Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. Hanley announced on April 8 Yukon’s first COVID-19 case in a Yukon community. The case is linked to international travel. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Chief medical officer of health announces eighth COVID-19 case in the Yukon, first in a community

Although in a community, the case is linked to international travel and not community transmission

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, announced that the Yukon has its eighth case of COVID-19 and the first outside of Whitehorse in a press conference on April 8.

This case was linked to international travel, he said, and not an example of community transmission. The individual is currently safely self-isolating at home.

Hanley declined to name the community, stating there was no public health rationale to do so.

“Unless there is a compelling reason due to public risk, there is no need to tell others of the community,” said Hanley. “Both individuals and communities deserve their privacy and disclosing the identity of a community can quickly lead to identifying suspected individuals or their families.”

He acknowledged a vocal portion of the public may disagree, but said decisions are not made based on public opinion.

“I have committed to a public health approach to COVID that is based on best current evidence and informed by experts, either locally, nationally or around the world. We listen closely to input from the public and our leaders, however our practices are not driven by public opinion. Likewise, community identity will not be revealed for reasons of curiousity or reasons that are not based on public health rationale.”

Hanley clarified that the community could be named in some cases, like if contact tracing within a rural community was required.

Despite a new case, Hanley said the risk hasn’t changed.

“The risk does not change up or down due to these sporadic cases,” said Hanley.

With the Easter long weekend coming up, Hanley encouraged people to get outside but continue to follow all current public health measures in place. Anyone who has COVID-19 or was ordered to self-isolate for 14 days must continue to do so.

As of 3 p.m. on April 8, there are eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory and four of the individuals are now classed as recovered. A total of 794 Yukoners have been tested for the virus, with eight positive results, 767 negative results and 19 pending results.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com