North

Yukon health officials monitor possible COVID-19 cluster after holiday gatherings

Some Whitehorse high school students are being urged to self-isolate after a potential COVID-19 exposure over the Christmas break. A person who tested positive attended several gatherings that were also attended by students.

No students were exposed at school, chief medical officer says

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Yukon's chief medical officer of health, says health officials are investigating after an undisclosed number of Whitehorse high school students were possibly exposed to COVID-19. (Steve Silva/CBC)

Some Whitehorse high school students are being urged to self-isolate after a potential COVID-19 exposure over the Christmas break.

A letter sent to parents of students at F.H. Collins Secondary School says Yukon Communicable Disease Control is in the process of contacting students who may be at risk.

Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley said a person who tested positive attended several gatherings that were also attended by students. Hanley won't say how many students could be affected but he said the risk at city schools remains low.

"There are no COVID cases linked to the school," he said. "There's no evidence of any exposure recorded at any of the schools [in Whitehorse]." 

Hanley said students considered to be at risk are advised to self-isolate as a precaution and that it's too soon to say how many positive cases may arise from this exposure.

"Clearly, we're waiting for further investigations and some further test results to know for sure where this is leading," he said. "But I still see this as a containable cluster of cases." 

Students will only be contacted by health officials if they're considered at risk.

In the letter sent to parents, education officials say city schools will remain open and continue to follow their operational plans. The education department did not make anyone available for an interview.

now