Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer, announced the two new cases on March 25. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon’s chief medical officer, announced the two new cases on March 25. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Two new cases, one confirmed variant, of COVID-19 discovered in Yukon

Both individuals are self-isolating and doing well

The Yukon has two new cases of COVID-19, Dr. Brendan Hanley announced on March 25.

Both cases are linked to outside travel and the two people are currently self-isolating and doing well.

The first new case is a presumptive positive, linked to international travel. The person was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival in Canada, and tested positive for a variant of concern, though the specific variant is not yet known. The sample is undergoing further testing.

The second new case is a non-Yukon resident, so the case will not be included in the Yukon’s total case count.

The person arrived in the Yukon on March 21, after which Yukon Communicable Disease Control was contacted by another jurisdiction. This person has tested positive for variant B.1.1.7, linked to an outbreak outside the Yukon.

The B.1.1.7 variant, first discovered in the U.K., has been a point of concern for Canadian health officials this spring. As of March 25, there were 5,882 cases of it in Canada.

“We anticipated that we would see some variants of concern, like B.1.1.7, in Yukon at some point and we are prepared to handle it,” said Hanley in a statement.

“We can be thankful that both of these individuals have taken the proper precautions with self-isolation, and with the quick work of Yukon Communicable Disease Control, we will be able to control these cases and prevent any spread. This is a reminder that Yukoners must remain vigilant. COVID-19 is always lurking around the corner.”

One exposure for Air North flight 4N574 accompanies the new case announcement.

The flight travelled from Vancouver to Whitehorse at 6:40 p.m. on Sunday, March 21. Anyone on this flight experiencing even mild symptoms is asked to self-isolate and arrange for a test immediately.

Whitehorse residents can now book a COVID-19 test online or call 867-393-3083. Community residents should contact their local health centre.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com

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