October 8 COVID-19 Update

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises that as of 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 8, 2021 there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Ross River.

Since September 17 the case count in Ross River has remained at zero active cases, and the vaccination rates have remained unchanged, with 54% of the eligible population fully vaccinated and 64% partially vaccinated.

Also unchanged, the COVID-19 Risk Level remains at Level 4 (High Risk). The Risk Level at the community level is determined by a number of factors, including the number of active cases in the community, the current COVID-19 situation in neighbouring communities, and the overall case count in Yukon, among other factors.

Currently the case count for Yukon remains above 40, and has been trending upwards over the past few days, with multiple schools in the territory reporting new cases and a number of new exposure notices posted this week. For this reason it is likely that the Risk Level will remain at Level 4 (High Risk) this weekend and will likely remain at Level 4 for the duration of next week.

Council acknowledges that our overall COVID-19 situation continues to improve, however cases of COVID-19 are on the rise across the North and across Canada and the probability that the virus will return to our community in the weeks and months ahead is still very high.

To stay informed and/or to learn more about the current case count, vaccination rate and COVID-19 Risk Level for Ross River, please visit our COVID-19 Dashboard for more information.

Please Take Precautions This Weekend

Recognizing that many families will be gathering this holiday weekend, the Government of Yukon has released new 2021 Thanksgiving 2021 COVID-19 Guidelines to help keep everyone safe.

The new guidelines reflect growing concern about the Delta variant in the Yukon, and the potential for this highly transmissible variant to reach unvaccinated populations across the Yukon in the weeks and months ahead.

Recognizing that our vaccination rate is still among the lowest in the territory, Council once again advises that the threat posed by the Delta variant is very real, and that the vaccine is still your best bet to help protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.

This weekend Council asks that whether you have been vaccinated or not, please remain diligent – please continue to monitor for symptoms and to take extra precautions while in Ross River, including:

  • Wear a mask
  • Wash your hands
  • Stay at least six feet apart 
  • Do not participate in gatherings
  • Do not visit with others
  • Self-isolate after travel if unvaccinated
  • Stay home if you are sick

If You Are Sick, Stay Home and Stay Safe!

If you or someone you know has a minor cough or perhaps feels a little sick, this may or may not be COVID-19, but Council asks that you please take it very seriously – even if you are fully vaccinated. 

Symptoms can include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

Current COVID-19 Risk Level: 4 (High Risk)  

As of October 8, 2021 there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Ross River. Approximately 54% of our population is fully vaccinated. There are currently a significant number of exposure notices and a case count above 20 in Yukon. As a result, the current COVID-19 Risk Level for Ross River is Level 4 (High Risk) and the following COVID-19 safety measures remain in effect: 

  • The Dena General Store will allow up to six customers in the store at one time. Pick-up and delivery services are available as well – to place an order please call 969-2280 and/or send an email to dena.general@northwestel.net and someone will respond as soon as 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 are provided at the door. 
  • Tu-Lidlini Petroleum advises that the gas station will continue to 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; 
  • The following travel advisory is now in effect:  
    • VISITORS – Please refrain from visiting 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 of Watson Lake, Faro and Carmacks. Please refrain from travelling to these communities unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. for medical reasons) 
  • Ross River Dena Council offices are now in the second phase of a three-phase Re-Opening Plan, which allows access to up to six staff members into RRDC buildings at one time; 
  • At Level 4 (High Risk) Ross River Dena Council offices remain closed to the public, however at Level 3 (Medium Risk) access can resume by appointment only; 
  • Ross River Dena Council will continue to engage with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, the Department of Health and Social Services and the COVID Response Unit to help strengthen community-level support. 

What Do the Risk Levels Mean for Me?

Level 5 (Extreme Risk) indicates that there is at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 in Ross River. As a result, a number of community-level safety measures will be deployed to help raise awareness, prevent the spread and support those community members who are in self isolation. Level 5 also triggers increased safety measures at the Dena General Store, Tu-Lidlini Petroleum and all RRDC Offices.

While at Level 4 (High Risk), the Dena General Store will continue to allow up to six customers can enter the store at one time. Banking and post office services will still be available at the front door to help keep things efficient. Also at Level 4, the store will be operating during regular business hours from Monday-Saturday, unlike at Level 5.

For those who may be uncomfortable entering the store, delivery and pick-up options will still be available as a value-added service. Simply call 969-2280 or email dena.general@northwestel.net to place your order. 

Level 3 (Medium Risk) could soon be on the horizon. Once the risk level reaches Level 3, members of the public will be permitted to enter RRDC Offices by appointment only. Level 3 would also mean it is no longer necessary to operate the COVID-19 Safety Stop, which was in place to provide additional community outreach and collect important visitor information during periods of high and/or extreme risk.

At Level 2 (Low Risk), the store will be fully opened, and RRDC buildings will once again be open to the public. Reaching Level 1 (New Normal) means there are no longer any active cases in the Yukon and the risk to the community is very, very low.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms please direct them to self-isolate immediately and contact the Health Centre at 969-4444 to arrange for a COVID-19 test. 

Above all, if you are not feeling well, please do not go to work. Be respectful of others by staying home and staying safe!

Other COVID-19 Considerations

Here are some additional considerations and helpful COVID-19 resources:

  • The Government of Yukon has created a new “Living with COVID-19” page that contains important messages to help guide Yukoners on the way forward. To check out this helpful resource, click here.
  • For the latest COVID-19 Self-Isolation Guidelines: https://yukon.ca/en/self-isolation-covid-19;
  • 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.

Job Opportunities / Volunteering Opportunities

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 an unprecedented public health emergency. The Working Group is open to anyone who wishes to lend a helping hand.

Now Hiring:

Ross River Dena Council is now seeking motivated community members who thrive under pressure and enjoy helping others to join our team and help lead the fight against COVID-19. The following positions are anticipatory and include temporary, part-time and full-time opportunities dedicated to leading a range of COVID-19 Prevention and COVID-19 Support Services activities.

  • COVID-19 Community Outreach Coordinator
  • COVID-19 Safety Officers (COVID-19 Safety Stop)
  • Self-Isolation Support (Delivery Drivers)
  • Website Designer / Communications Officer
  • Ross River COVID-19 Support Line Worker

If you are interested in one or more of these positions, please contact RRDC COVID-19 Action Plan Working Group Co-Chairs Verna Nukon (email to: verna.nukon@gmail.com) and/or Dylan Loblaw (email to: dylanloblaw@gmail.com) today!

Thank you,

Ross River Dena Council