Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the City of Dawson have come together to organize a check stop outside of Dawson City.
Chief Roberta Joseph spoke with the News on May 4 about this venture, explaining it is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and aims to protect the community.
The check stop, which was first set up on April 27, is located 11 kilometres outside of Dawson at one of the pullouts near the welcome sign along the Klondike Highway.
Joseph said the stop is not meant to stop locals, but rather to give the latest information and check in with newcomers to the area.
“It’s not to address any local people,” Joseph said. “It’s to ensure information is provided to those (who) are newly arriving into the community.”
She added that with spring breakup, there needed to be more emphasis on who is entering the community.
This check stop is a screening process for anyone new in Dawson to make sure all orders from the chief medical officer of health are being followed.
Once drivers go through the check stop, they are given a tag to display and allowed to pass without stopping in the future.
Anyone stopped will be given information on where they can self-isolate, if required. Joseph said information will be collected on non-residents coming into town, but that she does not think anyone will be outright denied access to town.
She said that is being done at the Yukon borders but not in Dawson.
“I don’t believe the check stop is for the purpose of being turned away,” Joseph said.
She added the information given at the check stop also includes the consequences for failing to adhere to isolation orders, but it is up to visitors to know their responsibilities on how to keep the community safe.
This is a way of providing visitors with that information.
“I think there is room for serious enforcement should individuals not comply with the rules that are in place and the information we provide,” Joseph said.
The information gathered will be shared with Emergency Measures Organization officials in the Dawson area.
Joseph explained that the information handed out to people will most likely change or be updated, as the chief medical officer of health and the Yukon government modifies orders and regulations on their end.
She said everyone is doing a good job and Dawsonites seem to like the service. She hopes for a safe summer, as people may still make their way to Dawson looking for work.
“I hope everybody stays healthy and stays safe and continues to keep everyone in mind throughout this process of getting us all through COVID-19,” Joseph said.
Contact Gord Fortin at firstname.lastname@example.org