Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, talks to media in Whitehorse on Feb. 15, 2018. Hanley told the News that no cases of a coronavirus have been confirmed in the territory and the risk of contracting the virus withing the Yukon remains low. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Low risk of coronavirus in Yukon: Hanley

‘We are confident our health care workers are well prepared should we see a case Yukon’

No cases of a coronavirus have been confirmed in the territory and the risk of those in the territory getting the virus remains low, says Dr. Brendan Hanley, the Yukon’s chief medical officer of health.

The outbreak of a new coronavirus not previously identified in people began in late December in Wuhan, China. A total of 132 have died since the outbreak with more than 6,000 cases confirmed in China. Three cases in Canada have been confirmed — first in Ontario and later in British Columbia.

While Hanley said the risk to the Yukon remains low, there’s ongoing work between territorial and federal counterparts to ensure the Yukon is ready if any cases are confirmed for the territory.

“We are confident our health care workers are well prepared should we see a case Yukon,” Hanley said in a statement. “We are working closely with our counterparts across the country on monitoring the spread of the novel coronavirus.”

While Hanley works with federal officials, the territory’s Department of Health and Social Services is “working closely” with Hanley to keep health care workers in the Yukon up to date on the situation and to ensure timely recognition and testing for the virus if suspected.

Hanley said Yukoners also have a role to play. Anyone planning to travel to or from China is asked to follow any travel advisories issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Anyone who’s travelled to areas where the coronavirus is circulating or has been in contact with people from those areas who are ill is asked to contact their health care provider or call 811.

Those with respiratory issues looking to see a doctor or nurse may be asked about any recent travel and to wear a face mask while they wait to be assessed.

Information and updates on the coronavirus are available at yukon.ca/novel-coronavirus

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