WHITEHORSE — Yukon is expanding the rules for gatherings under COVID-19 restrictions with more than three-quarters of eligible residents fully vaccinated, although health officials warn the territory's worst outbreak isn't over.
Premier Sandy Silver and chief public health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley say the territory is returning to gathering sizes previously allowed on May 25 of up to 200 people, as long as masks are worn indoors and other health protocols are followed.
Hanley is recommending that fully vaccinated people can have personal gatherings of up to 20 people indoors and 50 outdoors, but the unvaccinated are encouraged to stick with their “safe six” because they are at significantly higher risk.
He encouraged daycares to return to full capacity beginning Monday now that cases associated with child-care centres in Whitehorse are under control and most have recovered.
Yukon is six weeks into an outbreak that has primarily affected the unvaccinated and killed four people, with 93 active cases as of Monday, although Hanley says new daily cases have dropped from a peak of more than 20 to "just a few."
However, Silver says that if progress continues on stabilizing the situation, then officials are aiming to lift the state of emergency next month.
"Our daily case count has been decreasing, our vaccine uptake rates are increasing, that is exactly what we need to see. If this trend continues, we will be lifting the state of emergency next month," Silver said.
"This will mean all restrictions introduced under the Civil Emergency Measures Act in response to COVID-19 will be lifted and we can focus our efforts on recovery."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 14, 2021.
The Canadian Press