A student at Porter Creek Secondary School has tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents were informed Sept. 7 in an evening email from the department of education. The positive case was later made public with a press release the following day.
On Sept. 9, acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott and the Deputy Minister of Education Nicole Morgan held a press conference to reassure the public that schools are prepared for positive cases.
“This is something we’ve expected and that we’re responding to,” said Elliott.
Elliott said seeing cases in schools was anticipated, but the schools have protocols for infection that are already set up. She called the situation a “good news story” because of the school’s efficient response.
“We expected to see cases in schools and now we have our first case. We’ve worked very closely with the Department of Education to develop guidance, the guidance was rolled out very quickly and as planned. We’re seeing people do what they need to do in order to protect communities,” she said.
The student who tested positive was present in four periods; first period new media literary studies 10 in room 101, second period Grade 10 science in room 141, third period Grade 9 math in room 149 and fourth period Grade 10 phys ed in gym E.
Students in the classes that are immunocompromised, partially vaccinated or unvaccinated are being asked to self-isolate until Sept. 13. Fully vaccinated students who attended the classes are being asked to monitor for symptoms until Sept. 17.
“We know keeping schools open and available to students is good for their well-being. It’s good for the well-being of our community. And it takes all of us to have the resolve to keep our schools open and safe. Each of us has a part to play,” said Morgan.
“Follow your school’s operational plan for reducing communicable disease. All of these measures are layers that help us to protect Yukoners and particularly unvaccinated Yukoners,” she said.
Each school has an individualized operational plan that provides instructions on how to handle cases. Children can continue to study from home while self-isolating.
Children 12 to 17 have a vaccination rate of 72 per cent within the territory, and Elliott encouraged all eligible teens and adults to get the vaccine.
Unrelated to the case at Porter Creek, a ninth person has died from COVID-19 in the territory. The death occurred Sept. 8 in Whitehorse General Hospital. None of the people who have died in the Yukon were fully vaccinated.
On the same day a public exposure notice was released for Whitehorse Transit, for those travelling on Sept. 2 on Route #6 Southbound from Porter Creek to Granger between the hours of 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
A second notice was released for the Canada Games Centre running track on Aug. 30 between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The number of active cases is currently at 20.
Contact Haley Ritchie at firstname.lastname@example.org