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Carmacks school moves to remote classes

Over 200 COVID-19 tests were pending in the Yukon as of Wednesday
The Tantalus School in Carmacks switched to remote learning today in response to a swell of COVID-19 cases. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Amid community transmission of COVID-19 and a return to the state of emergency, further measures to contain its spread are being brought in.

The local school council in Carmacks made the decision to switch over to remote learning as the Little Salmon Carmacks First Nation and the Municipality of Carmacks urge their citizens to remain in isolation.

“This change is not the result of a public health order from the chief medical officer of health. Tantalus School remains safe for staff and students, and is still under its same operational plan. Students can still enter the building if they need assistance or resources from the school,” a Yukon government representative said.

The Tantalus School council launched the move to remote classes.

According to the Department of Education, school staff will continue to report to work each day and will prepare materials to support students’ learning from home.

As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 10, there were 156 active cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. Of those active cases, 108 are in Whitehorse; 22 in Carmacks; 14 in Watson Lake; two cases each are reported in Dawson City, Haines Junction, and Carcross; and one case each in Mayo and Pelly Crossing.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health reminded people that the reported community information is based on a person’s usual residence, but may not be where the people are actually residing at this time.

The drive-through testing location in Whitehorse on the Alaska Highway is open 7 days per week between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. People in rural Yukon can contact their Health Centre.

There are 231 people waiting for results as of this time.

An updated case count is expected on Nov. 12 after press time.

The Yukon will return to a state of emergency on Nov. 13, with old and new rules enforced.

They will remain in place until at least Dec. 3.

In summary, the new rules, enforceable under the Civil Emergency Measures Act, include mandatory masking in most spaces, limits on gatherings by household and proof of vaccination required to attend many facilities and businesses such as restaurants and gyms.

Elliott is recommending that travel between communities, and between communities and Whitehorse, be avoided until further notice. Specific exposure notices will not be released, because all public interactions are now a potential source of transmission.

For those groups that are fully vaccinated, up to 10 people from a maximum of two households can gather. Unvaccinated individuals should restrict personal gatherings to household members only.

For organized gatherings such as weddings and conferences, indoor events can include 25 people with proof of vaccination required. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 50 individuals. Seated ticketed events, including arts and sporting events, and faith-based and cultural gatherings are restricted to 50 per cent of capacity with proof of vaccination. Physical distancing will be required.

A full and detailed list of facilities affected is online.

– With files from Haley Ritchie and Jim Elliot

Contact Lawrie Crawford at