Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks at a COVID-19 update press conference in Whitehorse on April 1. Hanley announced on April 24 the expansion of testing criteria to include a number of new symptoms as well as those with respiratory symptoms who have not travelled. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Scope of COVID-19 testing to expand in the Yukon as positive test results hold steady

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the Yukon remains at three

The Yukon is changing its COVID-19 testing criteria to allow the casting of a wider net.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the territory’s chief medical officer of health, announced the changes during a press conference on April 24.

The new testing criteria will come into effect on April 27, meaning testing will be available for individuals experiencing a wider array of symptoms. Hanley said these new symptoms include fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, sore throat or hoarse voice, headache, runny nose or nasal congestion, unexplained vomiting or diarrhea, fatigue, muscle aches, and loss of smell or taste.

He added that the focus will be on people who have respiratory issues but who have not travelled and are not linked to existing cases, and therefore would not meet current criteria to be tested.

“These are the people we’ve been looking for,” Hanley said.

Now, those without history of travel outside the territory will meet the threshold for testing if they have cough, fever or difficulty breathing.

Hanley explained that the testing is being broadened because as flu season ends, less people are being tested in the Yukon for both influenza and COVID-19 — those tested for influenza in the Yukon have also been tested for COVID-19. The broadening of test criteria is to try to maintain a high per capita testing rate and also detect COVID-19 earlier.

Doctors in the territory continue to hold — and have always held — the authority to order tests for patients regardless of current testing criteria, Hanley added.

On the possible relaxation of orders and re-opening of the economy, Hanley said the territorial government is developing a plan. He was not able to provide many details but said the plan would be viewed with a focus on public health and strong consideration of economic factors as well.

“All will be part of a public health lens,” Hanley said.

He added that the public health focus would also include the health risks to the general population from keeping the orders stringent for too long.

As of 2:40 p.m. on April 24, a total of 888 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the Yukon. Eleven people have tested positive for COVID-19 and eight of those cases are considered recovered. There are 17 tests pending results.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports of youth being extorted online. (Black Press file)
Yukon youth being extorted online

Yukon youth being extorted online Yukon RCMP say they’ve received three reports… Continue reading

Fines for contravening the fire ban start at $1,150 and could go as high as $100,000. File photo
Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. (Black Press file)
Yukon campgrounds to open early

Yukon campgrounds will open on May 1 this year. The early opening… Continue reading

Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Guatto and program manager Andrei Samson outside the chamber office in downtown Whitehorse Feb. 23. (Stephanie Waddell, Yukon News)
When business models shift

Whitehorse chamber offers digital marketing workshop

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read