Selkirk First Nation puts up blockades, asks all residents to isolate as Yukon COVID-19 cases rise

The Pelly Crossing blockades, some of which have signs on them that read ‘local traffic only,’ are meant to serve as a reminder to stay home.

‘We ask visitors not to come at this time,’ says Deputy Chief Morris Morrison

One of the blockades on a side road leading to Selkirk First Nation. Visitors are asked not to come, and residents are being discouraged from travelling. (Selkirk First Nation)

As Yukon contends with what's being described as its first true wave of COVID-19, at least five blockades have been erected on side roads leading to Selkirk First Nation to discourage people from coming and going.

Community leadership is also asking residents to isolate inside of their homes for two weeks, and to avoid visiting anyone outside of their own household. 

"We just want to stop the spread of COVID-19," said the First Nation's Deputy Chief Morris Morrison.

Morrison said there are currently four active cases in Pelly Crossing, Yukon, where the First Nation is located, but adds that he expects more will be discovered as contact tracing continues. 

As of Monday, there were 136 total active COVID-19 cases in the territory — a number Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said will continue to grow for at least a few more weeks. 

There are four active cases of COVID-19 in Pelly Crossing, Morrison said. (Selkirk First Nation)

The Pelly Crossing blockades, some of which have signs on them that read "Local Traffic Only," are meant to serve as a reminder to stay home.

"Basically we're asking travellers and community members not to travel at this time, only if it's absolutely essential," Morrison said. 

He also said the general store is currently closed, and that people who need groceries should call ahead and arrange to pick up their orders outside. 

Pelly Crossing's COVID-19 testing centre is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, and anyone with symptoms is encouraged to get a test. 

The First Nation also has four trailers to allow people who test positive to isolate, Morrison said.