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COVID-19 outbreak declared at Yukon long-term care home, extended at another

Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health declared a COVID-19 outbreak Monday evening at Whistle Bend Place long-term care home, and an outbreak declaration at Copper Ridge Place was extended.

Cases at Whistle Bend Place have been found among staff and residents in 3 houses

A COVID-19 outbreak was declared at Whistle Bend Place continuing care facility in Whitehorse on Monday. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Whistle Bend Place long-term care home in Whitehorse, says the Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health in a news release Monday evening.

It comes after cases were found among staff and residents in three houses at the facility. The release does not say exactly how many cases are at the facility currently.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Catherine Elliott said the situation is contained and "routine outbreak management procedures" are in place.

That includes screening and testing protocols, she said.  More information has been shared with staff, residents and families.

Meanwhile, an outbreak at Copper Ridge Place in Whitehorse, declared Jan. 12, has been extended after one new COVID-19 case was found on Friday during follow-up testing.

The news release says outbreak management measures at both care homes will stay in place until 14 days have passed since the last exposure. 

"We are working closely with the staff and administration at both Whistle Bend Place and Copper Ridge Place to manage these outbreaks," Elliott said in a statement.

"I am reassured by the rapid implementation of control measures, and am grateful to staff and residents for their cooperation."

As of Monday, there were 239 active COVID-19 cases reported on the Yukon government website though the true number is likely higher than that due to rapid testing not being included in this count. As well, health officials have told Yukoners to assume they have COVID-19 if they have symptoms and to skip PCR testing.

The territory also recently began to report hospital bed availability on its website. The capacity in Whitehorse as of Monday, including its intensive care unit, is coded yellow meaning space is limited in some service areas, it says. Capacity in Dawson City and Watson Lake are both coded green, meaning there's space available.

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