Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Ivan, centre, and Tennette Dechkoff, right, stop to chat with a friend on Main Street in Whitehorse on Nov. 24. Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

UPDATED: Masks mandatory in public places starting on Dec. 1

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said.

Starting Dec. 1 masks will be mandatory in public spaces across the Yukon in order to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

Premier Sandy Silver and Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced the decision on Nov. 24 during the weekly COVID-19 update.

“The safe six has just got a plus one,” Silver said. “Following the safe six with the addition of wearing a mask is the best thing you can do to continue to curb the spread of this disease. This will extend to all Yukoners over the age of two, with very limited exceptions.”

“Make no mistake, we must all take these precautions now so that we do not see case increases exponentially and rapidly throughout the territory,” Silver said.

Hanley encouraged Yukoners who don’t already have masks to obtain them and begin wearing them. A full detailed list of places where masks are required will be released before the new rule comes into effect.

Starting Dec. 1 they will be mandatory in those places for all Yukoners above the age of two.

The week-long delay gives businesses, organizations and governments time to prepare, Silver said, though he urged everyone to “please start wearing your masks now.”

Starting on Nov. 26 Yukon hospitals will be asking all members of the public to wear a mask at the hospital when they arrive.

As of early Nov. 25, the COVID-19 case count for territory remains at 38, with 14 cases active and two presumptive cases expected to be confirmed shortly. Two out-of-Whitehorse cases have been confirmed in Dawson City.

“In many ways, it was a matter of time until the second wave in Canada affected us, but control of this pandemic is still within reach. And we must focus our efforts on the goal of keeping COVID to a minimum,” Hanley said.

Hanley said the 14 active cases are being organized into two separate outbreaks — “Outbreak A” and “Outbreak B” — and a third “cluster” of two cases thought to be linked to Outbreak A.

Outbreak A includes five individuals only being referred to as cases 24, 25, 28, 33 and 34. Case 28’s origin was related to Outside travel, but Hanley said the transmission was inadvertent and spread to other individuals either in household or work settings.

Cases 29 and 27 are a cluster thought to be linked to Outbreak A through a setting identified in the public exposure notices.

The second outbreak group, Outbreak B, includes cases 26, 30, 31, 36, 37, 38. In the case 26 group there was transmission to others in a shared household. Hanley said the origin of that case hasn’t been identified.

Case 32 appears unrelated to the two outbreaks.

“We are currently treating these as separate groups. But as I say there are probable links in between at least two of them, and possibly between all three,” Hanley said.

“We have not ruled out community transmission, but at the same time, we still see no evidence of community transmission, in that all cases to date have a defined or suspected link to travel or to cases in themselves or linked to travel,” said Hanley.

Community transmission is defined as “when we have a number of cases where the source of transmission is not known,” he said.

Additional exposure notifications have been released for a number of businesses, including Canadian Tire in Whitehorse on Nov. 17 from opening to close, Wykes Independent Grocer in Whitehorse on Nov. 17 from opening to close, Starbucks on Chilkoot Way in Whitehorse between Nov. 12 and 18 from opening to close, Tony’s Pasta and Seafood House in the SKKY Hotel in Whitehorse on Nov. 14 from 5 p.m. to close, the Dawson City General Store in Dawson on Nov. 15 from opening to close and the Better Bodies fitness centre from Nov. 16 from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is instructed to call the COVID-19 testing centre in Whitehorse at 393-3083 or their community health centre.

To accommodate the anticipated increased demand for testing, the territory opened a drive-thru COVID-19 screening service on Nov. 22 at Centennial Motors on the Alaska Highway. It’s opened every day from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Hanley said the drive-thru will be assessed at the end of the week with service to be extended if necessary.

In addition, Air North has released an exposure notification for Flight 573 on Nov. 15, Flight 333 on Nov. 9, and Flight 528 on Nov. 8. Air Canada also issued a notice for Flight 111 on Nov. 7.

“Please don’t vilify or avoid businesses that don’t shut down, if they remain open, (it is) because there is little or no risk to doing so,” Hanley said.

Hanley also corrected previous information about a case connected to a child in daycare. The case was not a child, but an adult associated with adult staff of the daycare. Hanley said the Yukon Child Development Centre is handling that process.

One new charge was laid last week for failing to self-isolate.

Schools will remain open, but the Yukon Communicable Disease Center will inform parents directly if a case appears positive in the classroom environment.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

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. (yfned.ca)
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

Local poet Joanna Lilley is photographed at the Beringia Centre in Whitehorse on Jan. 20, where she will be hosting a poetry workshop on Jan. 24. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Poetry for the ages

Workshop set for the Yukon Beringia Centre

President Joe Biden signs executive orders after speaking about the coronavirus, accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris in the State Dinning Room of the White House on Jan. 21, in Washington, D.C. The administration announced plans Jan. 20 for a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge after the Trump administration issued leases in a part of the refuge considered sacred by the Gwich’in. (Alex Brandon/AP)
U.S. President Joe Biden halts oil and gas lease sales in ANWR

“Its great to have an ally in the White House”

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Jan. 22, 2021

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

Mayor Dan Curtis listens to a councillor on the phone during a city council meeting in Whitehorse on April 14, 2020. Curtis announced Jan. 14 that he intends to seek nomination to be the Yukon Liberal candidate for Whitehorse Centre in the 2021 territorial election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Whitehorse mayor seeking nomination for territorial election

Whitehorse mayor Dan Curtis is preparing for a run in the upcoming… Continue reading

Gerard Redinger was charged under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> with failing to self-isolate and failing to transit through the Yukon in under 24 hours. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Man ticketed $1,150 at Wolf Creek campground for failing to self-isolate

Gerard Redinger signed a 24-hour transit declaration, ticketed 13 days later

Yukon Energy, Solvest Inc. and Chu Níikwän Development Corporation are calling on the city for a meeting to look at possibilities for separate tax rates or incentives for renewable energy projects. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tax changes sought for Whitehorse energy projects

Delegates call for separate property tax category for renewable energy projects

Yukon University has added seven members to its board of governors in recent months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New members named to Yukon U’s board of governors

Required number of board members now up to 17

Most Read