The case count within the Yukon is once again at zero, and a recent COVID-19 case and death of a Yukon resident does not carry any risk of transmission within the territory.
Earlier this week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley confirmed the second death of a Yukon resident with COVID-19. At the weekly COVID-19 update on April 28, he said the individual was Outside when they contracted the virus.
“While COVID-19 was not the cause of death, it was a contributing factor,” said Premier Sandy Silver. “This is sad news, and it is also a reminder that COVID-19 is a threat to the health and safety of all Yukoners.”
Hanley said the individual was a Yukon resident who contracted COVID-19 outside the territory. Although the person contracted COVID-19 shortly before they died, it did not cause their death but was a contributing factor.
The case is considered number 81 and will be considered a COVID-19 death under Yukon statistics. Hanley said the government will not be releasing any more details about the case.
“While people may want to know, they do not need to know,” Hanley said.
The current rate of vaccinations in the territory is 25,713 first doses, sitting at 73 per cent. The Moderna vaccine is also being planned to be made available at community health clinics.
“It’s exciting to watch the numbers steadily rising,” said Hanley, adding that the 75 per cent number was the initial goal but does not guarantee herd immunity, particularly because the distribution is not even over age groups.
He said only 44 per cent of young people aged 18 to 29 have received both doses.
He also noted that some people have been booking vaccine appointments without showing up for them. This is a problem because the vaccine doses of Moderna must be thawed in advance and must be used as they cannot be refrozen.
“If you book please show up,” he said, adding that people can also call to cancel appointments.
Hours for the mass vaccination clinic are changing as the inoculation campaign slows down.
Beginning May 1, the Whitehorse vaccine clinic will be open from Tuesday to Friday. Drop-in hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Appointments can also be booked online.
Premier Sandy Silver joined the press conference for the first time since the election was called.
He said he has been in talks with Hanley about lifting restrictions as vaccination levels increase. He said they are looking at the possibility of increasing the allowable sizes of gatherings and easing self-isolation requirements in the coming weeks.
“Stay with us Yukoners, we will see change shortly,” Hanley said.
Silver also said four charges have been laid under the emergency measures act for failure to self-isolate.
“With no active cases, the highest risk right now for the Yukon is the importation of the virus,” Silver said.
“Recent events show how quickly things can change,” said Silver, referencing cases in Nova Scotia, Iqaluit’s first outbreak and the management of multiple cases in the Northwest Territories.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org