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COVID-19 recommendations issued for Watson Lake

Seven new cases identified overnight
Chief Medical Officer of Health Catherine Elliott. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Catherine Elliott, the territory’s acting chief medical officer of health has issued a list of COVID recommendations for Watson Lake after seven new cases were identified overnight between Sept. 23 and 24.

The recommendations include wearing masks in indoor public spaces, and those with chronic health conditions and/or over the age of 65 keeping contacts at a minimum.

The COVID numbers brought the total active case count for the community up to 25, meaning more than half the territory’s case count of 42 (as of noon Sept. 27) were in Watson Lake.

“I am concerned about the increasing number of cases in Watson Lake and the potential for spread given the population vaccination rate,” Elliott said in a statement. “Now is the time for us all to pull together and take the necessary steps to keep each other safe. This includes masking in indoor public spaces, practicing the Safe 6 and, for those who are eligible, getting your vaccine. The best way to protect seniors, elders and children is to get your vaccine. Your vaccine protects you. Your vaccine protects your community.”

Elliott emphasized her recommendations issued for Watson Lake are for all those in the community, whether residents or visiting.

She noted cases in the community have been identified in both the elementary and high school, family clusters and adults.

When there are unlinked situations such as this, it indicates community transmission.

With than 75 per cent of those eligible in southeast Yukon fully vaccinated, “ongoing sustained transmission” is a possibiltiy in the absence of the recommended measures.

A rapid response testing team will be in Watson Lake holding testing clinics from Sept. 27 to Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Those who tested negative prior to Sept. 17are being asked to get re-tested while the team is in the.

Vaccine clinics will be held at the Watson Lake Health Centre on October 1, 8 and 15 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Residents can phone the health centre at 867-536-5255 for more information or to book. Walk-ins are also welcome.

A public exposure notice has also been issued for a Sept. 21 Air North flight (4N510) that flew from Vancouver at 9:25 a.m. and arrived in Whitehorse at 11:50 a.m.

“This is considered a low risk exposure and everyone on this flight is asked to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, until Tuesday, Oct.5 and to arrange for testing if they develop any symptoms,” it was noted.

Anyone experiencing symptoms in Whitehorse should call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book online to arrange for testing.

People in communities should contact their rural community health centre to arrange for testing.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at

Stephanie Waddell

About the Author: Stephanie Waddell

I joined Black Press in 2019 as a reporter for the Yukon News, becoming editor in February 2023.
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