January 12 COVID-19 Update

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that as of Wednesday, January 12 at 7:00 p.m. there are two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community along with at least five new presumptive positive cases detected using the rapid testing kits distributed on Monday and Tuesday.

The presumptive positives are not included in the Government of Yukon’s official case count for Ross River, so it is now recommended that community members no longer use territorial government case counts to guide them. Instead, we anticipate there will be new presumptive positive cases every day, and that the Omicron outbreak could last for many weeks.

Along with the new positive cases and presumptive positive cases, community members are also reminded that the Government of Yukon has issued an Exposure Notice for parents, guardians, students and staff at Ross River School who attended the school on January 5-7. You can read the notice here.

Council advises that the situation is evolving quickly, however it is important to remain calm, and to continue following the guidelines that were put in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. By washing your hands, wearing a mask, and staying a safe distance from others, you are significantly reducing the risk that you will become infected, or will infect others.

Preparing For More Cases and Presumptive Positive Cases

To help protect our elders, our families and the most vulnerable members of the community, please continue to take the virus seriously. Omicron is far more transmissible than previous variants, it can spread to anyone – vaccinated or unvaccinated – and is capable of causing serious illness.

Looking ahead, Council will continue to monitor the situation closely, and as we move forward, our priority will be to ensure support services are ready for those who will be self-isolating and those who may need assistance in the event of an emergency. 

Furthermore, as stated in our January 11 announcement, Council is asking community members to please prepare for more cases and more presumptive positive cases, along with the possibility of temporary closures and enhanced safety measures during the month of January and possibly into early February.

Council will continue to provide updates, however it will no longer be necessary to announce every confirmed case recognizing that the territorial case count information is no longer a reflection of what is happening in the community. Instead, we will continue to update the Ross River COVID-19 Dashboard regularly, and will continue to post announcements about upcoming vaccination opportunities, and any updates to territorial guidelines, travel restrictions and community-level safety measures as a way to help us all stay prepared for the challenges ahead. 

Thank you to everyone who is working so hard to keep our community safe. This is a critical time for us to work together, support one another and ensure all of our citizens have the resources and support necessary to get through this very difficult situation.

Helpful Resources:

As we are now seeing more and more households impacted by COVID-19, it is strongly recommended that community members take extra precautions to help keep you and your family safe:

  • Practise the Safe 6+1;
  • Have your groceries delivered to your door. To place an order please call (867) 969-2280 or email your shopping list to dena.general@northwestel.net;
  • If you feel sick, stay home, self-isolate and call (867) 747-0099 to get a rapid test delivered to your door. These tests are safe and easy to use, and they are far less invasive than standard PCR tests.
  • If you test positive with a rapid test, contact the Ross River Health Centre to arrange for a PCR test.
  • If you are concerned about your self-isolation options in Ross River, contact the Health Centre to discuss other options, such as the High Country Inn in Whitehorse;

Information for those who test positive:

  • What do I do if I test positive? Click here.
  • How do I reach out to others now that I am positive? Click here.

Information for those entering self-isolation:

  • I tested positive, so how long do I need to self-isolate? Click here.

Information for those who have been exposed (close contacts, household contacts):

  • What do I need to know if I recently came into contact with someone who tested positive? Click here.
  • If my child, partner or someone I live with tests positive, and I have been exposed, do I need to self-isolate too? Click here.

Information for those who would like a rapid test delivered:

  • How do I request a rapid test kit? Call the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at (867) 747-0099, which is monitored by our Working Group. You will be asked for your name, address, phone number and preferred time for delivery.
  • How do I administer a self-test? Click here.
  • What else do I need to know about rapid testing in Yukon? Click here.

Information for those who may need additional support:

  • How can I help someone who does not have a phone? If you know someone who has symptoms and may need additional support while in self-isolation, Ross River Dena Council can provide them with a temporary cel phone for emergency purposes and to arrange for grocery deliveries. Call the Ross River COVID-19 Support Line at (867) 747-0099 to request a phone.
  • I need assistance with self-isolation, who can I call? The pandemic is taking a big toll on a lot of us, but please know that you are not alone, and that we are here to help. The Ross River COVID-19 Support Line was set up to assist community members who need help with groceries, medicine, advice or if you just need someone to talk to. The support line is monitored by Ross River Dena Council’s COVID-19 Action Plan Working Group and is in place to support anyone who may need assistance while self-isolating. Call (867) 747-0099 to connect with a community outreach volunteer.
  • I need help right now, who should I call? If you have a medical emergency, call The Ross River Health Centre at (867) 969-4444. If you are in need of mental wellness support and need some one right away,contact the LifeWorks Crisis Support Line at 1-844-751-2133(open 24/7) or you can contact the Mental Health, Counselling and Crisis Support Line for Ross River, Pelly Crossing, Carmacks and Faro citizens by calling (867) 332-5468.

Community Services and Store Hours

  • The Dena General Store will be offering pick-up and delivery services only from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. To place an order please call (867) 969-2280 or send an email to dena.general@northwestel.net and someone will respond as soon as possible. It is strongly encouraged that community members request delivery services this week as this is the safest way to shop locally.
  • The Post Office at Dena General Store will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday however mail pick-up will be at the front door only. It is strongly encouraged that community members drive to the store and wait in your vehicles, if possible.
  • 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 will be provided at the door.  
  • Tu Lidlini Petroleum will be re-opening today from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and asks drivers to take precautions by keeping hand sanitizer in your vehicles (for use before and after using the pump) and to wear a mask and practice physical distancing if you need to see the attendant. For safety reasons the card lock is strongly recommended.
  • Ross River Dena Council employees will continue to work from home until further notice.

Upcoming Vaccination Opportunities

Thank you to the Ross River Health Centre for organizing a successful booster and vaccination clinic on Tuesday. Council has requested more booster appointments be made available as quickly as possible. Please monitor the Government of Yukon’s website for more information or you can also call (867) 969-4444 to inquire about upcoming clinics and appointment opportunities.

Council continues to advise that the vaccine is your best bet to help protect yourself and members of your family this winter. 

Travel Restrictions In Effect

The following travel advisory remains in effect for Ross River:

  • NO VISITORS – Do not travel to 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. Please do not travel to other communities unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. for medical reasons). 

Please watch for additional announcements in the days ahead. 

Thank you, 

Ross River Dena Council