Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, right, during a COVID-19 press conference in Whitehorse on Aug. 19. (Alistair Maitland Photography)

Long-term care homes now allowing indoor visits, current border controls will remain

Screening, masks and hand sanitizer will be enforced during all visits

The Yukon government said the COVID-19 risk is now manageable enough to allow indoor visits to long-term care homes, but no changes are coming to current border restrictions.

“We have come so far, and I am so very proud of the incredible efforts that Yukoners have made to keep this territory safe,” Premier Sandy Silver said at the weekly update on Aug. 19.

“The fact that we are able to open schools shows just how well Yukon is doing,” he said, thanking all those involved in the back to school process.

Long-term care homes across the Yukon will now allow indoor visits, but only two people per resident can be designated as visitors and visits must be booked in advance. There are no age restrictions on the visitors.

“This has been a long haul for both residents and family members, but we have kept COVID-19 out of our long-term care facilities and we have kept our residents safe,” Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said.

Screening, masks and hand sanitizer requirements will all be enforced during visits.

Contract tracing and testing related to the Aug. 7 positive case has now concluded, and all 15 positive Yukon cases since the pandemic began have recovered without hospitalizations. In the past week, 134 people have been tested.

The government will continue to hold weekly press conference updates, but Hanley said individual press conferences will not be held for new positive cases in the future. Timely press releases and public announcements will continue.

Hanley said although he is watching rising case numbers in British Columbia and Alberta, the border will remain open to visitors within the current bubble.

“Most of the cases in B.C. are still traceable,” said Hanley. “We have managed over six weeks in the B.C. bubble during which we have had only one new case of COVID-19 in Yukon. More importantly, we have not had any outbreaks or even clusters of COVID. We remain well within our capacity to manage this.

“However, with school reopening this week, and with settling into another school and fall season, combined with increased COVID activity in a number of areas around Canada, I feel we are not ready to lift further quarantine measures as yet. We will stay where we are for now,” Hanley said.

Hanley said although travel is allowed, people must remain mindful of the safe six, where they travel to, how they act and who they visit in order to minimize risk.

“Traveling out from Yukon to B.C. is a privilege,” Hanley said. “A trip to Kelowna or Vancouver is not an excuse to forget everything we have been trying to learn over the past many months.”

Since April 29, enforcement staff have stopped just over 34,000 incoming vehicles, according to Silver. Of those, 4,139 are from British Columbia, 188 are residents from Northwest Territories or Nunavut, 8,100 have been non-residents staying from outside the bubble and roughly 15,500 have been non-residents travelling through Yukon.

So far 185 decals have been distributed to people without a territory plate.

Closer to home, he said the Discovery Day weekend prompted many social gatherings that could be a concern if people are not vigilant about COVID-19 risk.

“We are not immune to the potential effects of unsafe gatherings here. It only takes one case of unrecognized COVID among us,” he said.

The government has received 559 COVID-19 complaints, with the majority of calls about failures to self-isolate. So far 15 complaints have come in about oversized gatherings.

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

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Sandy Silver announces the territorial election in Whitehorse. Silver is seeking a second term as premier and third term as Klondike MLA. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Getting to know Sandy Silver and the Yukon Liberal platform

Yukon Liberal Leader Sandy Silver is vying for a second term as… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a public exposure warning on April 9. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
COVID-19 exposure notice issued for Air Canada flight

The Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley issued a… Continue reading

Wyatt's World
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for April 9, 2021.… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley speaks to media in Whitehorse on October 30, 2020. Hanley is now encouraging Yukon to continue following health regulations, noting it could still be some time before changes to restrictions are made. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
No active COVID cases in Yukon

Hanley highlights concerns over variants, encourages vaccinations

Most Read