Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued the following updates for the Yukon public on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 case count
As of today, June 5, at 2 p.m. the COVID-19 case count remains at 11 in the territory. All of the 11 people who have contracted COVID-19 in Yukon have recovered. There are no active cases in the territory and 1,201 people have been tested. We have had no new cases since April 20.
Updated guidance for critical and essential service workers released
The Government of Yukon’s guidance for critical and essential workers has been updated this week to provide greater clarity to workers delivering critical and essential services in the territory between now and July 1, 2020. After July 1, 2020, restrictions will be eased for critical and essential workers entering Yukon from BC.
The updated guidance document clarifies that the restrictions of gatherings to 10 people does not apply to workplaces, that people who need to do urgent repairs or maintenance on infrastructure are considered critical workers, as are judges, witnesses and other individuals necessary to carry out the rule of law. The updated document also clarifies that all of Yukon’s communities – whether Whitehorse or rural – should be treated similarly by people who need to come to Yukon to work from outside the territory.
The guidance document is in effect immediately and only applies to the current phase of our approach to the pandemic. Further changes to this document may arise once we enter Phase 2 of our plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
Updates to A Path Forward: Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions
Following the announcement about the anticipated start of Phase 2 on July 1, Yukon’s plan for lifting COVID-19 restrictions has been updated to include specific dates and new timelines. The latest version of the plan can be found online at https://yukon.ca/covid-19 and will be updated periodically as we progress through the phases of the plan.
Beginning this Sunday, June 7, places of worship will be permitted to open. Service organizers and attendees are required to adopt steps to ensure physical distancing, even adapting the nature of their services where necessary.
This means, for example, that the seating capacity of indoor venues will be limited to one third of the building capacity up to a maximum of 50 people including service leaders and organizers.
Leaders and organizers must also increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting common, high-touch areas such as seating, railings, switched and ceremonial objects. Organizers are required to complete an operational plan that must be produced if requested. It does not need to be approved in advance. The guidance for faith-based services and activities is now online at Yukon.ca.
Mental health resources
Yukon has a wide range of mental health support. list of the resources is available on the Yukon.ca.
These resources are provided by the Yukon government, First Nations governments, the federal government and the non-governmental organization (NGO) community. The majority of these supports remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some services have been altered to comply with the orders and recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
This list is not comprehensive and the provision of services will change depending on which phase Yukon is at based on the plan for management of the COVID-19 pandemic level in Yukon, including plans to lift restrictions.
These resources have been collected and organized by population to make it easier for health care providers, NGOs and anyone supporting the health and wellness of Yukoners, so identify the appropriate resources.
Accessing Opioid Treatment Services during COVID-19
Opioid Treatment Services and support are available to anyone who feels a need to discuss or address their opioid use, especially considering the increased stressors many are under due to COVID-19. The medical community is expressing concerns over the lack of safe supply. This may encourage people to seek treatment over fears that the drugs they normally use may not be available or are unsafe to use and that some individuals may be using more at this time as a coping mechanism.
Opioid treatment includes access to prescription medications such as suboxone and methadone used to treat opioid use disorder. If people are unsure if treatment is right for them, they are encouraged to come in and have a conversation with a clinician about what options are available and what treatment might look like.
Opioid Treatment Services operate out of the Referred Care Clinic at 210 Elliott Street in Whitehorse. Normally these are drop-in services but because of COVID-19, the public is being asked to call first and make an appointment. The clinic operates Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. and can be reached at 867-668-2552. Harm reduction supplies and naloxone kits are also available through the clinic.