The Ross River Dena Council is reporting 17 active COVID-19 cases in the community.
Eight of those cases were reported after a single day of rapid testing on Aug. 17.
“This was Ross River’s largest single-day jump in cases since the outbreak began in June and our community has now reached its highest active case count since the start of the pandemic,” says an announcement posted by the council.
The eight new cases are self isolating. Close and household contacts are also asked to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms.
“It is anticipated that the number of active cases will continue to rise over the next week as numerous close contacts and household contacts could begin to experience symptoms in the coming days,” the council says.
The rapid testing clinic on Aug. 17 tested 50 community members. Those who received a negative result but were identified as a contact of a positive case are still self-isolating. Rapid testing and contact tracing continued on Aug. 18.
A vaccination clinic was also held at the Ross River Health Centre on Aug. 18.
A travel advisory has been issued for the community in response to the rapid increase in cases.
Yukoners are asked not to visit Ross River at this time. Ross River citizens are likewise asked not to travel outside the community unless it is essential. The council has now established a COVID-19 action plan working group to help coordinate community outreach.
As of July 30, Ross River had the lowest vaccination rate in the Yukon. Approximately 45 per cent of the population was fully vaccinated at that time.
The risk level for the community was established at Level 5 (Extreme) after four new cases and nine active cases were reported on Aug. 14.
The extreme risk level spurred the closure of the Dena General Store on Sundays and Tuesdays for cleaning. The gas station also moved to reduced hours from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with customers encouraged to use the Cardlock system to pay for fuel.
A request for comment from the council was not returned by press time.
Contact Gabrielle Plonka at firstname.lastname@example.org