Whitehorse Daily Star

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Nicole Morgan

Government responds to student’s COVID case

The Yukon government and Department of Education say they’re well-prepared to handle any COVID-19 cases at territorial schools.

By Whitehorse Star on September 10, 2021

The Yukon government and Department of Education say they’re well-prepared to handle any COVID-19 cases at territorial schools.

That was the gist of a news conference held Thursday afternoon following the discovery of a student at Porter Creek Secondary School who has contracted COVID-19.

It’s a single case so far, officials said. There is no information on whether the case is a variant.

Education officials informed parents of the case on Tuesday night, but no further information was made public for nearly 24 hours.

Nicole Morgan, the department’s deputy minister, said the delay was partly attributable to technical problems created by a power outage for key government employees working remotely.

They had to be called back into the office to begin working on the public statements, and it was an arduous process crafting the message, Morgan explained.

Plans are in place for each school in the territory to handle virus cases, said Morgan and Dr. Catherine Elliott, the acting chief medical officer of health.

“Schools are safe places,” Morgan said. “And schools are very important places. Just a few weeks ago we opened up for the school year hoping for near-normal conditions.”

Cases of COVID-19 in the schools were expected, both women said. That’s why individual plans for each facility were made.

Extra precautions for ventilation are being introduced as well. For example, air filters are being changed more often and upgraded.

Elliott said specific medical advice has been given to school officials at Porter Creek and other school in the territory.

On Thursday, parents around the territory began receiving emails outlining how the department plans to handle COVID cases, Morgan said.

Contingency plans are in place to handle any potential staff shortages if teachers or staff become infected or have to self-isolate, Morgan said.

Elliott said the case could well be the Delta variant, which is causing chaos around the country. Only two cases have been documented in the Yukon so far, and the variant was acquired out of territory.

She said she wouldn’t be surprised to find the current case could be a variant, as she fully expects to see Delta become entrenched here as it is elsewhere.

She also isn’t particularly concerned that a case has been found in a youth, as that age cohorts vaccine numbers aren’t as high as their adult counterparts.

Youth or child cases aren’t being singled out for particular attention so far.

Elliott said she’s more concerned with individual cases that show a high potential of close contacts, which is where the virus is beginning to spread.

Comments (18)

Up 1 Down 0

Ben on Sep 16, 2021 at 5:58 pm

Today N.W.T. announced it is going ahead soon (possibly starting in Sept) with third covid shots for immuno compromised people.
Is there a prize for being last, is that what we're going for Dr. Elliott?

Up 2 Down 2

Ben on Sep 15, 2021 at 5:21 pm

Today Newfoundland announced it is going ahead with the third shot for immuno compromised people.
I don't suppose our medical covid authorities are interested in this.
I think I could do this CMOH job. All you have to do is repeat that things are good here and put the blinders on.

Up 5 Down 0

Community Gal on Sep 15, 2021 at 7:22 am

Contingency plan for staff?? The Dept. of ED is VERY short of supply teachers and almost no Ed. Assistants as it is now. So please enlighten us on the plans.

Up 7 Down 4

Pro Choice: Insight @Politico on Sep 14, 2021 at 9:25 pm

I m Pro-Choice that should be a language you understand and support? Pro-choice defined as the right to choose and govern over ones own body- correct?

The choice to carry a pregnancy, the choice to become a drug addict (supported well through newly established programs).
Pro-choice to decide whatever I want to happen to myself. This Pro-Choice is well understood and has spent 30 years before the courts.

As well as this... I wonder how popular you would be if you took Pro-choice away from abortionist and drug users? Many would argue the removal of Pro-choice would benefit the growth and well being of the entire country...?
But your desire to benefit the National interest has been quashed in the courts. No different than Pro-choice to decide whether to vaccinate or not. No ones business what one decides to do to their body. My body, in this country, is not owned by the state.

Up 2 Down 5

JJ on Sep 14, 2021 at 8:43 pm

@DL Yes, that Iceland source really puts an end to this whole covid debate. Don't believe the thousands of other studies that say otherwise (eye roll).

Up 11 Down 5

Wow-how many times is PCSS in the news? on Sep 13, 2021 at 9:23 pm

Guess I'm biased. PCSS was named as the school that caused the big outbreak in June, when ALL of the high schools were partying and doing the grad celebration bush parties and all schools were affected by it, not just PCSS!! PCSS had its grad cancelled, but none of the other schools. Guess if you're FH or Vanier or Mercier you don't get COVID (sarcasm). Keep giving FH and Mercier the new track, new school, new laptops, new weight room, new everything......and keep giving PCSS bad press about COVID. Ridiculous and very bias especially from the Dept of Ed. And DOE, why are your key employees working remotely? Rest of us are back to work-why aren't your employees at DOE?

Up 12 Down 10

Tiger on Sep 13, 2021 at 7:38 pm

All teachers and staff in schools should be vaccinated. End of story. Not only does it protect our kids, it also helps to root out the crazy teachers who believe in conspiracy theories instead of reality and science. I know of at least one high school teacher who is an anti-vaxxer .

Up 11 Down 10

Politico on Sep 13, 2021 at 5:46 pm

@ Insight Since the virus has only just been around, asking for info on it's effects 5-10 years down the road is a "maroon" statement. Since you have no faith in vaccines, are you advocating that all vaccines be suspended, including small pox, anthrax, etc?
@DL Nice twist and slide away from what the article says! The vaccine does work lessening the severity of the symptoms and reducing the mortality rate. The problem is the rate the virus is mutating thanks to all the people not getting vaccinated allowing the unvaccinated to become mutant virus factories!
BTW, after 2 years I don't consider the vaccine experimental anymore.
If you don't want to take the vaccine that is your choice right now but please stay out of public places, I'm old and don't want to get sick from you!

Up 14 Down 14

DL on Sep 13, 2021 at 1:16 pm

Once again, mention of the "vaccine" is made in this article, but the critical information is missing:
The fact is that this experimental covid injection does NOT stop the spread of the virus. At best it reduces the symptoms if you get infected with covid, but you can still transmit the virus to others.

Let's stop the misrepresentation that this injection provides 'herd immunity'.
See this article from Iceland entitled: "COVID-19 in Iceland: Vaccination Has Not Led to Herd Immunity, Says Chief Epidemiologist"

Up 17 Down 10

Joe on Sep 12, 2021 at 11:30 pm

It's gone from a vaccine passport to a compliance passport. I am borg and I'm ok with being told what to do by authority.

Up 8 Down 7

Theprofit on Sep 12, 2021 at 9:26 pm

Marylaker@ the downtown city of lost souls and criminal minds is really depressing. The chain of supply for hard drugs goes all the way to Vancouver. The whole city is a safe injection site. As the ugliness gets bigger a dark cloud envelopes the city. What is the answer?

Up 33 Down 15

Insight on Sep 12, 2021 at 6:45 am

The anti vax label used to condemn people that have concerns over the long term effects of this experiment on humanity is appalling. I'm full of a lifetime of vaccines, none the less, I m concerned about this one. There is no data for, 5-10 years down the road.
They repeat the same statements with a smile. I read people, and for a year plus those smiles say something else. When a chill runs down your spin when that smile flashes, take note.

No one, not even the top knows the results of this experiment on humanity. They can pretend to be confident all is beautiful - this is the right thing to do - without long term substance? What do you call that?

Vaccine passports, forced vaccination or termination from job - where does that line in the sand get drawn?
When and where does the government get to decide your fate on your body, your livelihood? What else will they impose on you in time?
Everyone seems so happy to submit their free will.

It doesn’t appear that way in the daily commentary, that gets repressed everywhere else but in this forum.
I commend the Whitehorse Star for allowing free, edited, speech to which it’s legal liabilities allow. Big thank you!

Up 15 Down 3

Rolf on Sep 12, 2021 at 2:22 am

Canada's National Advisory Committee for Immunization just released it's recommendation as to who should get a third booster shot first and the list included transplant patients, those taking treatment for cancer, one other I forget and immuno compromised people.
Does the acting CMOH follow this advisory committee or is she winging it on her own?

Up 27 Down 5

Dave on Sep 11, 2021 at 2:39 pm

So it’s trust us, we’re the government? Oh my whatever could go wrong with that.

Up 16 Down 10

Gonzo on Sep 11, 2021 at 6:10 am

Do any of the authorities have a clue about whether we are testing for Covid levels in the lagoons? I'm sure we are as these people barely ever need prodding or to take a suggestion poorly that there is an elephant in the room.

Up 23 Down 10

Rolf on Sep 11, 2021 at 2:56 am

In a somewhat related matter I would like to ask Dr. Elliott if the third shot for immune compromised people has been acknowledged by Yukon health as a priority or what?
I believe three provinces and one other territory have implemented this obvious go ahead where as here we can't get the subject to cross anyone's lips yet the acting CMOH says we're in a good place.
I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling from her reassurances so far.

Up 29 Down 8

Rick S on Sep 10, 2021 at 6:21 pm

"Chaos around the country" equals a 7-day death average of 20 in a country of 40-million.

Up 40 Down 9

marylaker on Sep 10, 2021 at 6:15 pm

I hope someone runs with the goal of reversing the destruction of downtown Whitehorse. For every social assistance housing project, wet shelter, center of hope, injection site, etc. 10% of the operational budget for those projects should go to security positions. Armed robberies, break-ins, public intoxication and all that goes with it are being shouldered by downtown residents. They talk about 'safe injection site', 'harm reduction', 'people at risk', as if these concepts only count for drunks and drug addicts. How about applying some concern and help toward functional people trying to live their lives as well? Why should they pay the price for all these facilities? Part of running these facilities has to be making sure they are not impacting other people. Take responsibility for the outcomes. Security is required for downtown Whitehorse, or better yet, also spread the burden out a bit and quit destroying downtown.

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