June 27 COVID-19 Update (10 p.m.)

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises all community members that as of 10:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, 2021 one more new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Ross River. This brings the current number of active cases involving members of our community to five.

The individual who tested positive today is considered to be a close contact with a previous case. The three cases confirmed yesterday were tested on Thursday and were also considered to be close contacts with the same previous case. All four individuals are now self-isolating in Ross River and one community member who tested positive early last week continues to self-isolate in Whitehorse.

Contact tracing is still ongoing, and standard COVID-19 testing will continue at the Ross River Health Centre this week for anyone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19. Please remember that if you are feeling sick it is important to self-isolate first and then contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for a test.

Rapid Testing Summary

Today was the final day of rapid testing clinic at the Ross River School. The total number of rapid tests administered today was 57, with one positive result and 56 negative results. After five days of rapid testing, approximately 170 tests were administered and four positive cases were detected by the testers. All four positives were closely associated with a previous case that was announced last week. This suggests that while COVID-19 is still present in the community, it is not widespread, which greatly improves our understanding of the situation at this time.

This important mobile team is heading to a nearby community that is now experiencing a significant spike in COVID cases and needs this support immediately. Council is supportive of this decision, recognizing that this rapid response team is fully prepared to return to Ross River if/when needed in the future.

Council wishes to express our deepest appreciation to the Chief Medical Officer of Health and everyone involved with the mobilization of this week’s clinic and for all efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ross River.

Chief Jack Caesar would also like to acknowledge Dr. Brendan Hanley for his dedication to supporting rural communities during this difficult time and for his commitment to establishing a new and collaborative working relationship with Ross River Dena Council and our community.

The Week Ahead

Based on the current situation, Council advises that the following COVID-19 safety measures will remain in place this week: 

  • The Dena General Store will be 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 measures are being taken in response to the current outbreak in Whitehorse and the presence of COVID-19 in multiple rural 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.

Upcoming Vaccination Opportunities

Adults (18+)

Adults (18 and older) who are interested in receiving the Moderna vaccine are encouraged to contact the Ross River Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for a vaccination appointment. Community clinics are organized based on demand, and can be arranged quickly if enough community members express interest.

Youth (ages 12-17)

The next vaccination opportunity for Ross River youth (ages 12-17) has not yet been announced, but it is expected there will be a follow-up to last week’s clinic in late July. Youth vaccinations are also available in Whitehorse. To book an appointment, please visit the online booking system here.

Ross River COVID-19 Support Line

It is expected that multiple community members will be self-isolating this week and may have questions and/or need assistance with essential tasks such as grocery shopping or laundry. 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.

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 much 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 is encouraged to call the LifeWorks Crisis Support Line at 1 (844) 751-2133 at any time or 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 this historic public health emergency. If you would like more information about this Working Group or would be interested in volunteering to help keep our community safe, 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