Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media at at press conference on Jan. 27. Hanley opened a March 31 press conference about COVID by saying he had good news, despite the surging cases of COVID-19 in the South. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media at at press conference on Jan. 27. Hanley opened a March 31 press conference about COVID by saying he had good news, despite the surging cases of COVID-19 in the South. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

High school students will return to full-time classes April 19

“I know that this year has been extremely challenging for our students.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley opened a March 31 press conference about COVID by saying he had good news, despite the surging cases of COVID-19 in the South.

On March 25 the Yukon announced two new cases, the first time the B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the U.K., was seen in the territory. Both cases were linked to travel Outside and an exposure notice was put out for a flight from Vancouver to Whitehorse.

There have been no new cases.

“These individuals did the right thing and did not spread the infection,” Hanley said. “If you haven’t gotten your vaccine, please do so, it is now more important than ever.”

Deputy Minister of Education Nicole Morgan accompanied Hanley during the press conference to address the return of grade 10 to 12 high school students in Whitehorse to full-time in-class learning.

Morgan said students will return to full-time classes at F.H. Collins, Vanier Catholic and Porter Creek Secondary School on April 19. She said that will allow time to plan and update schedules.

More information will be provided to the Yukon Teachers Association and parents, she said.

“I know that this year has been extremely challenging for our students and I want to thank each and every one of them for their resiliency,” Morgan said.

As of Wednesday 67 per cent of eligible Yukoners have received their first shot.

Hanley said uptake is lower among young people, and gets higher in more advanced age categories. He said 18 to 29-year-olds are at 51 per cent vaccinated, 30 to 39-year-olds are 61 per cent vaccinated and in the 70 plus range there are 87 per cent vaccinated.

Hanley said the rate for younger people is still rising, but he warned variants can have severe effects on people in their 30s, 40s and 50s.

“Just being a healthy young adult does not offer enough protection against variants of concern,” he said.

Drop-ins are now being welcomed at the Whitehorse mass clinic in order to accommodate more people with busy schedules.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

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