COVID-19 cases surge in Yukon, double vaccinated cases rising, says health officer

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WHITEHORSE — Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says leading Canada in COVID-19 vaccination rates didn't protect the territory from an "inevitable" recent surge in cases, prompting the return to tighter restrictions.

Silver says Yukon was prepared for the return of COVID-19, which is why the territory declared a state of emergency on Monday with measures to reduce transmission, including mask wearing and gathering limits in force from Nov. 13 to Dec. 3.

Whitehorse is experiencing widespread, untraceable COVID-19 cases and Dr. Catherine Elliott, acting chief medical officer of health, says there has also been an increase in infections among those who are fully vaccinated.

She attributes the higher infections in those who have had two shots to high amounts of COVID-19 circulating in Yukon and the length of time since people have had their second vaccine dose.

Elliott says it is normal for vaccine immunity to decrease over time, which is why the government is now offering booster shots to people 50 years and older.

She says the territory is also closely monitoring other jurisdictions across Canada to determine when the time is right to offer a more widespread booster shot program.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 10, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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