Yukon ready to dispense Moderna vaccine, once approved by Health Canada: Silver

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WHITEHORSE — Yukon no longer has any active cases of COVID-19 and the territory's chief medical officer of health says the development marks "the beginning of the end" of the crisis.

Dr. Brendan Hanley made the comment Tuesday during Yukon's final COVID-19 briefing of 2020.

There have been 59 confirmed cases of the virus in Yukon, but Hanley says the final patient has been declared recovered.

He says it has been a full week since a new case was reported and there is also "no further evidence" of community transmission.

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says Whitehorse was one of five locations selected for a dry run last week assessing readiness for delivery of the Moderna vaccine to rural locations, once that has been approved by Health Canada.

He says Whitehorse and the other four sites — the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador — passed the test and immunization clinics could begin within 48 hours of the vaccine's approval.

Despite no further cases of COVID-19 in Yukon, Silver says self-quarantine restrictions, limits on the size of gatherings and other measures will remain in place to reduce the chance of further outbreaks.

"It's a gift we can give everybody over the holiday season, is to wear the mask," he told the news conference.

"The last thing we want to do is to have a breakout of cases in the coming weeks just as vaccines start to arrive."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 22, 2020.

The Canadian Press