North

Yukon health officials urge mask use in Carcross, issue new exposure notices

People in Carcross, Yukon, are being advised to mask up as officials point to "early signs of community transmission" of COVID-19, and officials have also issued new exposure notices.

Mask recommendation based on 'early signs of community transmission' of COVID-19

Yukon's acting chief medical officer issued a 'strong recommendation' on Tuesday for people in Carcross to wear masks in all indoor public places. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

People in Carcross, Yukon, are being advised to mask up as officials point to "early signs of community transmission" of COVID-19, and a recent school outbreak in the community.

In a news release on Tuesday, acting chief medical officer Dr. Catherine Elliott issued a "strong recommendation" for people in Carcross to wear masks in all indoor public places.

"The majority of positive cases in the past two weeks have been in Carcross, including among school aged children and their families," Elliott said in a statement.

Yukon reported 15 new cases of COVID-19 between Friday and Monday, and nine of those cases were in Carcross.

On Friday, officials also declared an outbreak at the Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross. It followed another outbreak declared earlier at a school in Watson Lake.

Tuesday's news release said the Delta variant of COVID-19 was "circulating widely in southern jurisdictions and spreading" in the territory.

Elliott urged people to get vaccinated and to stay home if they feel sick.

Yukon's southeast region, which includes Watson Lake and Carcross, has had some of the lowest COVID-19 vaccination rates among adults in the territory. As of Monday, 74 per cent of adults in that region had received one shot, while 69 per cent had received both.

In all of Yukon, 88 per cent of adults had received one shot and 84 per cent were fully vaccinated as of Monday.   

New exposure notices

Also on Tuesday, Yukon health officials issued several new potential exposure notices:

  • Air North flight 4N533, Whitehorse to Vancouver, Sept. 29, arrival at 11:55 a.m. People on the flight are asked to monitor for symptoms until Oct. 13 and get tested if even mild symptoms develop.
  • Air Canada flight 279, Vancouver to Whitehorse, Sept. 30, arrival at 10:20 p.m. People on the flight are asked to monitor for symptoms until Oct. 14 and get tested if even mild symptoms develop.
  • James Hardie contractor event, Kilrich Building Supplies, Whitehorse, Sept. 30, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anybody who was at this event and is not fully vaccinated, or is significantly immunosuppressed due to illness or medication, is asked to self-isolate until Oct. 10 then monitor for symptoms until Oct. 14. Anybody other attendees, including those who had their second vaccine dose before Sept. 16, are asked to monitor for symptoms until Oct. 14 and get tested if even mild symptoms develop.
  • Canada Games Centre public skate, Oct. 2, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Anybody who participated is asked to monitor for symptoms until Oct. 16 and get tested if even mild symptoms develop.
  • National Day of Truth and Reconciliation afternoon activities at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, Sept. 30, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Anybody who attended is asked to monitor for symptoms until Oct. 14 and get tested if even mild symptoms develop.

Health officials say if symptoms develop, people should isolate at home and arrange for testing by calling 867-393-3083 or booking online. Rural Yukon residents should contact their local health centre for testing.

now