Photo by Whitehorse Star
Dr. Brendan Hanley
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Dr. Brendan Hanley
There was little news on the pandemic front during Wednesday morning’s weekly COVID-19 briefing .
Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, was flying solo at the event, as the territorial election continues to keep cabinet ministers out of circulation.
Hanley said the two cases involving variants of the Corona virus have both recovered and there are no new cases.
The two cases involved the B.1.1.7 “United Kingdom” strain that has begun to be the most common of the COVID-19 variants that have appeared over the last few months.
Hanley said he is still watching what’s happening in other jurisdictions carefully, particularly such hot spots as Ontario, which is now under a stay-at-home order.
Once again, he repeated his prediction we will be living with COVID for years to come. Eventually, it might become a part of life, such as influenza and the common cold.
Hanley also said he believed the vaccination program is likely to become a permanent or semi-permanent part of life.
His best guess is that regular vaccine boosters will become routine, since it’s not yet known how long the current versions of the vaccines will last.
Hanley said he believes the immunity granted from the Moderna vaccine will last a minimum of six months and likely longer.
However, the vaccine formulas may need continual tinkering to fight off the virus variants that are largely responsible for the third wave outbreaks across Canada.
That’s probably not good news for people looking for a loosening of restrictions, Hanley said.
He recently received a letter from a Yukon resident asking about the restrictions. The same letter-writer reminded him of the need to offer some kind of tangible reward to the public, who have been very co-operative with the pandemic health measures and the vaccine rollout.
Hanley said he didn’t have much good news on that front. The election campaign is preventing any major changes in approach at the moment, creating a holding pattern.
He presented no real timeline of when restrictions could be introduced until a new government is sworn in and consulted with.
Hanley also said he continues to have no concrete figures as to when herd immunity in the Yukon could be reached following vaccines.
As of last Monday, 37,193 doses of the Moderna vaccine had been administered in the Yukon. This number includes 23,954 first doses and 13,239 second doses.
By region, the percentage of residents who have received a first dose is: 70 per cent in north Yukon; 79 per cent in west Yukon; 52 per cent in central Yukon; 59 per cent in southeast Yukon; and 70 per cent in Whitehorse.
By region, the percentage of residents who have received a second dose is: 60 per cent in north Yukon; 70 per cent in west Yukon; 41 per cent in central Yukon; 53 per cent in southeast Yukon; and 30 per cent in Whitehorse.
As for enforcement statistics, the government had received 1,684 complaints as of Tuesday:
• Failure to self-isolate: 954
• Gatherings over 10 inside or 50 outside: 44
• Failure to transit through the Yukon in 24 hours or stay on their designated route: 449
• Businesses failing to comply with orders: 15
• Failure to abide by declaration form: 35
• Failure to wear a mask: 146
• Failure to physically distance: 41.
There has been one new charge since March 30, issued by Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) officers (failure to wear a mask).
There has been a total of 71 charges and 56 people charged under the CEMA.
• Number of total incoming travellers: 76,122
• Resident travellers: 20,477
• B.C. residents: 16,181
• N.W.T. residents: 513
• Other approved jurisdictions: 1122
• Non-residents staying: 14,098
• Non-residents transiting: 23,634
• Other: 97
• Decals distributed indicating out-of-territory vehicles allowed in the Yukon: 384.
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