June 20 COVID-19 Update (8 p.m.)

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that there are now two confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving members of our community.

The individuals are now self-isolating in Whitehorse, but were in Ross River in recent days and may have come into contact with others in the community, therefore contact tracing is now under way and the following precautions are being taken at the community level to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • The Dena General Store will be closed to the public until further notice, however Curbside pickup and delivery services are now being set up and will be available to the community in the coming days;
  • Ross River Dena Council staff will continue to work from home until further notice;
  • Ross River Dena Council offices will remain closed to the public until further notice; and
  • Ross River Dena Council has engaged with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and efforts to help strengthen community-level support measures are now advancing.

What is Contact Tracing?

Contact tracing is organized by the Yukon Centre for Disease Control in Whitehorse and involves reaching out to those who were in direct contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. If you are contacted, a representative of YCDC will play an instrumental role to provide you with helpful information and advise you about next steps.

Council is anticipating that additional community members will be required to follow self-isolation procedures this week and may have questions or need assistance with essential tasks such as grocery shopping. The RRDC COVID-19 Support Line has been set up for precisely this reason, and it is encouraged that anyone who is in self-isolation please call 747-0099 if you need assistance.

The Next 48 Hours

Over the next 48 hours Ross River Dena Council will be working with our territorial partners to advance contact tracing, testing and self-isolation efforts and will be encouraging everyone to please remain calm and to take every possible precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, which includes:

  • If you are not feeling well, self-isolate immediately and contact the Ross River Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for a COVID test as soon as possible. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
    • Fever/chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Runny nose
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Loss of sense of taste or smell
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Muscle aches
  • Please refrain from visiting other households at this time, recognizing that numerous community members may now be self-isolating;
  • Self-isolation door signs are available to help prevent others from visiting your home – to request a sign for your door, please call 747-0099 and the Ross River COVID-19 Action Plan Working Group will make the necessary arrangements;
  • Avoid travelling to other communities until the current COVID-19 situation has improved – Council recommends that you only travel for essential reasons;
  • COVID-19 can be passed from person to person via coughing, sneezing and other ways, which means it is extremely important to wear a mask that covers both your mouth and nose and continue to follow the Safe 6+1;
  • Parents are encouraged to limit contact between young children as a measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 between households.

Upcoming Vaccination Opportunities in Ross River

Adults (Ages 18+)

Community members interested in upcoming vaccination opportunities are encouraged to contact the Health Centre at 969-4444. Clinics for adults (18 and older) are organized based on demand, and can be arranged quickly if enough community members express interest.

Youth (Ages 12-17)

The Youth Vaccination Clinic scheduled for Wednesday, June 23 at Ross River School from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. will proceed as planned. To book an appointment, please visit the online booking system here. You can also contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 if you need assistance or would like more information about the Pfizer vaccine and/or other upcoming youth vaccination opportunities. The information session that was organized for Tuesday, June 22 has been canceled due to the current COVID-19 situation in Ross River.

Other COVID-19 Considerations

Council recognizes that as part of the new normal, outbreaks may occur in Whitehorse and/or rural communities in the weeks and months ahead. When an outbreak occurs, Council asks that everyone remain calm, continue to follow the Safe 6 +1 and that we all work together to help protect vulnerable community members during these difficult times.

Here are some additional considerations as we work together to Keep Ross River Safe:

  • If you or someone you know has been in close proximity to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 please call the Health Centre at 969-4444 and make plans to self-isolate for 14 days;
  • 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;
  • 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.

How to Reach RRDC Staff

If you need to reach a member of our team this week, please call our main switchboard at 969-2277 ext. 200 and leave a message. A representative of RRDC will return your call as soon as possible. You can also try sending an email. A staff directory can be found here.

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 this difficult period. If you would like more information about this Working Group or would be interested in volunteering at the community level, please send an email to the Working Group Co-Chairs Verna Nukon at vernanukon@gmail.com and/or Dylan Loblaw at dylanloblaw@gmail.com. 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