Whitehorse Daily Star

Some health rules will be slightly relaxed

Some health rules will be slightly relaxed

By Tim Giilck on December 1, 2021

The Yukon’s state of emergency over the latest COVID-19 wave will remain in effect for an undetermined length of time, although some minor loosening of health restrictions is coming this weekend.

At this morning’s weekly COVID-19 briefing, Premier Sandy Silver would not provide a definitive answer as to whether the emergency declaration could be lifted by Christmas or New Year’s.

“I’m not going to speculate on that,” he said. “There are questions and much anticipation about the days and weeks ahead.”

He announced that beginning on Saturday, vaccine passports will no longer be required for faith-based services and personal services, such as hair salons.

There will be new regulations on gathering sizes as well. Indoor gatherings can operate at 50-per-cent capacity, with masks still required, while outdoor gatherings face no restrictions.

If you are 18 years of age and under, you will not have to show the vaccine passports to engage in recreation and sports activities. Masks will still be required.

Silver said the restrictions were being relaxed due to an “encouraging decrease in daily case counts and active cases.

“Yukon, you have been diligent,” he said. “It’s been very encouraging. We need to do everything we can to stop COVID.”

Dr. Catherine Elliott, the acting chief medical officer of health, has returned from a two-week absence. She said there are currently 61 active cases (down from 69 Monday afternoon) and two hospitalizations. One person has been transferred to a southern hospital.

She said the reduction in cases showed the effectiveness of the “circuit-breaker” health regulations introduced with the state of emergency.

Elliott also touched on the Omicron variant of COVID-19, just discovered within the last week or so. She said there have been no cases in the Yukon as yet, although it will “inevitably” turn up. Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and B.C. have reported cases of the new variant.

“We do expect to see it here at some point,” Elliott said. “It is not here now. We have time to prepare and stall its inevitable introduction here.

“It’s not clear how transmissible it is – looks like more than the previous variants,” she added. “Vaccines have been safe and effective against all variants to date.”

Silver and Elliott stressed other health measures, particularly mandatory masking, will continue.

Elliott emphasized the importance of mask-wearing, but she seemed to be unaware of the latest advice on mask-wearing from Public Health Canada.

In a report published last month, and reported on by major media outlets such as CTV, the organization stated it has changed its advice on cloth masks, which have now been deemed to be less effective than medical and N-95 masks.

The updated guidance also recommends medical masks or respirators for people “who are at risk of more severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19” and those at higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 because of their living situation,” as well as general public use.

Respirators (such as N-95 masks) have always been considered the highest level of mask protection but were not recommended for general public use due to potential shortages. The Public Health Agency said in its statement that’s no longer true.

Comments (27)

Up 2 Down 3

TMYK on Dec 7, 2021 at 11:28 am

@Elliot. She only disappeared multiple times for exactly two weeks. Just a coincidence I’m sure.

Up 4 Down 3

TheHammer on Dec 6, 2021 at 3:05 pm

Director for the Auditor General, formerly a colonel in the Hong Kong police fraud squad, during the operational audit of WCB. In a meeting with members of the Yukon Injured Workers Alliance said: "If we put these people in Jail, (board chair and president) who is going to replace them? There's no management talent in the Yukon. We don't want to win the battle and lose the war. We want them to correct their mistakes. Richard Mostyn, formerly a journalist, and the PR man for WCB, has no management talent.
The new legislation has virtually eliminated the concept of fairness, by placing what constitutes evidence under the authority of WCB. Permanent partial impairments caused by job related repetitive overuse are difficult to prove. In the absence of proof WCB can determine that no proof constitutes proof the job didn't do it. In spite of the fact WCB have no evidence the job didn't do it i.e. evidence to the contrary, a pillar of WCB legislation. This is the creation of a journalist word spinner. When he gets elected out of job in the next election, he will get a job with WCB. Permanent partial impairments constitute the largest percentage of claim costs. So these are the claims that are targeted for rejection and mismanagement.
Giving extra money to surviving families of fatalities is a drop in the bucket compared to the money saved by the new legislation. It's a sweetener for the bitter pill of a worker with a rejected claim spending the rest of his life in poverty. The trade union organizations in Yukon have sanctioned these legislative changes along with YP and the Chamber of Commerce.
The WCB is one of the last bastions of institutionalized abuse in Canada. The whole system needs to be reformed on a national scale. WCB are a law unto themselves, The Appeals Tribunal is a court of law. They have no allegiance to Territory, Province, or the Nation. It's like a Nazi state within the community. Law breaking that carries jail time and heavy fines has been ignored for the last 26 years.

Up 4 Down 6

drum on Dec 3, 2021 at 5:05 pm

Where does this leave NGO's who serve the community?

Up 21 Down 13

Groucho d'North on Dec 3, 2021 at 10:12 am

I'm seeing more and more comments about governments perceived efforts to control the populace. I think many are giving our government too much credit for conducting something this sophisticated. But to blow on the conspiracy spark a little bit, consider this: If you had to depopulate the globe by 95% how would you do it?

Up 43 Down 17

Renee on Dec 2, 2021 at 9:41 pm

I just want to point out that the non vaccinated can't even take a s**t now because we are restricted from everything so it's not the unvaccinated helping this virus get around the world!

And how are those stats on people with double vaccination and are still sick? From the worlds most survivable deadliest virus? and I am not a conspiracy person. If you do the math of the rolling statics that are available to everyone online… this is still rocking the over 99% survivable rate.

If we can be barred from working in the public service as teachers and nurses because we decline irreversible medical interventions or decline to disclose to government the nature of those personal choices, then we no longer live in a free and equal society.

Up 18 Down 13

Ben on Dec 2, 2021 at 4:42 pm

Thanks Sandy. We're all grateful, and I feel very safe. The regulations make no sense, and this is a very obvious reward for what you see as having been compliance (but more likely it's coincidence). Just like rewarding a good dog.

Up 36 Down 30

PJ’s Ghost on Dec 2, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Wow many comments here are of the looney tune variety for sure. Why are the dumb and lazy the most vocal? If they could think, most questions wouldn’t be asked. Or if they did some work they’d see how ridiculous they are. All in all, we’re darn lucky to be Yukoners! Let’s pull up our socks a bit, okay?

Up 25 Down 19

Elliott on Dec 2, 2021 at 10:12 am

Elliott does not appear competent and is always behind the news. Hanley, disagree or not, at least relatively kept up with the latest developments.
BTW, where does Elliott keep disappearing to? Every time she takes over as acting CMOH, she vanishes for a period with no explanation.

Up 39 Down 11

Apex parasite on Dec 2, 2021 at 8:55 am

Increase rules, relax rules, wear a mask don't wear a mask, we need more ventilators n whoops the ventilators make everything worse, don't mix vaccines it's ok to mix vaccines, it's a booster it's not a booster it's a third shot of a three shot regime....whoops it's a booster....., the vax will prevent transmission, whoops a local hockey team comes back from a tournament with an 80 percent infection rate for the all double vaxxed team.

The rhetoric would have you believe that the vax is the only answer in all this but the recommendations change as fast as the YP changes tactics to hang the current standing government and simply trying to stay informed has become very onerous.

Is covid a virulent killer or not? If it is let's treat it like one and not constantly be in the middle of this ambiguous vague stew of shape shifting rhetoric. If that means harsh measures then lets get to it and treat it like the very real threat the vaccine mandate would have us believe but to rely on the vaccine alone seem to me like we have a lot of eggs in one basket while we pander to whiners some obvious members of the idiocracy.

It is really obvious that it is a scramble for those tasked with keeping us safe but the wishy washy ever in flux nature of trying to please everyone. If it takes a lockdown then lock it down. If it takes cancelling flights then lets get at it. Is it a serious threat or not? Feels like we're always one step behind covid but trying, at the same time, to present optics that portray being on top of things when by now that is clearly not the case.

Up 47 Down 0

Kyle on Dec 2, 2021 at 7:36 am

The two household gathering limit really needs to go. It makes very little sense that you can go to the bar and have a drink with five of your friends (potentially inhaling and exhaling the virus around all the other patrons) but you can't have a few friends from different households in your own home.

I think with Omicron emerging more people are realizing that COVID is going to be around for a long time/forever and whatever restrictions we maintain need to be reasonable and sustainable. Limiting people to one other household in their home is neither.

Up 16 Down 15

Vern Schlimbesser on Dec 2, 2021 at 7:16 am

Way back in training in another lifetime N95 masks were rare and seldom used, and certainly not what we see in common use now. The paper masks everyone wears downtown are NOT them, these paper masks were less than 10% effective in a scientific setting. I recall everything above 90% came with its own air supply.
How does 10 become 95?

Up 21 Down 20

Charlie's Aunt on Dec 1, 2021 at 7:53 pm

It is difficult but we need to get our heads out of our own backyard. We can't blame SS for restrictions when some countries in Europe are mandating that all adults are vaccinated with no excuses. UK announced they have ordered enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to ensure 4th & 5th boosters are available in 2022 & 2023! The local double speak is confusing when restrictions are going to be softened for churches and hair salons. Omicron spreads rapidly, but it is unknown how serious this mutation is; it is in BC & Alta so it seems a strange time to lesson restrictions.

Up 34 Down 25

Matthew on Dec 1, 2021 at 7:48 pm

If vaccines actually worked, they wouldn't have restrictions on the vaxxed, not to mention we're trusting big pharma like they never lie! Except every time they talk they lie..

Up 26 Down 17

bonanzajoe on Dec 1, 2021 at 6:48 pm

Sorry you were doing it before but not now on Dec 1: Very good comment. It may be time for a very large a long protest against this government and demand answers. I for one am getting tired of just hearing about the number count with no information. The Liberals and NDP have to be kept to account.

Up 20 Down 21

bonanzajoe on Dec 1, 2021 at 6:45 pm

"cold on Dec 1": Maybe it's time to drop the sky on them. I will not be taken over by communist tactics.

Up 28 Down 20

bonanzajoe on Dec 1, 2021 at 6:43 pm

JSM: Time to tell the governments to take a flying leap. Let's just go about our business as usual. Let them put all of us in jail. Will be interesting to see what they do to those hard core criminals already incarcerated. I for one if caught will not pay a fine. They can jail me. I'm not afraid of the Marxist Leninist tactics. I served my country to protect freedoms and democracy. I will do it again if I have to. I hear there will be a new National language, its called BAAAA BAAAAA

Up 15 Down 20

Chuck Farley on Dec 1, 2021 at 5:25 pm

Sorry you were doing it before but not now; it's the 15% that is infected, you know the ones who are not vaxxed.

Up 5 Down 4

No opinion on Dec 1, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Two week break more like it.

Up 10 Down 6

My Opinion on Dec 1, 2021 at 4:49 pm

@ Yukoner
Haha yep ain't that funny. I guess that little restriction didn't suit some. Oh the hypocrisy.

Up 27 Down 11

My Opinion on Dec 1, 2021 at 4:46 pm

Meanwhile Elliot travels the world. Nuff Said.

Up 25 Down 20

Matthew on Dec 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm

"Dr. Catherine Elliott, the acting chief medical officer of health, has returned from a two-week absence"
Where was she? Generals don't leave their foot soldiers in the middle of battle... especially when they called the battle to begin with!

Up 18 Down 7

@cold on Dec 1, 2021 at 4:15 pm

You ask: "Why would the Libs and NDP give up their power"?
Surely this is a rhetorical question? Why would any party whose sole purpose is to be in power, give up their power? I am lost.

Up 66 Down 23

Sorry you were doing it before but not now on Dec 1, 2021 at 3:24 pm

How many were vaccinated of the current cases?
How many were eligible for vaccination?
What was the age demographic?
Are you still lying to the public that the vaccines work? Because why are we seeing outbreaks + variants when over 85% of the population is vaccinated? Has the Yukon government investigated whether vaccines are the cause of the mutations (you know, what normally happens)?

Up 72 Down 20

cold on Dec 1, 2021 at 2:56 pm

Why would the Libs and NDP give up their power.
They get to do whatever they want as long as they keep saying the sky is falling.

Up 73 Down 28

JSM on Dec 1, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Does anyone else think have a germaphobe chief of medical was a bad idea? We will never be free again, everytime things start easing up there will be a new variant about that they will use to take away our freedom. There is no end in sight to this. We have already given up what little control we have and they are never giving it back.

Up 73 Down 19

Yukoner on Dec 1, 2021 at 2:28 pm

"vaccine passports will no longer be required for faith-based services and personal services, such as hair salons" - yes I'm sure there was nothing political about this and it was all based on the recommendations of the CMOH with no political interference... SMH

Up 78 Down 20

Juniper Jackson on Dec 1, 2021 at 2:08 pm

I am so tired of Silver I could bite a wall.........

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