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. During a COVID-19 update on Sept. 16, Hanley outlined new guildlines to help parents decide whether they should send thier children to school. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Yukon government releases new guidelines for COVID-19 symptoms and sending children to school

The advice sorts symptoms into three categories: red, yellow and green

Red Light, Green Light is a common schoolyard game, but it’s also a good way to decide whether or not you should be sending your child to school under the Yukon government’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

“One of the most challenging areas we’ve all been grappling with, whether in our own family life as parents and caregivers or as children or staff in schools, has been in knowing what the right thing to do is when children are sick,” said Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley at a COVID update on Sept. 16.

“We have parents wondering about what happens when they themselves need to be at work and are reluctant to take yet another day of sick leave, or even if there is any sick leave left. So we have taken this problem to our team and I think we settled on some advice for parents and staff that we expect will offer some relief and some clarity,” he said.

The new guidelines categorize symptoms with three colours: green, yellow and red.

Green designates a child who has no symptoms and can attend school. This includes children with diagnosed health conditions who may have symptoms that are normal for their day-to-day, such as allergies.

Yellow means the child has milder symptoms that may be common in ordinary illnesses. The government recommends in this case that a child stays home for 24 hours to see if symptoms get better or worse.

Yellow symptoms include headache, runny nose or congestion, sore throat, fatigue, generalized muscle pain, significant loss of appetite or vomiting or diarrhea.

If symptoms in the yellow category persist more than 24 hours then children should be tested for COVID-19.

Red symptoms include a new cough, fever, loss of taste or smell or difficulty breathing. In those situations, children should be tested for COVID-19. If a child isn’t tested, they should be in self-isolation for at least 10 days from when they started having symptoms.

The guidelines are being released in a chart format on the government website to help parents and educators make decisions.

“Keeping a low threshold for testing is one of our key strategies for detecting an otherwise unrecognized introduction of COVID into our territory,” Hanley said.

He cautioned that it’s not necessary for everyone in the territory with a runny nose to drop everything and get tested immediately, but testing is most useful in the first day or two of symptoms and shouldn’t be left too long.

From Sept. 9, to Sept. 16, an additional 129 people were tested at the Respiratory Assessment Centre in Whitehorse. In total 3,020 people in the territory have been tested.

In that time six new charges have also been laid under the Civil Emergency Measures Act.

Three individuals were involved in the incidents. One person was charged Sept. 11 for failure to self-isolate and a failure to transit through the Yukon. Two people were charged Sept. 15 with failure to self-isolate and failure to “behave in a manner consistent with the declaration.”

The Yukon government is not releasing further details about the violations, including names or locations where the charge was received.

Contact Haley Ritchie at haley.ritchie@yukon-news.com

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

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

lwtters
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