Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

PURPOSE HAS BEEN SERVED – Dale Cheeseman is seen in the Respiratory Assessment Centre at the time of its opening in late March. The Fourth Avenue facility closed last Sunday.

Respiratory Assessment Centre closes

Following the advice of the chief medical officer the Respiratory Assessment Centre closed last Sunday, 70 days after opening.

By Whitehorse Star on June 2, 2020

Following the advice of the chief medical officer the Respiratory Assessment Centre closed last Sunday, 70 days after opening.

The centre was established to respond to the need for respiratory illness assessment, high rates of influenza and COVID-19 testing outside of the acute care system and at Yukon Communicable Disease.

The centre was open to individuals who had travelled and were experiencing symptoms, and also to members of the general public who were experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness.

With physicians’ offices closed to most in-person visits, the centre was designated as the location for testing.

It was seeing an average of five patients daily, since influenza season has peaked and the COVID-19 risk in Yukon is currently low, with no active cases.

“Therefore, these small volumes of patients can be easily absorbed by the emergency department, with persons with a travel history or contacts still being screened at Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC),” Dr. Brendan Hanley said last Friday.

“The (centre) has effectively supported Yukon’s efforts to assess and test for COVID-19 and limit the spread of infection in the territory.”

The facility operated out of the Yukon Convention Centre on Fourth Avenue.

During its70 days of operation, it assessed more than 400 individuals, more than 225 of whom were tested for COVID-19.

It had 13 staff, two nurse practitioners and 13 physicians on contract. Daily, it had between five to six staff, one nurse practitioner and one physician working.

“Thank you to everyone who worked together to get the Respiratory Assessment Centre up and running so quickly, and a big thank you to the front line workers who screened and tested the hundreds of Yukoners who used the (centre),” said Pauline Frost, the minister of Health and Social Services.

“We are lucky in the territory that our public health measures are working. If the (centre) is needed again, we are poised to have it set up within one day.”

Individuals who are returning from travel outside the Yukon and experience symptoms should contact 811.

Individuals who have not travelled but are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness should contact 811.

Comments (4)

Up 18 Down 6

Juniper Jackson on Jun 3, 2020 at 7:18 pm

How much did this cost?
I pay careful attention now to what the government spends when the Liberal attitude was.. you wanted to live here? You can die..we are not buying a dialysis machine to keep you alive. They can fritter away millions, but would not keep Terry alive. They are going to pay for that.. karma never forgets.

Up 14 Down 6

Matthew on Jun 3, 2020 at 4:49 pm

Seriously... at what cost was this? It has to be near $100,000. Look at all that plastic being thrown away, glad to see the environment is out the door because of the sniffles..

Up 25 Down 16

Bud McGee on Jun 3, 2020 at 10:58 am

I guess Minister Pillai has rewarded his old work colleagues at NVD enough, and the no-bid direct award contract for the Respiratory Assessment Centre can be concluded now. The Respiratory Assessment Centre should not have been set-up at NVD's "convention centre" (aka the old Lions Pool). There were plenty of large enough public spaces that were not in use that could have accommodated the Centre. Yet another example of the rampant graft and cronyism in this current Liberal Party Government.

Up 23 Down 4

Scott Gunderson on Jun 2, 2020 at 10:49 pm

5-6 people per day on average? With 5-6 staff per day?

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.