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


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

Just Posted

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

A pedestrian passes by an offsales sandwich board along Fourth Avenue in Whitehorse on Oct. 22. NDP MLA Liz Hanson raised concerns Oct. 21 in the legislature about increased hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption that correlate with an extension in the hours alcohol can be sold in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Alcohol-related hospitalizations rise after off-sales hours extended

Reduced hours for off-sale liquor establishments likely part of Liquor Act spring reforms

Tourism and Culture Minister Jeanie McLean (formerly Dendys) speaks during legislative assembly in Whitehorse on Nov. 27, 2017. The Yukon government has announced $2.8 million in tourism relief funding aimed at businesses in the accommodation sector that have already maxed out existing funds. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Tourism relief funding offers $2.8 million to hotels and overnight accommodations

$15 million in relief funding is planned for the tourism sector over the next three years

The Whitehorse sewage lagoons photographed in 2011. With new regulations for wastewater anticipated to be introduced by the federal government within the next decade, the City of Whitehorse may soon be doing some prep work by looking at exactly what type of pollutants are making their way into the city’s wastewater. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Pondering pollutants

City could spend $70,000 looking at what contaminents are in waste water

Most of Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 graduates. The former students were welcomed back and honoured by staff at the school on Oct. 14 with a personalized grad ceremony for each graduate. (Submitted)
Individual Learning Centre grads honoured

Members of the Whitehorse Individual Learning Centre’s class of 2020 were welcomed… Continue reading

Benjamin Munn, 12, watches the HPV vaccine in 2013. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available to all Yukoners up to, and including, age 26. Currently the program is only available to girls ages nine to 18 and boys ages nine to 14. (Dan Bates/Black Press file)
HPV vaccine will be available to Yukoners up to, including, age 26

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine will be available… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

COMMENTARY: Me and systemic racism

The view from a place of privilege

Today’s mailbox: Electricity and air travel

Letters to the editor published Oct. 23, 2020

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Irony versus Climate

Lately it seems like Irony has taken over as Editor-in-Chief at media… Continue reading

Evan Lafreniere races downhill during the U Kon Echelon Halloweeny Cross-Country Race on Oct. 16. (Inara Barker/Submitted)
Costumed bike race marks end of season

The U Kon Echelon Bike Club hosted its final race of the… Continue reading

Smartphone showing various applications to social media services and Google. (Pixabay photo)
National media calling for level playing field with Google, Facebook

In Canada, Google and Facebook control 80 per cent of all online advertising revenues

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Most Read