Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River
Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that as of 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 11, 2021 the number of active cases involving members of our community remains at three.
Two of the cases are now self-isolating in Whitehorse and one case is self-isolating in Ross River. Contact tracing continues, led by the team at Yukon Communicable Disease Control.
In addition to the active cases, Council is also monitoring multiple individuals who were in direct contact with the two community members who tested positive last Thursday and Sunday. Some of these individuals are now showing symptoms and are awaiting test results.
There are also multiple community members who were not in direct contact with positive cases last week who have now advised Council that they are feeling sick and are currently self-isolating, which is extremely important during the contagious period.
Based on growing concerns from community members that COVID-19 may now spreading to more households, Ross River Dena Council has requested rapid testing assistance from the Yukon Government. We are now awaiting a response and will be providing updates in the days ahead.
Helping Individuals In Need
While there has been ongoing support for the individuals in self-isolation (volunteers are delivering groceries and staying connected using on our Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at 747-0099), Council recognizes there may be some vulnerable members who do not have phones or Internet access and may now be showing symptoms.
To all community members, if you observe someone who is sick but is not self-isolating, please reach out to Council by contacting the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at 747-0099 and we can help by providing temporary cel phones and self-isolation support for individuals in need.
Working together, we can all help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our elders, our families and the most vulnerable members of our community safe.
Vaccination Clinic Thursday
A reminder that there will be vaccination clinic tomorrow (Thursday, August 12) at Ross River School from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. for both Youth (12-17) and Adults (18+). To book your appointment please visit the online booking system. Walk-ins are also accepted.
Please be advised that the vaccine is currently considered to be the best way to protect yourself and your family against this virus. If you have questions or would like assistance with booking an appointment please contact the Health Centre at 969-4444.
Extra Precautions This Week
With COVID-19 still present in our community, Council is asking all community members to please take extra precautions this week. Let’s work together to help protect our elders, our families and the most vulnerable members of our community. While in Ross River please:
- Wear a mask
- Wash your hands
- Stay six feet apart
- Do not participate in gatherings
- Do not visit with others
- Self-isolate after travel if unvaccinated
Continue to Wear A Mask In Ross River
As of July 30, Ross River continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in Yukon, with less than 45% of our population fully vaccinated, and 11% partially vaccinated. In addition, there are multiple neighbouring communities with positive cases, and COVID-19 is also present in Ross River.
Without question, it has taken our community longer than other communities to reach a 45% vaccination rate, and a number of essential safety measures that were in place for other communities when they reached 45% are no longer in place today. That said, the territorial vaccination rate does offer some protection to Ross River, and helps to lower the risk of transmission to some degree.
Still, because over 50% of our population is still very vulnerable, it will be up to all community members to remain diligent, and work together with all Yukoners to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ross River and across rural Yukon.
With this in mind, Council is asking all community members, construction crews and those who enter our community to please follow the local safety measures.
Travel Advisory – Do Not Visit Ross River At This Time
We can all help prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following travel advisories that have been put in place by Yukon First Nations and municipalities.
With the current outbreak impacting families in Watson Lake, Carmacks and Faro, Council is asking Yukoners and travellers from outside of the territory to please continue to respect the travel advisory for Ross River, which reads as follows:
- NO VISITORS – Please do not visit Ross River at this time;
- ROSS RIVER CITIZENS: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY – Ross River citizens are asked to respect all travel advisories currently in effect and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our neighbouring communities of Watson Lake, Faro and Carmacks. Please refrain from travelling to these communities unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. for medical reasons)
Please visit the Council of Yukon First Nations website for more information about current travel advisories.
Current Risk Level 5 (Extreme)
As of July 30, Ross River continues to have the lowest vaccination rate in Yukon, with approximately 45% of our population now fully vaccinated. In addition, there are multiple neighbouring communities with positive cases, and COVID-19 is also present in Ross River. For this reason, the current COVID-19 Risk Level for Ross River remains at Level 5 (Extreme) and the following COVID-19 safety measures remain in effect:
- The Dena General Store will be closed to the public, however community members can place an order for pickup or delivery of groceries to your door – please call 969-2280 and/or send an email to email@example.com to place your order;
- The Dena General Store will now be closed on Sundays and Tuesdays for cleaning and other necessary measures;
- Tu-Lidlini Petroleum advises that the gas station will have reduced hours from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. until further notice and that customers are strongly encouraged to use the Cardlock system to pay for fuel;
- Banking services will be available at the Dena General Store on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. – services are provided at the door, as the store is currently closed to the public.
- The following travel advisory is now in effect:
- NO VISITORS – Please do not visit Ross River at this time;
- ROSS RIVER CITIZENS: ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ONLY – Ross River citizens are asked to respect all travel advisories currently in effect and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our neighbouring communities of Watson Lake, Faro and Carmacks. Please refrain from travelling to these communities unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. for medical reasons) Ross River Dena Council offices will remain closed to the public until further notice;
- Ross River Dena Council employees are now in the first phase of a three-phase Re-Opening Plan, which allows access to up to three staff members into RRDC buildings at one time; Ross River Dena Council will continue to engage with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Department of Health and Social Services and the COVID Response Unit to help strengthen community-level support.
These measures were introduced in response to the outbreak in Whitehorse and the presence of COVID-19 in multiple communities, including Ross River. Council continues to work with territorial health authorities and our neighbouring communities to monitor the situation and takes this matter very seriously.
Other COVID-19 Considerations
Here are some additional considerations and resources to help keep Ross River safe:
- If you or someone you know had really mild symptoms and recently tested negative for COVID-19 this is good news, however it is not the end of the story. If symptoms get worse in the days (and weeks) following a test, it’s a good idea to self-isolate and call the Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for another test – when it comes to COVID-19, it’s way better to be safe than sorry;
- For the latest COVID-19 Self-Isolation Guidelines: https://yukon.ca/en/self-isolation-covid-19;
- If you see someone who was known to be self-isolating but may not be following the current the self-isolation guidelines, you can report this activity here;
- If you live with others and are not able to self-isolate, please inform the Health Centre or Ross River Dena Council and efforts will be made to arrange for temporary self-isolation options; and
- Anyone seeking mental health and wellness support are encouraged to call the LifeWorks Crisis Support Line at 1-844-751-2133 (open 24 hours, 7 days a week) or call (867) 332-5468 to reach the Mental Health, Counselling and Crisis Support Line for Ross River, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks and Faro citizens.
Ross River Dena Council has established the RRDC COVID-19 Action Plan Working Group to advise Council and help coordinate COVID-19 community outreach and support efforts during an unprecedented public health emergency. For more information about the Working Group or if you would like to volunteer and help make a difference, please send an email to the Working Group Co-Chairs Verna Nukon at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or Dylan Loblaw at email@example.com. You can also reach us by calling the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at 747-0099 at any time.
Ross River Dena Council