Non-resident tests positive for COVID-19 while in Yukon

A non-resident has tested positive for COVID-19 while in Yukon and is the first case to be hospitalized in the territory, according to the territory's chief medical officer.

The person is at the Whitehorse General Hospital in stable condition, Dr. Brendan Hanley told CBC News on Saturday.

Hanley said that the person is a Canadian resident and would not disclose which jurisdiction they came from, but he did say they contracted the illness outside of the territory.

"The infection was acquired outside of Yukon," Hanley said.

The person was asymptomatic when they arrived, he said, and developed symptoms over the past few days.

As this person is not a Yukon resident, this case will not be included in Yukon's case count, Hanley said.

He also confirmed this is the first time someone has been hospitalized for COVID-19 in the territory.

"The patient is stable in hospital, well cared for, and all appropriate precautions and infection control practices were applied right from the beginning," said Hanley.

He said the hospital is "fully prepared" to manage, treat, and care for patients with the illness.

Steve Silva/CBC
Steve Silva/CBC

'Limited exposure scenario'

The territory said in a news release Saturday morning that the public health risk associated with this case is low, based on a risk assessment done by Yukon Communicable Disease Control.

Hanley said that the person tested positive Friday morning, and contact tracing is well underway.

"We are really dealing with a very limited exposure scenario here," he said.

"The contacts in the Yukon are very limited, the person did all the right things in terms of getting tested when symptoms occurred, doing the self-isolation while waiting for the results."

He said the territory will not be naming the locations in the territory that the person visited, after assessing the exposure risk on Friday.

"We have done public notifications before for other cases, but in this case there were no public exposures of any significant risk, and so we didn't have to publish any public notification."

As of Friday at 2 p.m., the territory had 15 confirmed and recovered cases of COVID-19, according to the government's website.