The Yukon Government has released its transition plan to end the state of emergency and “transition from pandemic to endemic.”
Premier Sandy Silver and Dr. Catherine Elliott presented the document on Aug. 20, during the weekly COVID-19 update. The plan involves six “pillars” that involve moving forward.
“If the risks change we will adapt, as we have in the past, as necessary,” said Silver.
On Wednesday the territory reported its first case of the Delta variant and now has two active cases. Both cases came from Outside. One person is self-isolating at home and one person is at hospital. All contacts are self-isolating, according to Silver.
“There are no exposure events within the Yukon associated with these cases. While this is serious news we must remember that we are well prepared for this,” said Silver.
Elliott said there may be one or more cases confirmed in the coming days. There are 50 active cases in the territory and a rapid response team has been deployed to Ross River to deal with an uptick in cases.
“The vaccine has protected us from a much higher case count,” said Elliott. “It is our vaccine rates that have kept us protected during this period.”
Going forward, the six pillars will include working with First Nations and communities, vaccination campaigns, testing and surveillance for cases, preparing the healthcare system for surges in cases, social support for vulnerable groups and ongoing promotion of public health measures.
Silver said the state of emergency will come to an end on Aug. 25.
Elliott said some will stop wearing masks, while others will keep to the safe six. All those tools are important to protect unvaccinated people, including children, said Elliott. It remains important to get tested and self-isolate if experiencing symptoms.
“We must not be fearful because we now have experience and knowledge, and the vaccine,” said Elliott.
Silver said the key to control the virus is to get tested, wear masks in crowded places and get vaccinated.
“If you are actively choosing not to get vaccinated you are leaving yourself and others around you at risk,” said Silver.
Elliott said booster shots are still being reviewed and will be administered “based on the scientific evidence” that they expect within a month.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org