COVID-19 variants in Canada mean Yukon rules to stay: territory's health officer

·1 min read

WHITEHORSE — Yukon has no active cases of COVID-19 and 68 per cent of its adults have been vaccinated, but the territory's top doctor says that's not enough to loosen restrictions.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, says the spread of variants in neighbouring jurisdictions influences Yukon's regulations.

Hanley says he's also not allowed to announce major regulation changes during the territorial election unless he's addressing an outbreak.

Hanley says he and his staff are assessing the dangers and preparing a position document for the new government to consider after Monday's election.

For now, Hanley says the best strategy against variants of concern is to stick to public health measures and vaccinate as many people as possible.

Yukon has had 74 confirmed cases, including two from COVID-19 variants, while one person has died.

Hanley says he understands that everyone is tired of the restrictions but it's not the time to ease up.

"I think we are getting close, but Canada and most of the world has a rough period to get through first. And we can't be completely isolated from that harsh reality.

He says he would like to see the vaccination rate in the Yukon reach 75 per cent, but just 52 per cent of those aged 18 to 29 have had a shot, while 87 per cent of those over 70 have been vaccinated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 7, 2021.

The Canadian Press