Yukon officials offer reassurance after COVID-19 case identified in school

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WHITEHORSE — Yukon officials say everything has gone according to plan after the first case of COVID-19 was identified at a secondary school since classes resumed.

Dr. Catherine Elliott, the territory's acting chief medical officer of health, and deputy education minister Nicole Morgan told a news conference Thursday that health protocols were followed after a student at Porter Creek Secondary School in Whitehorse tested positive.

The case was announced Wednesday and Elliott says no additional cases have been linked to the student, although Grade 9 and 10 classes were directed to watch for symptoms and self-isolate, depending on vaccination status.

Elliott says the territory has learned from other jurisdictions that schools are safe places when health measures are in place.

However, she says some cases among students are expected since schools are a reflection of the community and COVID-19 remains active in Yukon.

Officials attributed the territory's surging cases in June to graduation events at a high school, two classes at an elementary institute, as well as parties and gatherings at bars.

They ask students and teachers to take all precautions including getting vaccinated and wearing masks, adding that schools play an important role in student health.

"Schools are very important places and we've seen across Canada, and around the world, when children are not attending school, because in many places schools were closed, there are significant impacts on their health and well-being," Elliott said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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