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


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

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Are they coming?

One of COVID-19’s big economic questions is whether it will prompt a… Continue reading

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell, along with Yukon health and education delegates, announce a new medical research initiative via a Zoom conference on Jan. 21. (Screen shot)
New medical research unit at Yukon University launched

The SPOR SUPPORT Unit will implement patient-first research practices

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate members Bill Bennett, community engagement coordinator and Mobile Therapeutic Unit team lead, left, and Katherine Alexander, director of policy and analytics, speak to the News about the Mobile Therapeutic Unit that will provide education and health support to students in the communities. (
Mobile Therapeutic Unit will bring education, health support to Indigenous rural students

The mobile unit will begin travelling to communities in the coming weeks

Premier Sandy Silver, left, and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley, speak during a live stream in Whitehorse on January 20, about the new swish and gargle COVID-19 tests. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Swish and spit COVID-19 test now available in Yukon

Vaccination efforts continue in Whitehorse and smaller communities in the territory

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police detachment in Faro photgraphed in 2016. Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old building currently accommodating officers. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Faro RCMP tagged for new detachment

Faro will receive a new RCMP detachment in 2022, replacing the decades-old… Continue reading

In a Jan. 18 announcement, the Yukon government said the shingles vaccine is now being publicly funded for Yukoners between age 65 and 70, while the HPV vaccine program has been expanded to all Yukoners up to and including age 26. (
Changes made to shingles, HPV vaccine programs

Pharmacists in the Yukon can now provide the shingles vaccine and the… Continue reading

Parking attendant Const. Ouellet puts a parking ticket on the windshield of a vehicle in downtown Whitehorse on Dec. 6, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is hoping to write of nearly $300,000 in outstanding fees, bylaw fines and court fees, $20,225 of which is attributed to parking fines issued to non-Yukon license plates. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City of Whitehorse could write off nearly $300,000

The City of Whitehorse could write off $294,345 in outstanding fees, bylaw… Continue reading

Grants available to address gender-based violence

Organizations could receive up to $200,000

In this illustration, artist-journalist Charles Fripp reveals the human side of tragedy on the Stikine trail to the Klondike in 1898. A man chases his partner around the tent with an axe, while a third man follows, attempting to intervene. (The Daily Graphic/July 27, 1898)
History Hunter: Charles Fripp — gold rush artist

The Alaskan coastal town of Wrangell was ill-equipped for the tide of… Continue reading

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. While Whitehorse Mayor Dan Curtis is now setting his sights on the upcoming territorial election, other members of council are still pondering their election plans for the coming year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillors undecided on election plans

Municipal vote set for Oct. 21

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decicions made by Whitehorse city council this week.

A file photo of grizzly bear along the highway outside Dawson City. Yukon conservation officers euthanized a grizzly bear Jan. 15 that was originally sighted near Braeburn. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon News file)
Male grizzly euthanized near Braeburn

Yukon conservation officers have euthanized a grizzly bear that was originally sighted… Continue reading

Most Read