Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, speaks to media at a press conference about COVID-19 in Whitehorse on March 30. The Yukon government announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Oct. 23. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Three new COVID-19 cases identified in Watson Lake

The Yukon government has identified three locations in town where public exposure may have occurred

The Yukon government has announced three new cases of COVID-19 in the territory, all of them in Watson Lake.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced the cases at a teleconference the evening of Oct. 23.

The three people who tested positive are part of the same family, Hanley said, and the origin of the infection is still being investigated.

The government received the information the night of Oct. 22 and contact tracing is underway.

The family has no direct history of travelling outside the territory.

The government has identified Watson Lake due to possible public exposure at three locations in town:

  • Watson Lake Foods – Super A between Oct. 8 and Oct. 16;
  • Home Hardware between Oct. 7 and Oct. 10;
  • and Big Horn Motel between Oct. 7 and Oct. 9 and again from Oct. 13 to 20.

Anyone who visited those businesses on those dates should monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms, Hanley said, and get tested should any manifest.

The concern, he explained, is possible person-to-person transmission; as long as COVID-19 precautions are followed, people can safely visit those businesses now.

People in Watson Lake can contact the community hospital at 867-536-4444 to arrange for testing. Other Yukoners can contact the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre in Whitehorse at 867-393-3083 or their community health centre.

Hanley acknowledged that it may be difficult for someone to remember the exact date they visited a particular place, especially if it was more than two weeks ago. In general, though, he said that people should be monitoring themselves for things like a dry cough, fever, loss of smell or taste and shortness of breath, even if they haven’t been to any identified places of possible public exposure.

“If you have symptoms, we want you to get tested anyway,” he said.

The Watson Lake family is “doing fine,” he said, and are “safely in self-isolation at home.”

More information on the investigation into the origin of the cases is expected at the government’s next regularly-scheduled COVID-19 update.

While there’s no need for alarm, Hanley said that the cases are an important reminder to maintain the “Safe Six” — keeping physical distance with people outside your “bubble,” frequent hand-washing, staying home if you’re feeling sick, following gathering guidelines, limiting travel to rural communities, and self-isolating as required — because we never know when COVID may occur in a community.

The new cases bring the Yukon’s total COVID-19 count to 20. It brings the number of incidents of COVID-19 infection in one of the Yukon’s communities to four.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story listed the second set of dates for the Big Horn Motel as Oct. 13 to 16. The Yukon government has since changed the latter end of that range to Oct. 20.

CoronavirusWatson Lake

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

Just Posted

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its April 6 meeting.

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read