After a streak of zero cases, the Yukon now has eight active cases and one Yukoner who has tested positive for the virus outside the territory and will remain Outside.
“They provide a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet,” said Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee. “Variants will continue to be a concern as we wait for vaccination rates to increase across the country.”
McPhee reminded Yukoners that both shots are required in order to become fully vaccinated.
During the weekly update on June 9, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley confirmed that two additional cases have been identified. Cases 89 and 90 are confirmed in Whitehorse.
The total confirmed case count is now 90. An additional two cases — one in Whitehorse and one in an unidentified rural community — have been deemed probable, but not yet confirmed.
Cases 86 and 87 are linked to the recent outbreak at the Victoria Gold mine site. A third individual, a non-resident of the Yukon working in the mine, has also been identified.
Hanley said an “exploration” needs to take place to find out how the cases went up quickly, and the government is working with the mine.
Hanley said three of seven Yukon cases are now in hospital, but are in stable condition. Two are between the ages of 40 to 50 and one is in their 60s.
“That is a remarkable proportion, given the low rate of hospitalization we have seen over the past 80 cases. We’re all wishing well for these individuals and know they are being well cared for,” said Hanley.
He noted the three cases in hospital are not vaccinated. Hanley confirmed that of the Victoria Gold mine site individuals, two were partially vaccinated and one was fully vaccinated. He reminded Yukoners that while the vaccine is a powerful defense, it is still possible to get an infection.
“Even if someone is fully vaccinated, if they’re exposed to a lot of infection in high transmission circumstances, we can see those cases. The good part of that is that these people almost never get into trouble in terms of serious disease or hospitalization,” he said.
“Things would be much worse if we didn’t have the amount of people vaccinated that we do,” Hanley said. “In the next few days, we will discover more. Be prepared for higher case counts.”
Hanley said there isn’t an established connection between the Whitehorse cases and the Victoria Gold cases. The health team also hasn’t yet identified the origin of the initial case at the mine.
He said the containment of the outbreak at the mine is remarkable considering the environment.
The government announced previous new cases on June 8 and June 6. Three cases have been confirmed in Whitehorse and are currently isolating.
Another individual — case 85 — is a Yukon resident who was infected and will remain out of the territory.
Contact tracing is ongoing and four public exposure notifications have been issued.
The three individuals found positive on June 6 at Victoria Gold have been identified as having the P.1 (Gamma) variant. They are in isolation.
The following public exposure notices have been issued:
Casa Loma Motel Bar
- Saturday, May 29, between 9 p.m. to closing
- Monday, May 31, between 11 p.m. to closing
- Saturday, June 5, between 8:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. (midnight)
Whiskey Jacks Pub & Grill
- Friday, May 28, between 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 5, between 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- June 6, between 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sunday, June 6, between 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Sunday, June 6, between 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should self-isolate, remain at home and take the online self-assessment and arrange to get tested, according to the government.
Contact Haley Ritchie at email@example.com