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Delta variant confirmed in the Yukon

Nine new cases found on Aug. 18
Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott announced nine new cases, two of which are the Delta variant, on Aug. 18. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

The Yukon reported nine new cases of COVID-19 on Aug. 18.

Two of those cases are confirmed to be the Delta variant — the first instances of that strain in the territory.

Delta is more contagious than earlier iterations of the virus and seen to spread rapidly among unvaccinated populations, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Delta is the fourth variant of concern named by WHO in this pandemic.

The Yukon’s two Delta cases resulted from transmission outside the territory, according to Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott.

“There have been no known exposures to others in the Yukon,” said Elliott. “We know Delta is on the rise and it is only a matter of time until we see more cases so, Yukoners, please do your part to protect yourself and others and get vaccinated.”

Contact tracing has completed, and contacts are in isolation.

One person with the Delta variant is in hospital.

The Yukon now has 47 active cases of COVID-19. Eight of the new cases are in rural Yukon, and one is an out-of-territory resident.

Anyone experiencing symptoms in Whitehorse should arrange for testing via 867-393-3083 or booking online.

People in communities should contact their rural community health centre.

(Gabrielle Plonka)