August 31 COVID-19 Update

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that as of 10:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 the number of active cases involving members of our community is four.

Over weekend the case count decreased from eight to one, however three new cases have been reported since Saturday, increasing the count to four. 

All confirmed cases are now self-isolating (two in Whitehorse, two in Ross River) and all close contacts and household contacts are being notified by Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC) about the requirement to self-isolate.

Following an unprecedented spike in cases two weeks ago – reaching as high as 22 active cases on August 20 – the current trend is an indication that community members are taking COVID-19 seriously and that the community’s effort to respect and protect one another is making a difference. 

Council wishes to thank all Ross River citizens for your dedication and commitment to protecting our elders, our families and the most vulnerable members of the community. 

The confirmation of three new cases, however, reminds us that COVID-19 is still present in Ross River and that extra precautions are still needed. For this reason, community-level safety measures will remain in place.

While in Ross River, please continue to:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay at least six feet apart 
  • Do not participate in gatherings
  • Do not visit with others
  • Self-isolate after travel if unvaccinated

Council also advises that if you are feeling sick, it is important to stay at home. Even if you are experiencing mild symptoms, the decision to go to work, school, the store or another person’s house could put the health of your friends, neighbours, co-workers, fellow students and their families at risk. 

Symptoms include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

If you or someone you know is experiencing mild or worsening symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for a COVID-19 test.

Following Self-Isolation Guidelines

If you or someone you know has been directed to self-isolate, please follow the latest self-isolation guidelines and remember that you must continue to self-isolate until YCDC or the Ross River Health Centre gives you the all clear. If you have any questions about your self-isolation period, please contact YCDC at (867) 667-8323.

To report someone who has not been following the self-isolation guidelines correctly, please call (867) 393-6210 and a Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) officer will verify the information with YCDC before an officer is dispatched.

Back to School on Tuesday

Following the recent outbreak in the community, Council and the Department of Education agreed that a new back-to-school date of September 7 would allow sufficient time for the COVID-19 situation to improve, and that adjusting the date would be an important action to significantly lower the risk to students, parents, elders and teachers. 

Getting back to school in a safe and sustainable manner is extremely important, and it is understood that COVID-19 may require new and innovative solutions to support those who may not be ready for in-person learning. To assist, teachers will be engaging with parents and students this week to hear your concerns and to explore learning options and solutions that work for your situation. 

Furthermore, Council will continue to work the Chief Medical Officer of Health to monitor the situation and will continue providing COVID-19 updates to ensure students, parents, elders and teachers have the information they need to succeed and stay safe this school year.

Help Us Stay Connected

While there is ongoing support for individuals in self-isolation using the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line, there may be some individuals who do not have phones, and may be unaware of the dangers and/or may be showing symptoms.

If you observe a community member who is sick and does not have a plan to self-isolate, please call 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.

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 Ross River, 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 COVID-19 Risk Level 5 (Extreme)  

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 now be closed on Sundays and Tuesdays for cleaning and store management advises that new safety measures will be in place to support pick-up and delivery services, depending on the COVID-19 situation in Ross River. To place an order for delivery please call 969-2280 and/or send an email to and someone will respond as soon as possible; 
  • 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. For staff, the offices remain in the first phase of a three-phase Re-Opening Plan, which includes a schedule for each building and provides access for up to three staff members in 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:;
  • 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 wellness support are encouraged to call the Reach Out Support Line at 1-844-533-3030 or the LifeWorks Crisis Support Line at 1-844-751-2133 (open 24 hours, 7 days a week). Community members can also call (867) 332-5468 to reach the Mental Health, Counselling and Crisis Support Line for Ross River, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks and Faro citizens.

Volunteers Needed

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 and/or Dylan Loblaw at You can also reach us by calling the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at 747-0099 at any time. 

Thank you,

Ross River Dena Council