Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

SHARING THE LATEST – Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer, speaks at Wednesday afternoon’s media briefing on the COVID-19 crisis.

Sixth virus sufferer had travelled in Europe

The Yukon has a sixth case of COVID-19, and three of the previous cases are now fully recovered.

By Gabrielle Plonka on April 2, 2020

The Yukon has a sixth case of COVID-19, and three of the previous cases are now fully recovered.

“We remain, therefore, in a good position, with no cases outside Whitehorse and all cases doing well,” Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday afternoon.

The sixth case is a person in the Whitehorse area who returned from travel in Europe in the last two weeks. The individual followed self-isolation protocols after returning, and is now recovering at home.

There have been 722 Yukoners tested for COVID-19, with 690 proving negative. Twenty-six tests are still pending.

Hanley said he is confident there is still no community spread of the virus, meaning cases not associated with a travel-imported case.

Hanley also announced updates to Whitehorse airport screening, support for vulnerable people and new work camp guidelines.

Air North staff are now greeting all travellers returning to Whitehorse with instructions to self-isolate for 14 days and advice to self-monitor for symptoms of cough, fever and difficulty breathing.

All people arriving in the Yukon are advised to go straight home and into self-isolation, without making stops on the way.

If someone cannot safely self-isolate at home, he or she should contact the Yukon government for support via email at COVID19info@gov.yk.ca.

An isolation centre has been set up at the Coast High Country Inn on Fourth Avenue for people who cannot safely self-isolate at home.

A government spokesperson confirmed to the Star that the Quebec couple who attempted to seek refuge from the virus in Old Crow last Friday is now self-isolating at the hotel, as per government instruction.

Hanley described several measures in place at the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter to keep vulnerable populations and staff safe.

These include actively monitoring guests for symptoms and reducing the number of people gathering in the Fourth Avenue shelter.

“Staff there have been working intensely to adapt to today’s COVID realities,” Hanley said.

Shelter staff are also working to enable safe spacing and education about hygiene and coughing etiquette.

Isolated accommodation is available at the shelter for guests who need to isolate.

Staff are also helping people who don’t require shelter supports to find alternative, temporary accommodation.

The government is working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to equip staff with guidance and resources for supporting vulnerable clients.

Additional work camp guidelines have been issued and will affect mine employees in the territory. The guidelines will direct staff on self-isolation requirements, safe spacing, food handling and hygiene.

Companies are encouraged to pay staff while they self-isolate, to ensure that the rules are followed.

Hanley said the territory is working to acquire more equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators.

“We’re in very active, very intense discussions with the federal government and with our counterparts; also with our northern counterparts on acquiring supplies through the current federal bulk purchase as well as various other arrangements.”

Acquisition of PPE has now been centralized to include hospitals, the Department of Health and Social Services and community organizations.

Ventilator acquisition is a separate process from PPE, because it requires additional oxygen supply, consumables and staffing to support the extra equipment. The territory currently has nine working ventilators.

Hanley said this is still a “very active area” of search planning, but public health measures will do more to save lives than an expanded number of ventilators will.

“Flattening that curve as much as we can –– that’s going to be our biggest answer to critical care needs.”

Comments (8)

Up 27 Down 5

Colleen Williams on Apr 5, 2020 at 7:24 pm

People continue to come to Atlin for non essential travel. We have few services and request people whom come here to listen to the government when they say stay home. We are very worried about the Easter weekend, please stay home and do not use Atlin for non essential travel.

Up 6 Down 10

Josey Wales on Apr 4, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Hmmm...the gatekeepers or better yet, the hall monitors do not dig random opinions from random folks?
Sure is a whack of thought provoking and discourse stimulating participation there BnR, mind blown.
Also too, ewe infer kids will get stupid if they miss school and potentially evolve to have random opinions? Opinionated and diametric to folks as ewe so in tune with the progressive world as your participation suggests you are...or so ya would have us believe?

You have said a few things lately BnR that I do in fact agree with, imagine eh? Seldom do you present a argument, seem to fetishize on vilifying the messengers...with cognitive dissonance on the message?
Reads like you spent too much time in public school frankly.
If ya ever wish to grow, to actually pick up a set of metaphorical six guns, a sword maybe, and become a dragon slayer?

Cite clearly (grammatical errors even... care not) why, how, where and what the messengers are so very wrong about as it relates to your “Order” devoid of any random wrong thoughts (my inference not yours)
Oh yeah, mine and others (safe to assume) facts care little of feelings.
If you wish to enter the arena of debate & intellect, please do it with some.
NnnnnnKay? “Awesome “ BnR said, in this thread.

Up 13 Down 9

BnR on Apr 3, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Random guy named Justin shows up to criticize the health care professionals and share with us a youtube video.....
Stay in school kids, or this happens.

Up 31 Down 5

badnews on Apr 3, 2020 at 10:01 am

"It also found that the capacity to shed virus can last after symptoms clear up" CBC news. That means the people that got over the virus are not OK, and should go back into quarantine because they will be the major community transmitters. This reality about virus transmission predates the Govt statements about transmission after symptoms are cleared up are rare. It is now believed it is the cause of the rapid increase globally. We need immediate action. The man from Europe has been shedding the virus from Europe to Whitehorse. Was this non essential travel?

Up 14 Down 3

Tyler on Apr 3, 2020 at 6:30 am

The world is being faced with a global pandemic.

Do you:
A) Travel to a foreign country
B) Not travel to a foreign country

*circles option A*

Up 24 Down 17

Justin on Apr 2, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Over the last several days, I have lost any faith I originally had in our territorial cmo, and our elected representatives. We still cannot seem to get a clear and concise story from anyone about how this is being handled. Unfortunate, and rather disappointing. Mostly the latter.
Our cmo appears to enjoy playing politician. Sir, we already have an actor in the prime minister’s office, we need real, dedicated professionals here. Please stick to your role as a medical professional, and leave the poorly played politics to the people who do it best. You said it, work as a team. And our community needs leaders. Step up, stop following the party line, you are better than that.

As far as transmission of this virus, how contagious it is, and how many cases are critical, serious, and mild, I would like to submit this link. I received this from someone in the medical community, and it is very informative. A bit long, but very worth watching, for everyone.


Thank you again for your time, and everyone, watch out for each other. It is time for people to step up and be their best!
Take care

Up 55 Down 13

royalboss on Apr 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm

When did he leave, how long was he there, how amazing that he got all the way to Whitehorse without showing signs, and then in self quarantine the signs showed up. Does anyone believe that? And how would we know if there's no checking at Whitehorse airport. Leaving and returning is a relevant question because Europe is a hot spot. It's like the couple that came back from the USA. And as for the good news, I don't think street people congregating in groups and puffing on the same joint, and nothing is being done is good news.

Up 76 Down 7

Al on Apr 2, 2020 at 2:33 pm

I have to wonder what the hell is going on! Several weeks ago those that were flown back to Canada were placed into forced quarantine in Trenton or Cornwall. Done to protect the population and ensure that when they were released they were virus free. So why, I repeat why, are people allowed to land in Canada now not be in forced quarantine? Come on this is becoming ridiculous. If you are coming back into Canada then passengers or road travellers should be put into forced quarantine just as we did early in the pandemic. Why the double standard??

Think of this - a passenger gets off the plane in Toronto (heading to Whitehorse) and is told you must go into self-quarantine when you get home. Oh they don't seem to realize that home is two more flights away with a possible over night in Vancouver. Similarly they drive across the border heading to Whitehorse and spend another 3-4 days driving home.

Oh it is alright we are told cause when they get home they will go into self-isolation. What a crock of s**t!
If we are going to take this seriously, which we should, the let's do it right!

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