isn’t true.

AIDS has many different causes, and unfortunately it looks like the Covid-19 injections should be added to the list of causes, because official UK Government data suggests the Triple Vaccinated population in England have been developing the condition since the beginning of 2022.


Up 24 Down 10

Liam on May 19, 2022 at 11:22 am

I have noticed kids wearing masks when playing alone outside. I think it helps them stay anonymous, like window tinting or sunglasses. Society clearly needs people to be less social and more withdrawn, as our sunny ways sometimes are just too much, wink, wink....... After all a smile is a great way to remove anxiety and improve mental health.

Up 8 Down 15

Anonymous on May 19, 2022 at 10:53 am

@Hannah A
Wanna make babies? I'm unvaxxed so they won't be genetically altered. I also like to limit the use of plastics due to microplastics corcerns, as you mentioned about the masks. People are breathing in microplastics and don't even realize. Masks are safe and effective, Rosemary Barton told me on the CBC news last night. I'm dead serious by the way if you're single.

Up 20 Down 10

Salt on May 19, 2022 at 8:24 am

Bravo Hannah.
The shameless cowardice of treating children like dangerous disease vectors to be mitigated. There is something disgracefully wrong with our society.

Up 17 Down 10

DL on May 19, 2022 at 1:13 am

Hey Sheepchaser, please calm down. You're not thinking rationally. A simple internet search would reveal that this news has appeared on many reliable independent sites. Here's another source, by the World Council for Health:

" #StopTheWHO - The WHO is making a power grab over our health sovereignty by changing the International Health Regulations"
"In May 2022, World Health Organization (WHO) intends to amend the International Health Regulations to give greater control to itself and Tedros Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO. This pushes our world towards a centralized governance model of worldwide health surveillance, reporting, and management, where the people have no say."


What's really 'malignant' is that this matter isn't even mentioned by mainstream media and governments who are supposed to represent us.

Up 15 Down 11

a northerner on May 18, 2022 at 8:48 pm

By all means Ted, let’s bring back the stigma of contracting covid—then we can continue shaming and discriminating against those who get it just like the mandates shame and discriminate against the unvaccinated. Believe it or not everybody doesn’t buy into the notion of stressed, overworked teachers and administrators. Four weeks of school left and you’re still flogging this dead horse. A person would think you had nothing better to do.

Up 16 Down 9

Jeff Bikaboom on May 18, 2022 at 6:14 pm

It appears the government, and their "trusted media", went from hyperbolic fear mongering reactions of covid cases, to sweeping them under the carpet. But for what reason? Shame, embarrassment, culpability, or all of the above?

It is embarrassing that that teachers were let go for refusing to participate in a dangerous experiment, then months later they are desperately needed because the experiment failed. Let us not forget how quickly things escalate when people are drunk on fear. There is a reason human rights are immutable and inalienable.

There has been a narrative over the last year that unvaccinated people are a danger to the public and that their presence interfered with the lives of those who did the right thing. Hence their exile from society, and the practice of discrimination against them. It turns out that the unvaccinated did not interfere with the lives of the general public, but in fact the opposite is true and the general public interfered with the lives of the unvaccinated. The loss of jobs, the loss of mobility, the banning from restaurants and public spaces was, and is, disgusting. Where did it get us? Everyone is sick, deaths have increased substantially, and we now live in a country with a social credit score. The floodgates have opened as the covid policies warp and expand through all other aspect of our lives. We will reap what we have sown.

The state is not our mommy and daddy. It is time to bring back honor and personal accountability. Start showing some integrity and treat others with respect.

Up 36 Down 8

Hannah A on May 18, 2022 at 1:37 pm

So, tonight you could walk into a packed bar/restaurant in Whitehorse and sit shoulder to shoulder, maskless.
Why are our most vulnerable (children) still being force masked?

You know who isn't required to wear masks? LTC residents. Nurses know it would be ineffective and cruel to force mask our Elders. Why aren't teachers advocating for 5 year olds to be able to learn phonics and read social cues? We are enabling an already existing crisis of child and adolescent Anxiety disorder.

Once again for those who are still not aware after two years:
Cloth masks do not work. It is performance theatre.
Surgical masks work for about 20 minutes if worn correctly. The ear loops cause pressure on developing cartilage which can cause permanent damage. Finally, the environmental waste: 1.6 billion disposable masks made their way into the oceans in 2020 — that’s more than 4 million per day. By the end of 2021, the world had generated about 8 million tons of COVID-related plastic waste with some 26,000 tons ending up in the sea.

N95s need to be fit tested and are NOT appropriate for children.
Who, at this point, is still pushing masks on children? It is dehumanizing to continue to cover these children's faces and intellectually dishonest. At least let them have a choice.

Up 23 Down 9

Anonymous on May 18, 2022 at 12:17 pm


All of that word salad and you still haven't made a single point that refutes what DL poster is saying. If the article about World Health Organization member states losing their democratic powers to an external group is so easy to debunk, then why haven't you debunked it? All you've done is hurl a series of insults and declared yourself to be correct, without any proof whatsoever. Time to wake up bud, they want to enslave you.

Up 26 Down 13

DWD on May 18, 2022 at 9:41 am

The false narrative is alive and well. It is the never ending story that keeps getting pushed through the media. This alone should cause folks to stop and think for a moment.
Absenteeism can also be from side effects of the vaccine. Folks getting sick after taking the vaccine does not only prove the vaccine "does not work", but that the vaccine is most likely the cause of them getting sick. I know first hand of many that have severe side effects, even death, after taking the vaccine.
Also, was 5G installed into the schools? Even 4G is bad enough. It is not your friend, I tell you the truth. No better time to home-school your children, taking them out of the public school system for ever.

Up 29 Down 7

Salt on May 18, 2022 at 8:26 am

Head of a public union complaining that, “There’s no stigma to it anymore,”. This is the type of disgusting creature that socialism/big government gives birth to. Anyone who wishes to publicly stigmatize people, let alone children, for getting infected with a wide-spread respiratory virus should be condemned and removed from positions of public influence.

Up 8 Down 24

Sheepchaser on May 17, 2022 at 6:37 pm

At what point do you think it becomes necessary for folks to get their heads checked? Is it when they start with conclusions and only then go off to find evidence to support it? Is it when they cling to easily debunked articles with no factual basis? Is it when they disregard expert advice in favour of their own personal limit of understanding? Is it when they make diehard but contradictory statements on a weekly basis? Is it when they project their personal rage onto amorphous targets that cannot defend themselves?

No other regular poster even comes close to sharing so much malignant BS. Sure, we’re supposed to be polite and call it misinformation and take pity on you for believing it. It’s not even that though. It’s manure written and packaged for people vulnerable to believing simple lies instead of complex truths. Free expression is supposed to come with a responsibility to speak truthfully on your end. Maybe get some actual facts in the mix before upchucking online.

Up 14 Down 8

bonanzajoe on May 17, 2022 at 4:55 pm

Friendly Reminder. I take your comment as sarcasm. Joe Biden/Bunker - Joe also said he doesn't have dementia. Well, we all know what dumpster that ended up in.

Up 42 Down 20

DL on May 17, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Too many Canadians still don't realize that all these pointless restrictions and mandates were about manipulating us into compliance, never mind that these measures not only didn't work but brought us to the brink of disaster.

Compliance for what? A centralized take-over of our sovereignty, planned through the World Health Organization, that intends to impose mandates over countries the world over. Many world leaders including Justin Trudeau are involved in that.

It's happening right now, and mainstream media isn't talking about it.
Get informed with independent media:



Up 38 Down 14

Jughead Jones on May 17, 2022 at 9:31 am

Dear Friendly Reminder on May 16, 2022 at 5:17 pm:

They also changed the definition of vaccine to accommodate this medical experimentation on the human genome using CRISPR technologies. Much like the line in Lou Reed’s song, Take a Walk on the Wildside, where, he was a she… The “drug” became a “vaccine”!

Much like the economy which has been stimulated by printing money with no commensurate increase in some grounding commodity like silver or gold. While the people became non-binary and had sex with whoever they wanted, the economy, a false economy, increasingly became binary, a digitalized system wherein wealth became a function of the aggregation of 1’s and 0’s.

This binary wealth scheme became the new weapon against the common good… You will own nothing and be happy… Welcome to the 24/7 surveillance state wherein your value is a relative approximation of a Social Credit Score assigned to you but is dependent upon the degree to which you accept the official illusion…

Your humanity depends on your ability and willingness to integrate this illusion into your self-concept, your narrative, thus, transforming the illusion into a delusion to make your life seem more palatable - Shame on you, they are grinning and winning while you sit there spinning… Racism, sexism, genderism, Keynesianism, Marxism, communism, socialism, fascism, ‘capitalism’ (sic)… All embedded within features of the social credit surveillance system wherein you are prescribed an identity based on a relative moral worth determined in comparison to others as “we/they” manifest the ideals virtuosity applied retrospectively.

This is why there is so much social-violence today, the illusion manifest as delusion, with so many people struggling to maintain it. Reality hurts!

Again, this is simple poli-sci 101 type stuff… And yet…

Up 42 Down 21

DL on May 16, 2022 at 11:17 pm

So, obviously masks don't work, stop forcing kids to wear them.

The great majority of teachers received the covax, and since so many of them are out sick, then that's evidence that the covax doesn't stop transmission.

The upside is that all those that recovered from covid-19 now have natural immunity which is stronger and longer lasting than the vaccine:

The logical conclusion is STOP ALL MANDATES NOW. We should not have to show a vax pass to board a plane to travel in this country.

Up 33 Down 25

Josey Wales on May 16, 2022 at 8:11 pm

COVID is alive and well in our school system eh?
So to is climate Voodoo...
So too is gender dysphoria...
So too is Marxist ideology and those fantasies...
So too clearly, is entitlement...
Just get back to class, missing out on brainwashing opportunities the YLP
& YNPD will still need votes in the future.
...unless we are so done with elections now that PM Blackface seized the power it lusted for.
Those teachers, their unions...wow!
Some folks chant to defund the police, when it should be to defund public school and shut down their puppy mill...enough stupid in the world.

Up 17 Down 20

Sheepchaser on May 16, 2022 at 5:25 pm

Public health gets involved when there’s a risk of serious and widespread harm. As the health consequences from the virus have become manageable due to the vaccine, public health has little reason to continue leading the charge on safety. It is now up to us as citizens to lead the charge on change.

A modernized, standardized and digitized curriculum would help support learning outside of the classroom while breaking the monopoly teachers have over education. Here, the union that rejects the best interest of students is the problem.

Up 44 Down 48

Friendly Reminder on May 16, 2022 at 5:17 pm

Joseph Biden, the President of the United States of America explicitly stated that you cannot get Covid if you've been vaccinated. That's all. Have a wonderful day.

Up 51 Down 39

I Said Pardon on May 16, 2022 at 5:12 pm

What we need to be looking at is the absenteeism rate VS the hospitalization/casualty rate.
Since the hospitalization/casualty rate doesn't jive (doesn't even come close) with the absenteeism, one could and should conclude that masks, vaccination, paid leave for a positive covid diagnosis and rapid testing are all unnecessary and need to be terminated.


Up 58 Down 25

Todd Howard on May 16, 2022 at 5:09 pm

Teachers fed up with the system are using up all of their sick days. More news at 11.

Up 43 Down 81

DA on May 16, 2022 at 4:41 pm

Of course Covid-19 is alive and well. The government did away with most restrictions. I expect there won't be any stopping it unless restrictions are reinstated.

Up 67 Down 28

Max Mack on May 16, 2022 at 4:40 pm

Of course, absentee rates are high amongst both students and teachers.

Society -- in particular teachers' unions -- have pushed for strict covid policies. School lockdowns, mandatory quarantines, and aggressive testing have led to societal acceptance of absenteeism. Doctors' notes are no longer even required. Covid is simply the convenient excuse for not showing up for studies or work.

Hupe is wrong to assume that covid is causing high rates of absenteeism.

Up 22 Down 28

That means it's working (the vaccine) on May 16, 2022 at 4:25 pm

There is this potential, I wanna underscore 'potential' (we haven't seen any evidence of this) of this immune phenomenon known as 'tolerance', where if you already have high antibody levels and you get another booster, that your immune system can start to say 'well, what am I needed for?' and can kind of start to shut down.

Twitter Link:

Quick Rundown on Immune Tolerance from NIH:

More in Depth Discussion with Geert Vanden Bossche, PhD in Virology

Up 52 Down 4

Dan Davidson on May 16, 2022 at 4:24 pm

No surprise here, Schools have always been petri dishes for epidemics.

Up 48 Down 10

Peggy Land on May 16, 2022 at 4:08 pm

Even wastewater is not being tested for covid unlike in most of Canada. I'm just getting over Covid but how would the gov't know if I can't report it. How they come up with such definitive numbers that look so rosy is shockingly deceptive.

Up 53 Down 10

Step up on May 16, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Roughly one third of both students and staff are absent daily at my child’s high school DUE TO COVID. One third. My child has missed more than a month of school this year, all due to Covid related issues (and not one day because they have actually been sick with Covid). One month. So Ted and your YTA and the Department of Education, please explain how exactly you’re all supporting staff and supporting student learning?

Up 61 Down 30

bonanzajoe on May 16, 2022 at 3:56 pm

"no one talks about it anymore," he said. It's because we're all sick hearing about it. The real adverse effects of Covid is the fear and anxiety the governments put on it. Leave us alone and let us get on with our lives - with or without it.

Up 40 Down 11

Mitch Holder on May 16, 2022 at 3:25 pm

Sounds like they need to install institution Hepa filters more than a new education building, wouldn't you agree?

Up 40 Down 31

John on May 16, 2022 at 3:09 pm

So how many "really" had COVID, or anything for that matter. Just looking for free days off. Regardless they won't be missed. Just get with it and do more with less and stop whining OR you reign in the slackers. That would be novel...

Up 74 Down 22

Kyle on May 16, 2022 at 3:00 pm

So in other words our cloth mask mandate for Yukon students -- one of the last standing in the country -- isn't working.

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