Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

TESTING SITE – The COVID-19 rapid response testing team will remain in Watson Lake until later Tuesday. Testing is taking place at the Watson Lake Recreation Centre (above).

Discrepancies surface in Watson Lake’s COVID case count

A large outbreak of COVID-19 in Watson Lake is jangling nerves while controversy is brewing over the numbers being reported.

By Tim Giilck on July 27, 2021

A large outbreak of COVID-19 in Watson Lake is jangling nerves while controversy is brewing over the numbers being reported.

According to the Watson Lake Healthcare News Facebook site, nearly 30 new active cases were reported Monday.

Meanwhile, a resident’s count has the number of active cases at 56.

In an interview with the Star Tuesday, Michael Gagnon said he has counted the known cases in the village, and has arrived at 56.

“Twenty-two of my family alone have COVID,” he said.

Gagnon said he is frustrated and angry about the disparity of numbers being reported by official sources such as the Yukon government – and what residents see happening in the town.

There are at least 150 more tests still pending, so it seems as if the numbers are poised to go up, he pointed out.

Gagnon said several of his relatives who have tested positive are border workers, suggesting a possible source of the contagion.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, acknowledged there’s an outbreak in Watson Lake Monday afternoon when he released the daily COVID-19 report.

“We are seeing clusters of cases in Watson Lake and we are likely to see more,” he said.

“All but one of these individuals  were unvaccinated, several of whom were unable because of age. All others could have been protected.”

Hanley didn’t provide any numbers.

Gagnon also takes issue with the comment on vaccinated people not getting infected. He said his own informally collected numbers showed that perhaps the split is more likely 50-50. He openly questioned the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine.

Hanley reported 28 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 between noon last Friday and noon Monday. With recoveries, this brings the active case count to 90.

Those numbers definitely don’t jive with what Watson Lake Healthcare is reporting – much less with what Gagnon is proposing.

On Tuesday, the Star attempted to contact Hanley and his team to discuss the differences. There was no response.

According to Hanley’s report, the rapid response testing team will remain in Watson Lake until later Tuesday. Testing is taking place at the Watson Lake Recreation Centre from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A vaccination clinic in Watson Lake will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday for first and second doses of the Moderna vaccine.

Comments (20)

Up 0 Down 0

Bandit on Aug 2, 2021 at 5:46 pm

@ noghama
For whatever reason my previous comment was deleted, if you want to know who Michael Gagnon is just Google his name, and if you live in Watson Lake you should know who/what he is.

Up 10 Down 0

Watson lake resident on Aug 2, 2021 at 11:00 am

If 22 members of his family have it, those numbers would be from Prince George, that is were he is from. His girlfriend is from Watson Lake and she is at work at the border patrol at Jct 37. I see her every time I come thru. So "his family" must be healthy. Way to spread rumours and cause more unnecessary fear.

Up 8 Down 5

Groucho d'North on Jul 31, 2021 at 4:35 pm

Are they using Liberal math or the regular kind?

Up 14 Down 1

noghama on Jul 31, 2021 at 9:34 am

Who is this Michael Gagnon guy? I live in Watson Lake and I have never heard of him! I agree that many are confused about the numbers being reported and that there really should be more transparency, but there are a lot of rumours circulating around here too and this article really doesn't help! It's hard to know who to believe!

Up 15 Down 7

Juniper Jackson on Jul 31, 2021 at 1:47 am

I don’t think we have ever had the real numbers. I don’t think we’ve ever had the truth from Hanley or the government. Hanley has a “thing” about secrecy, so he’s not going to cough up any information. Silver just parrots Hanley or Ottawa..so don’t expect anything from him. Hanley made a point of naming Lisa, because she was one of the few that got desperately sick. The other 500 or so, remain unnamed, recovered. I don’t believe anything they say.
This disease? People are not afraid to die..it has made them afraid to live. Most of the misinformation comes from the government and Hanley..and mostly because they keep changing all the information, can’t add 6 + 1. (= 7}..and drone on and on…. jeez I’m tired of the covid crap.

Up 13 Down 3

Max Mack on Jul 29, 2021 at 2:05 pm

The CDC has published guidance for PCR cycle thresholds (CT) for vaccinated individuals. CT are not to exceed 27.

Yet, the CT used for unvaccinated is not controlled? Please find me the guidance on the CDC website re: CT for unvaccinated. Want to bet that labs are still using a CT of 37-40 or even higher for unvaccinated?

My money says Canada is doing the exact same as per the CDC guidance and using different CT for vaccinated vs not. (Lower CT = less likely to return a positive. Higher CT = more likely to return a positive.)

This difference in CT may help to explain why COVID is allegedly "raging" in the unvaccinated.

Up 10 Down 4

Chuck on Jul 29, 2021 at 12:57 pm

Who is doing the accounting there, is it the MLA? Did they find her yet?

Up 23 Down 3

DL on Jul 29, 2021 at 2:27 am

Hint to the Whitehorse Star: Some really probing investigative journalism is needed here. Determine if those new 'cases' are people who were vaccinated, and how sick they are, or if they're even sick at all. Find out about the CT level of the PCR tests used on these folks, because these PCR tests are notorious for churning out false positives. All these are questions that our dear CMO won't answer. We need to know, because right now irrational fear is being ramped up again with flimsy and/or contradictory stories, and some easily scared people are now calling for more restrictions. Stop, use critical thinking, and get the facts straight.

Up 22 Down 12

One way to view the "booster" on Jul 28, 2021 at 3:50 pm

mRNA Vaccines Fulfill None of the Criteria for a Vaccine:
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a vaccine is:1
A product that stimulates a persons immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease.”

Immunity, in turn, is defined as:
Protection from an infectious disease,” meaning that If you are immune to a disease, you can be exposed to it without becoming infected.”
That's the medical definition. The legal definition, in the few cases where it has been detailed, is equally unequivocal:

Iowa code2 Vaccine means a specially prepared antigen administered to a person for the purpose of providing immunity.”
Washington state code3,4 " Vaccine means a preparation of a killed or attenuated living microorganism, or fraction thereof …” The statute also specifies that a vaccine upon immunization stimulates immunity that protects us against disease …”

These definitions, both medical and legal, present problems for mRNA vaccines,” since:
mRNA injections do not impart immunity. Moderna and Pfizer both admit that their clinical trials aren't even looking at immunity. As such they do not fulfill the medical and/or legal definition of a vaccine.

They do not inhibit transmissibility of SARS-CoV-2 infection. As such they do not fulfill the medical and/or legal definition of a vaccine.

Up 21 Down 7

Delonzo on Jul 28, 2021 at 5:12 am

Please tune in to the Covid counts in B.C., Alberta, and some parts of the U.S. with regard to numbers reversing.
Bad choice is a form of Natural Selection.

Up 34 Down 1

Sharon on Jul 27, 2021 at 9:38 pm

It would be interesting to hear how bad or intense symptoms were for vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. How many had to be hospitalized. From real people’s perspectives.

Up 25 Down 21

bonanzajoe on Jul 27, 2021 at 8:56 pm

Whats the big panic? Alaska has 20 times the population than Yukon. It has 6.5 times as many covid cases and 64 times the deaths. Time to get on with your lives and stop stressing yourselves out.

Up 17 Down 23

Or it's not a vaccine but a booster on Jul 27, 2021 at 5:55 pm


Why don't you call it what it is?
The shot is simply to "boost" your system so that you don't succumb to symptoms. It does not fight the cornavirus in any sort of meaningful way.
Go fact check it if you need to.
It's not even considered a vaccine in REAL medical circles.

Up 23 Down 16

Matthew on Jul 27, 2021 at 5:37 pm

This is just ONE example of misinformation,
who will get blamed? Not the Government of course .. I mean if you trust the government you clearly aren't paying attention..

Up 20 Down 16

martin on Jul 27, 2021 at 5:09 pm

"Hanley didn’t provide any numbers.".. of course not! Why? We commoners, don't deserve the truth from the Dr nor the Gov't.

Up 128 Down 26

Politico on Jul 27, 2021 at 4:10 pm

WOW! So some guy in Watson Lake knows more about the Moderna vaccine than Drs all over the world! Good to know!

Up 116 Down 11

Humble Measure on Jul 27, 2021 at 3:59 pm

This sounds more like rumours than journalism. Please be responsible.

Up 57 Down 20

Pardon on Jul 27, 2021 at 3:28 pm

Has the local MLA commented on this heinous outbreak or is she mia again?

Up 41 Down 44

TheHammer on Jul 27, 2021 at 3:23 pm

The Gateway to Yukon is the Gateway for Covid: Business interests are behind the lifting of restrictions, along with the lunatic fringe. What caused the sudden upsurge in Watson Lake? What does the Tourism Industry have to say, apart from S.O.B. Save Our Business.

Up 93 Down 1

Accurate data please on Jul 27, 2021 at 3:18 pm

YG: Can you PLEASE start including in your reporting of positive cases how many of those are unvaccinated, one shot, or fully vaccinated, as well as age categories for each? I ask not to divide people as we all (should) know by now no one is ever fully immune with the vaccine, and we all know by now (or should) that some folks cannot be vaccinated as opposed to those refusing to be. It would just be nice to lessen that divide and clear up some ongoing spread of misinformation or confusion as to who is and is not getting Covid at this stage, considering the high level of vaccinated folks in the territory. And then perhaps the decision to life restrictions in early August may appear more clear and also more reasonable?

Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar

In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.

Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.