Whitehorse Daily Star

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DRIVING UP FOR TESTING – A drive-thru COVID-19 screening service opened Sunday in Whitehorse. The drive-thru is located in the washbay of Centennial Motors, which is off the Alaska Highway beside the Airport Chalet. This morning, there was a one-hour wait for the test, which takes about seven to 10 minutes.

Mandatory mask policy to kick in on Dec. 1

Yukon public officials are mandating masks and advising against indoor gatherings to mitigate the second wave of COVID-19.

By Gabrielle Plonka on November 24, 2020

Yukon public officials are mandating masks and advising against indoor gatherings to mitigate the second wave of COVID-19.

“We must take these precautions now, so we don’t see case increases exponentially a rapidly throughout the territory,” Premier Sandy Silver said this morning.

“We are at a turning point – it’s time to reset our behaviours and take extra precautions.”

Silver and Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer, provided a COVID-19 update.

Beginning Dec. 1, Yukoners will be required to wear non-medical masks in all publicly shared spaces.

Those spaces include stores, community centres, hospitals and service businesses.

The full list of locations requiring masks will be available on the Yukon government website imminently, the premier said.

Children under the age of two and people with medical conditions are exempt from mask-wearing.

People can also remove masks to play sports, to eat and drink in restaurants and while inside the private areas of long-term care homes.

Yukoners should acquire non-medical masks with two to three layers of protective fabric.

Masks should be large enough to protect the nose, mouth and chin, and should allow for easy breathing, the premier said.

Hanley is also recommending a review and tightening of personal social bubbles, which shouldn’t contain more than 15 people.

“This is a time to avoid any indoor social gatherings that do not comprise of your bubble members; keeping to your bubble is absolutely key at this time,” Hanley said.

“Every indoor gathering that we host, every coffee date ... increases our risk of exposure.”

Last week saw a surge of COVID-19 cases in the Yukon. The territory’s total remains at 38 cases today, with 14 active cases associated with two outbreaks and a two-case cluster.

There are also two probable cases awaiting confirmation, Hanley said.

He also confirmed that two cases are in Dawson City. A possible exposure notification was issued for the General Store for between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 15.

Hanley said he knows the store is “very conscientious” about protocols and he isn’t concerned about circulation of the virus in Dawson.

Additional possible exposure locations were issued in Whitehorse for:

Canadian Tire on Nov. 17 between 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.;

Wykes’ Your Independent Grocer on Nov. 17 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.;

Starbucks on Chilkoot Way from Nov. 12 through Nov. 18; and

Tony’s Pasta and Seafood House on Nov. 14 from 5 p.m. to closing time.

There are also exposure notifications for Air North flights on Nov. 7, 8, 9, 12 and 15.

People who visited those locations at the listed times should lay low and monitor for symptoms.

The notification doesn’t mean an organization or business has been closed or currently poses a public health concern, Hanley said.

The drive-thru testing centre, which opened on Sunday at Centennial Motors off the Alaska Highway beside the Airport Chalet, will provide drop-in testing to anyone experiencing symptoms.

The testing centre is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, until Saturday.

Everyone in the vehicle should wear a mask.

The individual seeking a test should write their personal information – name, date of birth and health number – on a sign for the tester to transcribe, Hanley said.

He acknowledged that the last week has been stressful and emotionally draining for many Yukoners. He noted the territory may see many more cases in the second wave.

“Prepare your mental health for seeing worse before we see better,” Hanley said.

Comments (42)

Up 0 Down 0

Lesh on Nov 30, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Our workplace implemented strict mask policy last week, as soon as the policy was announced. Already employees are showing signs of mental stress. We're only allowed two in the staff room while eating, the only time we get to see another co-workers face and smile. So much of the color and life in our normally very happy work environment has been snuffed out in less than a week. It really sucks.

Up 9 Down 4

joe on Nov 30, 2020 at 3:47 pm

@ Anie... have a look around. This " silly " information is pervasive, so many people wear homemade masks or el cheapo paper masks that don't fit properly, so many people wearing masks stand face to face in conversation and, it's not hard to figure out that many people with cold or flu symptoms are hiding behind masks so they don't have to stay home. If you're wearing a certified masks that fits properly and you're following the appropriate safety protocols congratulations, I would say you're the exception, not the norm.

Up 10 Down 7

Anie on Nov 30, 2020 at 2:19 pm

Joe said "because most people wearing masks feel safe and ignore the other basic recommendations-six feet, stay home if you're sick etc... and, not to mention the use of uncertified, home made poor fitting, el cheapo masks being used by many." As someone who wears a mask, I wonder where the heck you get this silly information? Or are you just saying it cause you heard it somewhere?

Up 15 Down 13

I Need to Breathe to Live on Nov 30, 2020 at 12:34 am

When a governing entity justifies its mandate, it seems to use studies that do not, in fact, show efficacy of facial coverings in preventing spread of illness. The studies presented seem to focus on sick people, or those caring for sick people, wearing a mask. For these people, there is some legitimate cause to wear a mask. When those studies are used to justify all healthy adults and children wearing masks at all times – I have to wonder, do our officials not know how to read a study? The mask mandates being issued are for the healthy -- for everyone -- even for children.

The pressure global elites are exerting on, using the excuse of the virus, is causing many decisions that do not hold up to even basic scrutiny. Please read the research here, and do not mandate masks for children or adults. Forced masking is not backed by science nor law. People that want to wear masks who believe those that do not wear masks are infecting them do not make sense. This admission would mean your masks does not work. There is no asymptomatic spread of the virus. The small number of particles someone may be carrying would only be helping to expose and build herd immunity.

A meta-analysis of 17 of the best studies on this topic concluded that, “None of the studies established a conclusive relationship between mask/respirator use and protection against influenza.” N95 respirators are made with a 0.3-micron filter. N95 respirators are termed this, because 95% of particles having a diameter of 0.3 microns are filtered by the mask of the wearer, by use of an electrostatic mechanism. Coronaviruses are approximately 0.125 microns in diameter.
Please follow the links for more examples.

For children, there will potentially be many emotional reactions to being encouraged to fear breathing the air, despite the evidence that children only very rarely get the illness, and do not transmit it to adults.

Up 25 Down 12

Groucho d'North on Nov 29, 2020 at 10:57 am

I have no difficulty wearing a mask. I work with the public daily and I find wearing a mask helps people to be more relaxed and trusting. I know my wearing a mask will not change the world, but if wearing one makes my customers feel safer - I'm writing it off to good customer service and the tips are better too.

Up 27 Down 27

motive unclear on Nov 29, 2020 at 8:15 am

Anyone who thinks this measure is going to be temporary must have taken a blow to the head. Anyone who thinks this will be the last "mandate for our safety" is delusional. Our overlords are just getting started, and the most frustrating part is seeing people I have respected and enjoyed not only complying immediately but actually helping the control freaks by demanding the rest of us comply and go ever farther downhill to perdition. And that is where we are headed regardless of how many slave coupons the Rothschilds print.
Secondly, rebelling against the local authorities is a fool's errand because this pressure is coming from outside of Canada. To paraphrase Farakkhan if I may, if you are an international central banker borrowing money for Canada, what do you get as collateral for the loan? Control over the policy of the government, that's what! We see Hungary and Poland refusing to implement lockdowns and as a consequence, their IMF funding is being withheld. Time to cut the purse strings with foreign financial powers or do we all bend down for the slaughter like obedient little sheep?

Up 19 Down 11

theHammer on Nov 28, 2020 at 2:16 pm

Joe@ this is a news item about masks. You took my comment and twisted it to suggest if you wear a mask it means you will not social distance and not use antiseptic hand wash, that's in your mind. That's because you are an anti masker. So you will twist out of shape any positive pro mask comment to suit your own belief. This kind of thinking is widespread. Multiply your thinking into 100,000s and you will get the idea why the pandemic is spreading like wildfire, almost as fast as fake news, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. It's called inferior thinking, opinions that haven't been intellectually thought out presented as infallible judgements.

Up 33 Down 6

Buford on Nov 27, 2020 at 9:16 am

Consider Taiwan and their success in dealing with the virus. Are they Marxist?

Up 19 Down 21

joe on Nov 27, 2020 at 9:10 am

@ the hammer.... "What people don't mention is the positive psychological benefits of mask wearing when you feel protected and protective of others." That's exactly the problem we are saying- masks provide a false sense of protection and actually endanger people because most people wearing masks feel safe and ignore the other basic recommendations-six feet, stay home if you're sick etc... and, not to mention the use of uncertified, home made poor fitting, el cheapo masks being used by many.

Up 18 Down 24

JohnW on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:47 pm

What about people who have medical conditions which make it personally unsafe for them to wear a mask?
Either the govt hasn't thought this through, or the 'reporters' are not doing their job.

Up 22 Down 16

North_of_60 on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:26 pm

Vancouver Council Votes Against Mandatory Mask Mandate: They’re Not Required

The Facts:
Vancouver, Canada will not have a required mask policy in civic facilities, and instead will simply recommend that people wear them.

Reflect On:
Should governments recommend what they feel we should do and present the science instead of forcing certain measures on the population that many people and health professionals clearly disagree with?


Up 46 Down 6

JustSayin' on Nov 26, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Reactive management is such a poor management style and our Government (blue, orange and red) seem to have always preferred this management style. The numbers in BC (our travel bubble) had been spiking since October; yet our government encouraged people to travel to BC, directly and without having to isolate. Honestly a simple risk assessment would have illustrated the increasing risk day by day. I will wear my mask, but I'm imploring the Government to start managing COVID proactively.

Up 13 Down 21

DMZ on Nov 26, 2020 at 10:59 am

Why is the minimum 2 years old? Toddlers aren't getting into my face in public. Like parents of small children that have to take them with them don't have enough to do. In BC the minimum is 12 years old.

Up 41 Down 20

Ali on Nov 26, 2020 at 6:13 am

I don't enjoy wearing a mask but will happily if it saves an infection.

Get over it!! Isn't that everyone's favorite modern enlightenment to first nations horrors "it wasn't all that bad." People on these discussions boards try way to hard to be offended all the time.

Up 31 Down 34

DL on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:55 pm

hey BnR: the hospital is not overrun with covid cases. In fact, none of the Yukon covid cases needed hospitalization. What we have is politicians pushing a scamdemic agenda to please government employees who can stay at home with a big paycheque.

Up 33 Down 35

JC on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:39 pm

Matthew: How true. It all starts subtly. A little at a time. That way people don't notice it. Its been said that, almost any behavior begins to look normal if you are exposed to enough of it. I notice that most gave you thumbs down. They are the ones who will be used to losing all their rights and freedoms when the fascist completely take over. They don't realize they are being programmed by the globalists. I believe Karl Marx explained all this in his Communist Manifesto.

Up 31 Down 37

Black Rifles Matter on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Tyranny is the virus, COVID is the excuse.

Up 29 Down 40

Steve on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:05 pm

Muzzling children with masks is irrational, inhumane and infuriating. Only three deaths across Canada in the 0-19 age group and, at least as far as the youngest are concerned, knowingly less infectious.

I'm not even a parent but this makes me sick to my stomach. An entire generation of children will bear unknown psychological scarring from this practice, especially the longer it continues.
Parents, please turn off the fear porn, educate yourselves of the true risks to your children, and demand better from Silver and Hanley!

Up 32 Down 19

TheHammer on Nov 25, 2020 at 4:02 pm

NickyB@ your comment doesn't add up, of all the photos of the Wuhan market before the outbreak, I never saw a single mask.
What people don't mention is the positive psychological benefits of mask wearing when you feel protected and protective of others. What we don't need in Yukon, a very small jurisdiction, is anti maskers, anti vaccines' who have barely just arrived, and have no regard for the safety of outlying communities and families that they don't know and have never met.

Up 24 Down 30

You realize that on Nov 25, 2020 at 3:55 pm

You increase the chance of bacterial infection. You know how you get "bad breath" throughout the day? Your body regularly expels bad sh!t from your body. You're now trapping that in front of you and re inhaling it.

Even the english government and the WHO suggest against them

So go nuts!

Up 32 Down 39

NickyB on Nov 25, 2020 at 2:38 pm

@Justin is 100% correct, I couldn't have said it better.
The simple unavoidable common sense fact of the matter is that if masks worked to control Covid then it never would have escaped from China where mask use has been almost universal in their totalitarian regime since the beginning of the Covid outbreak.

Up 29 Down 31

Bandit on Nov 25, 2020 at 2:29 pm

To Sheepchaser and the rest of you Sheeple. I have touched my face waaay more trying to adjust a mask that does SFA to protect me or you. Justin, although your posts are a little long-winded they are spot on!! Everyone, make your own choices and stay smart and stay safe.

Up 48 Down 14

Atom on Nov 25, 2020 at 2:01 pm

The most pitiful thing in this pandemic is to hear all the criticisms of how government is handling the pandemic in trying to limit spread and the overwhelming of our health care systems.
It's people that are the problem. Not the virus.

Up 44 Down 39

Max Mack on Nov 25, 2020 at 1:25 pm

I see the mods have declined to post my comment about Silver. Cut too deep, perhaps? Nevertheless, I stand on my key point that Silver thinks the people he surrounds himself with are representative of everybody else.

As for Hanley, I also stand by my assertion that he has caved to political pressure on the mask issue.
A mask mandate is not grounded in science. Full stop.

Christmas is coming, New Year's is coming. Think of all the harm caused by the dynamic duo's policies.
Wanna-be dictators are now hinting that restrictions could remain in place well into fall or winter of 2021. Think about that.

Time to end the fake emergency.

Up 49 Down 56

Matthew on Nov 25, 2020 at 11:35 am

Like it or not, we no longer have a charter of rights and freedoms. We should flood the system with human rights complaints..

Up 43 Down 39

Sheepchaser on Nov 25, 2020 at 10:39 am

Centennial Motors! Now that’s a competent and trustworthy small business. Mark and his crew are top notch. Glad to see a local business that plays fair and respects their customers in this newspaper.

The mask thing was inevitable and it’s a good way to block the worst of the droplets or remind people not to touch their faces. 80% of folks in grocery stores, etc are already wearing them. This mandatory rule is just to bring the ‘me first’ types into the fold. Here’s hoping that none of them force authorities to use enforcement tools. Cherry-pick the data all you like, but masks are a good call as long as people remember the rest of the rules too. It’s not that hard.

Up 30 Down 46

Black Rifles Matter on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

In a free society, we would be called citizens.
Citizens make decisions on their safety, subjects follow dictates.

Idiots and other state sycophants, please argue that one.

Up 45 Down 35

Justin on Nov 25, 2020 at 7:24 am

"Prepare your mental health for seeing worse before we see better "
Mr Hanley, would you care to very carefully explain that particular statement? Clearly, concisely, and truthfully. I'm happy to give you this opportunity.

Your ill conceived and absolutely backward approach to the known science and facts about what works for this particular set of circumstances is astounding. Your policies, half formed, haphazard, and poorly implemented, have already pushed many people very close to the mental breaking point. But there you sit, in an office away from people, taking comfort in the incredibly large salary that was issued under your watch.... but that is another story. While there are people in this territory who are struggling trying to support their families, and one another, through this uncertainty that you, sir, have had a large role in creating.

Are you willing to accept that your policies have led to more alcohol and substance abuse, more domestic abuse of all kinds, more people living on the edge of insolvency? Will you accept your place when deaths from substance abuse and suicides start to rise? Are you willing to admit the role that your policies played in that? Are you ready to accept responsibility for these things? It is a simple yes or no answer.

This is not about public health. This is all about using fear and uncertainty to create anxiety, for the purpose of controlling people.

I have submitted to the media, and to several government officials and MLAs, and to Yukon health, copies of hundreds of scientific and medical studies, peer reviewed and found to be accurate, that tell the truth about the science behind your policies. And it all shows exactly the opposite of what you are enacting, and what you are saying.

Why is that? It's a simple question. You, sir, are using fear, manipulation, and public opinion to push your agenda. Well unfortunately science and facts do not take opinions into account.

I am, once again, asking for the truth. I am asking this of Dr Brendan E Hanley. Are you prepared to tell the truth? Or are you more prepared to accept the consequences of your policies, in the cost of human lives???

To the good people of the Yukon, there are those out there, trying very hard to sort all of this out, in hopes of helping everyone to understand what is going on. Stop the fear, let it go, we are all going to be okay if we work together to stay healthy. I encourage everyone to take the time to read factual information about this situation, and do not make yourself sick just to fit in.

Thank you all for your time, and stay warm and healthy.
With love and respect for all,


Up 52 Down 25

concerned on Nov 25, 2020 at 6:30 am

Wear a mask. Stay at home. Don't see anyone, even family members. Don't travel. In fact, don't go anywhere. Isolate over and over again if you do. Embrace the awkward, but no one else. Binge wash! Reset your actions...all of them. Wave at others, but do not get any closer. Save lives!!! Essentially, go nowhere, and do nothing. Has anything been missed from this? Those are the mandates given to everyone to live their life in this new world with a new normal. If you don't like it...too bad! It has been surprising to watch society quickly and efficiently lose absolutely every single individual liberty, while people in the public cheer it on, and even get angry at anyone who speaks out against such totalitarian measures.
The history of government has been quite consistent; when rights are taken away, they are difficult if not impossible to put back into place. As Benjamin Franklin so aptly put it, "Those who would give up their liberty for a little bit of protection, deserve neither liberty nor protection, and shall end up losing both."

Up 38 Down 36

Salt on Nov 25, 2020 at 6:22 am

Mandate masks that don’t work to stop a virus, that alone, kills almost nobody. Sounds about right for government work.

Up 42 Down 32

BnR on Nov 25, 2020 at 6:07 am

Make anyone not following the health directives help out the folks at our hospitals. Make them clean bed pans and make beds, do laundry. Let the nurses and other health care professionals have a bit of a break. Put them on the front lines for a while.

Up 40 Down 30

Chugga, chugga, choo-choo! on Nov 24, 2020 at 10:24 pm

Nicky B - Conformity is deformity. People need to be able to differentiate themselves from the roar and tramp of the herd. Diversity is our strength! Perhaps we can phrase that differently? People have a right to live at risk. You see someone without a mask avoid them. The only person you can control is yourself. Ironically, Liberals have a difficult time understanding that and so they attempt to control everything and everyone around them.

So, let’s unmask the real problem here. Everyone is out and about jammed into confined spaces with little regard for physical distancing and little regard for any rule whatsoever. What the f@&$ are the masks doing? Nothing. FFS - Look at peoples glasses fog up as they exhale... Droplets everywhere! False calm and fake news!

Hanley and Silver are the superspreaders of bad intel and bad policy. One can imagine the two of them making choo-choo train noises as they eat their lunches together.

Up 37 Down 52

Matthew on Nov 24, 2020 at 7:00 pm

lol! Welcome to the gulag! We are officially in a fascist state! Don't believe me? Look up the definition. We all know how fascist states turn out...

Up 22 Down 28

Brenda on Nov 24, 2020 at 6:32 pm

Why are you waiting until December 1st a whole lot of spread could happen before that. Thank you to Dr Hanley thanks for showing up for once Premiere Silver. The election can not come soon enough !!

Up 22 Down 11

Fredia on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:31 pm

"Hanley is also recommending a review and TIGHTENING of personal social bubbles, which shouldn’t contain more than 15 people."

Really????? FIFTEEN PEOPLE, why does that make me feel so much better - I am gobsmacked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Up 28 Down 20

I said pardon on Nov 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm

Why December 1? What about tomorrow? How about November 30?

Up 25 Down 69

So lame on Nov 24, 2020 at 3:13 pm

So you feel safer ? People wearing garbage home made masks or improper fitting el cheapo masks. Mandate certified masks only or things are only worse.

Up 43 Down 79

Nathan Living on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:57 pm

Thanks to mayor Curtis and city staff for promoting mast wearing on buses and at the games centre prior to this announcement.
It's nice to know people are looking out for us.

I am also happy to hear the city is getting federal funds and using our tax dollars to improve infrastructure.
Also, the city may reduce speed limits to save lives which is a great move.

Sandy and the good doctor are balancing normal activities with covid precautions and they deserve our respect for making difficult decisions.

Up 64 Down 66

Apex Parasite on Nov 24, 2020 at 2:25 pm

I applaud this decision.
The more black and white we can make protocols during this pandemic the better. Less confusion and less room for the willfully ignorant to be willfully ignorant.

Thanks for this.

Up 46 Down 58

Denis on Nov 24, 2020 at 1:03 pm

Great Job, Thank You.

Up 66 Down 29

Juniper Jackson on Nov 24, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Personally, I believe the CDC and Teresa Tam were right in the beginning. Masks put together on the home sewing machine, thrown in the wash are not going to work. But, like it or not, the government has made it the law. Tie a bra on your face and you're good to go. I have N-95 masks. Although i try to avoid wearing one, I also respect the decision of businesses that have politely asked me to put one on while in their store.

Watching what is happening Federally, and Territorially, our governments bankrupting the country. I am becoming so anti government I border on being a anarchist. The pushback all over the world is frightening. I think I'm safe in my semi isolated little community. But, I'm not. There is going to be fall out. Be sure to have your mask on for that.. IT'S THE LAW

Up 22 Down 37

Douglas Martens on Nov 24, 2020 at 12:28 pm

I feel so much safer already.

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