Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

AFFLICTED PERSON VISITED CHURCH – A person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended Sunday morning services at Bethany Church on March 8 and March 15, health officials said Thursday.

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

PERSON ON THE MEND – The person with COVID-19 who attended the Elias Dental clinic is recovering at home, and there is no ongoing risk to the community.

Warning issued for visitors of local church, dental clinic

The Yukon government is warning of possible COVID-19 exposure at Whitehorse’s Elias Dental and Bethany Church in the last three weeks.

By Gabrielle Plonka on March 27, 2020

The Yukon government is warning of possible COVID-19 exposure at Whitehorse’s Elias Dental and Bethany Church in the last three weeks.

A person who tested positive for COVID-19 attended Sunday morning gatherings at Bethany Church on March 8 and March 15.

The individual also visited the Bethany Church “Kids Zone” on March 8.

A person with COVID-19 also attended the Elias Dental clinic March 9 to 13 and on March 16.

The person is recovering at home, and there is no ongoing risk to the community. There is no future risk associated with the church nor clinic.

The risk to persons who visited these locations is low, according to an assessment by Dr. Brendan Hanley, chief medical officer, and Yukon Communicable Disease Control.

As a precaution, individuals who attended these places on the specified days are asked to closely self-monitor for two weeks. If they develop symptoms of COVID-19 – fever, cough, difficulty breathing – they should call 8-1-1.

“As long as these individuals remain healthy and do not develop symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate, and they should continue with their daily activities,” a press release stated.

As of this morning, there were three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Yukon, and 517 tests have been conducted with 102 tests still pending.

At a media briefing on Wednesday morning, Hanley reminded Yukoners that the rules of social distancing are pivotal to mitigating an outbreak in the territory.

This means frequent hand-washing, working from home, maintaining a two-metre distance from others and staying home while sick.

Hanley planned a further update later this afternoon.

Comments (19)

Up 23 Down 1

Miles Epanhauser on Mar 30, 2020 at 2:10 pm

Sincerely hope the person who tested positive and worked and went to church was not passing corona on or did not infect many people.

Up 14 Down 19

Adam on Mar 30, 2020 at 11:41 am

Seems to me the grand pope declared the cell phone as the new Devil's device recently!! Now, the same spin doctoring dude is asking his sheeple to use it to listen to god's word via cell phones.

Oh, I have some holy water for sale that is 96% effective against the virus. It is not a guarantee for the other 4% that will die.

Up 34 Down 9

Mike on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:56 am

Can someone please tell me why on March 14th 2020 a Air North flight from Vancouver to Whitehorse had infected people on it from seats 4 thru 10 which by the way is ludicrous in itself because circulated air makes the whole plane susceptible to infection. Flight number 4N2570 departing Vancouver to Whitehorse it says infected rows 4 to ten. This was march 14, 2020 I never heard about it. Read the formal article from the airline on facebook. Is anyone actually paying attention and is The Yukon public at more risk than what our government is saying?

Up 23 Down 7

SH on Mar 30, 2020 at 10:04 am

What a ridiculous and misinformed comment.

I have been a Christian my whole life, am connected with about three churches in Whitehorse, and have friends from about three others. I literally don't know of any Christian in Whitehorse saying, "We don't have to self-isolate, God will protect of us". In fact, preachers are preaching the opposite. The message I've been hearing from preachers is: "Yes, God is ultimately in control, but wash your hands". We very well understand that God gave us brains to use...

So you heard of one church in the States who gets together despite COVID-19 warnings, and you apply that to all Christians and Churches? Do you actually think that's good logic?

Up 10 Down 13

JC on Mar 29, 2020 at 5:50 pm

Cryptic. Just to set you straight on some things. True Christians are not blind believers. When they believe, their sight is restored and they see through faith and belief. There are only two Religions that believe in the same God, Jews and Christians. I know the other one that you are referring to. Their god is not the same one of these two. And 3rd, if this is about Covid19 and not about religion, why are you trashing religious people for their faith in God? And the great majority of catholic priests were not pedophiles or sexual predators. And the Anglican church were not practicing genocide. Now, get your facts straight. And by the way, who or what do you put your blind faith in? Jesus said, if the blind follow the blind, both will fall into the ditch.

Up 17 Down 18

Groucho d'North on Mar 29, 2020 at 3:43 pm

@ whitehorse star
If you really need to know what our Prime Misery has to say - go to the CBC site, it's like his own private media outlet, he pays them handsomely for it too - but not with his own money of course.

Up 5 Down 25

cryptic on Mar 29, 2020 at 3:40 pm

As a Christian, I believe this virus is coming from God. It's in the Book of Revelation; the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You have misinterpreted my post criticizing blind belief as an attack on Christianity and religion, blind belief in your own self righteous thinking. You have assumed I am not a member of a First Nation. The last part of my post was a criticism of the fundamentalist, literal interpretation of Christianity. There's more than one kind of truth, there is symbolic truth. And if you think I would reveal my real name to become an object of your hatred, think again. And ask yourself how what the church did to First Nations is related to the teachings of Christ. The position of the Greek Orthodox Church regarding the Holy Sacraments of the Eucharist is that there is no way the virus could be transmitted through the Holy Sacrament. This is very controversial. We have a Russian Orthodox Church in Whitehorse, do they hold the same position?

Up 16 Down 39

@whitehorseStar on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:30 am

I would like to know why your paper Never addresses Trudeau's daily messages to Canadians. He covers important information relevant to Yukoners.

Up 23 Down 20

Terri Szabo on Mar 28, 2020 at 3:35 pm


I don’t appreciate you putting down people who believe in something you do not.
Further, I am First Nation, and I do not appreciate you involving First Nations in your odious post. I, for one, do not think like you.
Since you seem to be so passionate about your beliefs, why don’t you post your real name instead of hiding behind your CRYPTIC posts?

Up 39 Down 7

Whaaaa? on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:59 pm

So have all the patients who were seen by the dentist called and in isolation? Obvs it’s a dentist who went to church, worked the week, went to church again, worked Monday and then felt sick so tested. I hope all patients have been notified. Screw confidentiality this is serious.

Up 41 Down 11

Groucho d'North on Mar 28, 2020 at 1:32 pm

So to be clear, it is somehow permissible to identify a church and dental clinic where infected people have recently visited, but it is not permissible to identify the flight number similar infected people travelled on?
Liberal logic at work.
One term and done.

Up 24 Down 41

cryptic on Mar 28, 2020 at 11:42 am

This is about COVID-19. It is not about religion. But some people, religious fundamentalists, blindly believe they will be protected by God. So if a couple go to a religious convention in the USA, they could be going on the blind belief they will be protected because of why they are going. Three monotheistic religions believing in the same God, sending three different revelations, are tearing the world to pieces. Blind belief in the catholic priesthood, pedophiles. Anglican church helping to genocide the First Nations, blind belief. Isis blowing people to smithereens in the blind belief they end up in paradise waited on by virgins.
Blind belief in the literal interpretation of religious dogma as a danger came out of the minds of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century. It's not a joke. So to the Christian believer, if you believe Christ rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, literally, he is still travelling though space!

Up 61 Down 7

Moose101 on Mar 28, 2020 at 6:48 am

Well two things here why was that church still holding services after we had AWG canceled, schools cancelled, self isolation and social distancing in effect ? Now Dr. Hanley says the risk is low if you were at the church and sat beside this person. A bunch of mixed messaging in regards to staying at home and social distancing ???

Up 35 Down 6

Joanne Green on Mar 27, 2020 at 7:40 pm

Caution - the order for groups of no more that 50 was issued March 16. Many of the Christian churches went to virtual services for March 22 to comply with the order.

Up 30 Down 12

Max Mack on Mar 27, 2020 at 6:42 pm

You jump to all kinds of conclusions solely on the basis that someone attended church. Then you bring in anecdotal evidence of events that occurred in other countries thousands of miles away and have nothing to do with the current context.

For all we know, the parishioner did not know they were infected. So, "blind belief" in God or religion has nothing to do with anything.

Up 45 Down 2

Mike on Mar 27, 2020 at 5:28 pm

This article contradicts everything we've been reading and listening to for the last 2 months and to say there's no longer any risk is absolutely insane. How many people attended the church and the kid zone and the numerous visits to the dentist, but everyone is safe? I asked and got second and third opinions from two provincial communicable disease representatives and testing is imperative on anyone and everyone who was around this person. Not the danger to the public is under control and you're free to go about town possibly infecting the whole community. Very irresponsible and premature comment from this Dr.

Up 43 Down 9

Miles Epanhauser on Mar 27, 2020 at 4:43 pm

That's enough Cryptic.
A person who tested positive may have passed the virus to Bethany and Elias Dental.
No need to promote weirdness associated with those who practice religion and travel.

Up 27 Down 16

Richard on Mar 27, 2020 at 4:33 pm

As a Christian for many decades, you are not well informed at all. All the churches I know are very aware and practicing covid 19 precautions.
Many humanitarian organizations, like hospitals, caring for the sick and poor had their origins in Christianity. It is a core of our beliefs.

Up 66 Down 69

Cryptic on Mar 27, 2020 at 3:51 pm

The cat is out of the bag. One of the greatest dangers facing the world today, in terms of organized religion, is 'Blind Belief'. A Pakistan preacher came back from Italy and France and 40000 people had to be quarantined. Church goers in Kenya ignored social distancing and went to church singing and dancing, because Christ will protect them, South Korea was infected on a massive scale because of a religious cult. The big sign outside Bethany church, 'Believe', with the symbol of a key, someone has potentially unlocked the door to contaminating the whole Yukon, because they "Believe".

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