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Omicron cases spike upwards over the weekend

The territory now has a 32 per cent test positivity rate.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Catherine Elliott speaks to media during a press conference in Whitehorse on September 7. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Omicron cases are increasing quickly in the territory, according to the Yukon government.

In a case count update released Jan. 3, the government said there have been 158 new cases identified since Friday, Dec. 31. Right now there are 245 active cases.

The test positivity rate is 32 per cent, indicating the true case count could potentially be even higher. The ideal positivity rate is under five per cent, according to the World Health Organization. When the test positivity rate is higher, that means cases are likely being missed as people choose not to get tested.

Acting chief medical officer Dr. Catherine Elliott urged Yukoners to stay at home, even with the mildest of symptoms.

“Like most other jurisdictions in Canada, and as expected, we are unfortunately seeing the Omicron wave rising here in the territory. Omicron continues to spread much faster than other variants we’ve seen,” said Elliott.

“I am urging anyone who has even the slightest symptoms to stay home. We are hearing stories of whole families who are isolating together even though maybe only 2 or 3 people are ill. To those people, I want to say thank you. Thank you for continuing to break the cycle of transmission, stopping the spread of COVID-19, and protecting our community. Staying home when sick, even mildly is now more important than ever.”

Contact Haley Ritchie at