COVID-19 cases now confirmed in 3 rural Yukon schools

Yukon health officials said Monday there were three rural Yukon schools now dealing with COVID-19 cases, in Carcross and Watson Lake.

Exposure notice also issued for Air North flight to Whitehorse last week

Yukon health officials say the Grades 1, 4 and 5 classes at Johnson Elementary School in Watson Lake have now been affected by COVID-19. Cases have also been confirmed at Watson Lake Secondary School, and Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross. (Roxanne Coles)

Yukon health officials said Monday there were three rural Yukon schools now dealing with COVID-19 cases, in Carcross and Watson Lake.

An outbreak was declared last week involving the Grade 4 class at Watson Lake's Johnson Elementary School. It was Yukon's first school outbreak.

Now, officials say the Grades 1 and 5 classes at the Watson Lake school have also been affected, as well as the Grade 10 class at Watson Lake Secondary School. A news release on Monday says students and staff of those grades have been advised to either isolate or monitor for symptoms.

Meantime, students in the Kindergarten and Grade 1, 2 and 3 split class at Ghùch Tlâ Community School in Carcross are also either monitoring or isolating as a result of positive cases identified at that school. 

All three schools remain open, officials said.

Students and staff at all three schools have been given specific direction from Dr. Catherine Elliott, Yukon's acting chief medical officer.

"The direction differs for older students and staff based on vaccination status and all elementary students have been asked to self isolate," Monday's news release states.

"We are seeing infections in school children, and it reminds us all that when children develop symptoms of COVID-19 they too must isolate away from others and get tested. It takes many days for a child, even with mild symptoms, to stop being able to infect others," said Elliott in a written statement.

A rapid response testing team is in Watson Lake this week, holding clinics daily until Wednesday.

New cases, and outbreak ends at long term care home

Six new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Yukon over the weekend, in Whitehorse, Carcross and Dawson City. The active cases count as of Monday was 37.

Also on Monday, officials reported another recent outbreak in the territory to be over. Two people were infected earlier this month at Copper Ridge Place in Whitehorse, marking the territory's first COVID-19 outbreak at a long term care home.

Officials say there was no further transmission at the facility, beyond those two initial cases.

New exposure notice

A new exposure notice was also issued on Monday:

  • Air North flight 4N554 from Vancouver to Whitehorse, arrived Monday, Sept. 20 at 3:59 p.m.

While the flight is considered a low risk exposure, health officials are asking everyone on it to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, until Tuesday, Oct. 4, and to arrange for testing if symptoms develop.


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