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Yukon installs border checkpoints, territory confirms 7th case of COVID-19

Yukon government enforcement officers were in place at Yukon's borders Monday morning, to collect information on anybody entering the territory.

Chief medical officer say latest case was confirmed Saturday in Whitehorse

John Streicker, the Yukon's community services minister, said Monday that enforcement officers are now stationed at the territory's entry points, to collect information from arriving travellers and advise them of Yukon's public health orders. (Chris Windeyer/CBC)

Yukon has installed officers at some of the territory's entry points to collect information on anybody coming into the territory and advise them of public health orders related to COVID-19.

Community Services Minister John Streicker said officers were in place as of 8 a.m. Monday, and would now be there 24 hours a day, every day, until further notice.

The move was announced last week, as part of the government's enforcement measures under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA).

Enforcement officers — some of them conservation officers or natural resource officers — are now stationed at highway weigh scales on the Alaska Highway south of Watson Lake and at the junction of the Alaska Highway and the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, just west of Watson Lake. Officers are also meeting travellers arriving at the Whitehorse airport.

People arriving in Yukon must stop and sign a travel declaration, with information about their place of residence and details of their plans for a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period on arrival.

The Canada Border Services Agency will be doing enforcement at Yukon's international land borders, officials said. 

Non-residents must declare where they intend to go, and confirm they have no symptoms of COVID-19. Under regulations announced earlier, non-residents heading home through the territory can only stay in Yukon for 24 hours.

Travellers will also be advised of Yukon's public health orders on arrival.

Watch Monday's COVID-19 update from Dr. Brendan Hanley and Minister John Streicker:

Yukon has so far had seven confirmed cases of COVID-19. The most recent case was confirmed on Saturday, officials said on Monday.

Chief medical officer Dr. Brendan Hanley said at Monday's news briefing that the seventh case is a person from Whitehorse who had travelled to Europe. The person is self-isolating and doing well at home, Hanley said.

All of Yukon's confirmed cases of COVID-19 so far have been in Whitehorse, and none have required hospitalization for their illnesses. As of Friday, four of the affected people had recovered.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer, said Monday that another case of COVID-19 in Whitehorse was confirmed on Saturday. (Wayne Vallevand/CBC)

"We are pleased that so far, no Yukon cases have required medical treatment," Hanley said on Monday.

He also said the risk to the territory from any of the seven identified cases is low, as they've been "well-contained."

"These are not the cases that keep me up at night," Hanley said. "We will continue to see these cases pop up like little arrows trying to penetrate the armour we have created."

As of Monday, 775 people in Yukon had been tested for COVID-19, and results were pending on 28 of those. 

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