Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 cases and recoveries
As of today, April 22, at 3 p.m. the case count remains at 11 cases of COVID-19 in the territory.
Eight of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered and all others are doing well at home.
Each case in Yukon so far can be traced to its origin and there continues to be no known community transmission in the territory. Community transmission is assumed to have occurred when it is no longer possible to trace how somebody became infected.
Information about COVID-19 tests is published daily on Yukon.ca. This includes how many confirmed cases there are in Yukon, how many tests have been negative, how many results are pending, the total number of tests and how many people have recovered.
Living with COVID-19 longer term
Work is underway across Canada to plan a national, coordinated approach to how and when to gradually ease restrictions put in place in response to the pandemic. The slow transition to living longer-term with COVID-19 will be tailored to different contexts and implemented by each jurisdiction based on local circumstances.
Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is a member of the federal, provincial and territorial Special Advisory Committee set up to guide this work and advise deputy ministers of health across the country on matters related to the pandemic.
The committee’s work is based on data and evidence and includes developing criteria to assess readiness for loosening or altering public health measures and preparing a framework for guiding decisions.
Smoking and vaping
People who smoke and vape should be aware they are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and of developing more severe health complications if they become ill. Smoking and vaping damage the lungs and weaken the immune system, making it harder to fight off COVID-19. This includes smoking cannabis as well as tobacco. Also, sharing cigarettes or vaping devices risks spreading COVID-19.
Yukoners wanting to give up smoking can get help from the Quitpath program by calling 867-667-8393 in Whitehorse, 1-866-221-8393 toll free in communities or by visiting www.quitpath.ca. Help is also available at www.smokershelpline.ca.
Youth and mental health
Anxiety is a normal reaction to uncertainty and situations that can be harmful. Children and youth struggling with living through a pandemic are encouraged to talk to adults they trust, call Kids Help Phone toll free at 1-800-668-6868 or visit kidshelpphone.ca.
Parents, care givers and other adults can support children and youth by responding to questions and researching answers to factual questions together, thinking of ways to help others and setting achievable goals.
Six steps to staying safe
The six steps to staying safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 are: physical distancing; regular hand washing; staying home when sick; not gathering in groups of 10 or more; avoiding travel to communities and self-isolating when required.
To keep up to date with the latest information, Yukoners should visit Yukon.ca/COVID-19.