September 17 COVID-19 Update

Current COVID-19 Situation in Ross River

Ross River Dena Council advises that as of 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 17, 2021 there are no longer any active cases of COVID-19 in Ross River.

Over the past week the case count has remained unchanged at two cases, however it was confirmed early today that Yukon Communicable Disease Control no longer considers these cases to be active, which means for the first time in almost three months, the case count in Ross River has finally reached zero.

As a result, the COVID-19 Risk Level for Ross River will now be lowered from Level 5 (Extreme) to Level 4 (High), with the possibility of reaching Level 3 (Medium) by next week, depending on the situation in neighbouring communities, the overall case count in Yukon and other factors, such as vaccination rates.

Today’s news will be welcomed across the community and gives us all an opportunity to reflect on the hard work and dedication of the countless members, volunteers and partners who worked so hard to keep our elders, our families and the most vulnerable members of our population safe this summer.

Council acknowledges, however, that while our situation continues to improve, cases of COVID-19 continue to rise across Canada and there is still a chance that COVID-19 will return to Ross River in the weeks and months ahead. Of particular concern is the recent arrival of the Delta variant in the Yukon, and the potential for this highly transmissible variant to spread in our community.

As of this morning, the vaccination rate in Ross River is still on the rise, with 54% of our population now fully vaccinated and 64% of community members having received at least one dose. This is positive news, however it is also a reminder that a significant percentage of our population – including youth under the age of 12 – is still unvaccinated.

With this in mind, Council asks that while we begin to ease some safety measures and begin efforts to re-open facilities and resume the delivery of community services, that all community members 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

Update on Community-Level Safety Measures

Overall, the COVID-19 situation in the community continues to improve, which means this weekend we will see the Risk Level lowered and a number of community-level safety measures – measures that have been in place since June – will be scaled back.

As we enter Level 4 (High Risk), the most noticeable difference will be at the Dena General Store where 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 resume its normal business hours and will once again be open from Monday-Saturday. 

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 to place your order. 

Level 3 (Medium Risk) may soon be on the horizon as well. Once the risk level reaches Level 3, this means RRDC buildings would be open to the public 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.

For more information about the COVID-19 Risk Levels and what they mean, please visit our new COVID-19 Dashboardsection. This is a helpful new online tool dedicated to providing up-to-date case count and vaccination information for community members. This page also includes information about the safety measures introduced by Council this summer to help help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ross River.


It has been almost three months since Council announced the first case of COVID-19 in Ross River on June 20 at 8:00 p.m.

Today, Council acknowledges how important is to reflect on what has been learned since June 20, but also sees the return to zero active cases as an important milestone, and an opportunity to pause and thank all Ross River citizens for your sacrifice and for your extraordinary efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community. 

To the volunteers and staff on the RRDC COVID-19 Action Plan Working Group, thank you for playing a lead role to support prevention efforts, provide community outreach and establish essential COVID-19 support services while also keeping Council, our partners and the community connected during an unprecedented crisis.

We also wish to thank the COVID-19 Safety Officers for their dedication, leadership and protection. We also wish to thank the team at the Dena General Store who worked tirelessly to facilitate pick-up and delivery services for community members – one of our most significant safety measures at the community level.

And to everyone who delivered or picked up groceries for someone in self-isolation, and to all of you who called to check on a friend, a neighbour or an elder to see how they were doing, thank you. You all made a difference.

And last but not least, Council wishes to acknowledge our partners at the Ross River Health Centre and the Department of Health and Social Services, along with the Rapid Testing Teams, First Nation Relations, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health – thank you all for your partnership and your commitment to our community through and beyond an extremely challenging situation.

In the weeks and months ahead, should we encounter more cases of COVID-19, Council will ask that we build on what was learned this summer and once again take action and do what is necessary to keep our community safe. We are by no means out of the woods, so today, as we consider how far we’ve come on this journey, Council encourages everyone to stay ready, stay informed and stay safe as we prepare to move forward together. 

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

As of September 17, 2021 there are no active cases of COVID-19 in Ross River. Approximately 54% of our population is fully vaccinated. There are currently known cases and exposure notices in neighbouring communities 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 are 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 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 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. 

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

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:

  • To learn more about how to live with COVID-19, 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 visit this helpful page, click here.
  • For the latest COVID-19 Self-Isolation Guidelines:;
  • 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: and/or Dylan Loblaw (email to: today!

Thank you,

Ross River Dena Council