WHITEHORSE — Yukon has received an extra $12.4 million in federal government transfers to go towards the higher cost of delivering service during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Premier Sandy Silver says $7.7 million will be used to support hospitals and rural health care, while $4.7 million will be spent on the territory's vulnerable populations, including support for the Whitehorse Emergency Shelter.
Yukon's total allotment under the federal government's safe restart agreement comes to $26 million.
Yukon has managed to keep its total COVID infection rate at 15 people, but territorial health officer Dr. Brendan Hanley urged residents to keep their guard up, especially as the Thanksgiving long weekend approaches.
He says staying outside as much as possible is preferred, indoor gatherings are limited to 10 and those eating together need to have a designated carver.
Hanley says the recent outbreak of COVID-19 at the White House is a good example of how quickly the disease can spread.
"If there was ever a time that I found words from a certain U.S. leader that I agreed with, it was when he said 'You don't need to fear this disease.' He's right, we shouldn't live in fear of COVID." Hanley said, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Fear leads to irrational reactions driven by panic, said Hanley.
"But equally irrational is ignoring the threat that the virus poses. Let's not kid ourselves as to how devastating a disease it has shown itself to be."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 7, 2020.
The Canadian Press