June 23 COVID-19 Update (10 a.m.)

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that as of 10:00 a.m. on June 23, 2021 the case count involving Ross River community members remains at two, however there is another significant batch of test results expected in the coming hours. Please watch for a second update later today.

Both individuals who tested positive are self-isolating in Whitehorse at this time, but were in Ross River late last week and may have come into contact with others in the community. Contact tracing and testing is under way, and the following precautions are being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ross River:

  • The Dena General Store is temporarily 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 dena.general@northwestel.net to place your order;
  • 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;
  • Ross River Dena Council offices will remain closed to the public until further notice;
  • Ross River Dena Council staff will continue to work from home until further notice; and
  • Ross River Dena Council continues to engage with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the COVID Response Unit and efforts to help strengthen community-level support measures are now advancing.

These actions are being taken in response to the current outbreak in Whitehorse and the confirmation of cases in multiple rural communities including Ross River. Council continues to work with territorial health authorities and neighbouring communities to monitor the situation and takes this matter very seriously.

Rapid Testing Begins Today at 2 p.m.

A rapid testing station will be set up in the Ross River School gymnasium this afternoon and testing will begin at 2 p.m. for anyone in the community that would like a test. No appointment is necessary, simply come to the school and remember to bring a mask and practice the  Safe 6 +1  if there is a lineup outside.

Rapid testing can generate results in approximately 15 minutes – much faster than the normal 24-48-hour turnaround time. It is also less invasive than standard tests. 

Council encourages all Ross River citizens to please go for a test, even if you are feeling fine. This will greatly enhance the effort to determine if COVID-19 is visiting our community right now, and could save lives.

If you are currently self-isolating and would like to arrange for a rapid test, please contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 for more information.

Youth Vaccination Clinic Today at 3 p.m.

A Youth Vaccination Clinic (ages 12-17) is also being held at Ross River School from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. this afternoon. The vaccination team is prepared for walk-ins, however booking an appointment is preferred. To book and appointment, please visit the online booking system here.

Parents and/or youth can contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 if you need assistance with booking, or would like more information.

Please note, there may be a long lineup for rapid testing which is also being held at the school today. If you are coming for a vaccination, please speak to an official when you arrive and await further instructions.

Adult Vaccination Opportunities

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

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 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 COVID-19 Support Line

A number of community members will be self-isolating this week and may have questions and/or need assistance with essential tasks such as grocery shopping. Council has set up the RRDC COVID-19 Support Line for precisely this reason, and it is encouraged that anyone who is in self-isolation please call 747-0099 if you need assistance.

How to Reach RRDC Staff This Week

Ross River Dena Council facilities will be closed this week, however if you need to reach a member of our team, please call our main switchboard at 969-2277 ext. 200 and leave a message. A representative 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