Yukon now has 8 active COVID-19 cases, with 3 people in hospital

·3 min read
'Be prepared for higher case counts,' said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley on Wednesday. (Government of Yukon - image credit)
'Be prepared for higher case counts,' said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley on Wednesday. (Government of Yukon - image credit)

Yukon health officials announced two more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday morning, bringing the territory's total active case count to eight.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley also said that three of those affected people are now in hospital.

Hanley, speaking at a news conference on Wednesday morning, acknowledged that things had changed "quite dramatically" since last week, when there were no known active cases in Yukon.

As of Wednesday morning, Hanley said there were three confirmed cases in Whitehorse, along with another probable case in the city, and another probable case in an unnamed rural community.

There are also three confirmed cases at the Victoria Gold Mine in Yukon. Those cases were announced over the weekend.

Hanley said officials are still trying to figure out the source of infection for all the recent cases in Yukon.

"We don't have the answers yet," Hanley said.

"This could be different introductions of infection causing different outbreaks, or it could be all part of one outbreak. So clearly that's information we're interested in."

He said it's possible the numbers may continue to go up.

"Be prepared for higher case counts," he said.

Watch Wednesday's news conference here:

Hospitalized people not vaccinated

Hanley said the three people now in hospital are in "stable" condition. He also said that none of those people had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The hospitalization rate for the new cases is "remarkable," Hanley said, given that so few of Yukon's earlier cases resulted in hospitalization.

Hanley also confirmed that the three infected people at the Victoria Gold Mine had all received at least one shot of vaccine, and one of those people had received both shots.

"Infections in fully-vaccinated people are rare, but they do occur," Hanley said.

He also argued that the situation would be worse in Yukon right now if the vaccination rate was lower than it is.

Philippe Morin/CBC
Philippe Morin/CBC

As of Monday, about 79 per cent of eligible adults in the territory had received their first dose of vaccine and about 71 per cent had received both doses.

Hanley said the goal right now is to see at least 75 per cent of eligible Yukoners fully vaccinated — and ideally, 80 per cent. The more people vaccinated, he said, "the more secure we will be."

Isolation requirements eased for children

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee also confirmed on Wednesday that the territory will soon be easing some isolation requirements for unvaccinated children.

As of June 18, any children under 12 who are travelling with fully-vaccinated parents or caregivers won't have to isolate for two weeks when they enter Yukon.

Last month, the territory also lifted the two-week isolation requirement for anybody arriving in Yukon at least 14 days after their second vaccine shot.

McPhee said on Wednesday that no further restrictions will be lifted until at least 75 per cent of eligible Yukoners are fully-vaccinated.

"Vaccinations are not a silver bullet when it comes to COVID-19, but they do provide considerable protection," she said.

McPhee also said the new cases in Yukon "provide a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet."

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