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Yukon's top doctor asks residents to limit social gatherings as 22 new COVID-19 cases confirmed

The total number of active cases is 111 in the territory, and in total there have been 264 confirmed cases, according to news release issued Friday evening.

The total number of active cases is 111 in the territory, according to news release issued Friday evening

Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, speaks during a news conference in Whitehorse, Yukon. (Alistair Maitland/Government of Yukon)

There are 22 new COVID-19 cases in Yukon Friday, says Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley.

That brings the total number of active cases to 111 in the territory, and in total there have been 264 confirmed cases, according to news release issued Friday evening.

Since June 4, all of the variant testing results received to date are positive for the Gamma (P.1) variant.

Of the new cases, the "majority" are in Whitehorse.

The release says 71 people in the most recent outbreak are considered recovered.

The territory continues to warn that the disease is being transmitted "widely" through Yukon, with recent cases having spread through large unorganized social gatherings.

'Time to take a pause'

It's being "strongly encouraged" that residents limit social gatherings to six people. Out of 14 communities, 12 have people positive for COVID-19.

"It is time to take a pause and slow down on social gatherings," Hanley said in a written statement.

"For now, I would like all Yukoners to limit informal gatherings to a small number, regardless of vaccination status."

Hanley says a high daily number of cases is expected "for a while yet."

"This outbreak is mostly affecting unvaccinated adults, children, and youth, but even vaccinated people are at some risk," he said.

"Any organized gathering such as a wedding or funeral must adhere to current guidelines. Unorganized social gatherings should for now be limited to no more than six adults … Our public health system is significantly challenged right now and this measure will allow us to address where we are seeing our greatest risk."

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