North

New COVID-19 case confirmed in Whitehorse as Yukon imposes travel restrictions

A new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Whitehorse on Wednesday evening, bringing Yukon's case total to 26. 

Everyone except critical services workers now required to self-isolate for 14 days when entering territory

Health officials confirmed another new positive COVID-19 case in Whitehorse Wednesday evening. The premier also announced that all travellers entering Yukon will now have to isolate for 14 days upon arrival. (Murray Lundberg)

A new case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Whitehorse on Wednesday evening, bringing Yukon's case total to 26. 

The territory's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced the case in a news release Wednesday evening.

Officials are investigating the source of exposure, and are working to reach out to anyone who may have come in contact with the positive case.

Public exposure notices have been issued, according to the press release.

Anyone who was at the following locations during the the times listed should call the COVID-19 testing centre in Whitehorse, or their community's health centre, if they develop symptoms:

  • Starbucks on Main Street in Whitehorse, on Nov. 12 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., or Nov. 13 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
  • Starbucks on Chilkoot Way in Whitehorse, on Nov. 14 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
  • Better Bodies in Whitehorse, on Nov. 12 between 6:30 p.m. and closing, or Nov. 13 between 6:30 p.m. and closing.
  • Diwali Festival on 120 Copper Rd. in Whitehorse, on Nov. 14 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. 
  • Giorgio's Cuccina in Whitehorse, on Nov. 14 between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. 
  • Tony's Pasta and Seafood House in the SKKY hotel, on the Alaska Highway in Whitehorse, on Nov. 14 between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Yukon is imposing stricter rules for travellers entering the territory starting Friday.

Everyone except critical services workers will now be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in Yukon, the government stated in a press release.

The rule also applies to people coming in from neighbouring B.C. and the Northwest Territories, as well as Nunavut. 

However, exceptions will be made for people living in border areas such as Atlin, Lower Post, Fireside, Jade City, Fraser and Pleasant Camp, B.C., as well as transboundary First Nations, Premier Sandy Silver tweeted.

There will also be exceptions for "those exercising an Aboriginal or treaty right for the time needed to exercise the right," the government's news release said.

"The government no longer recommends any non-essential travel outside the territory," Silver tweeted. 

Silver told reporters in a teleconference Wednesday evening that the government does not take this decision lightly.

He acknowledged the toll the decision will take on businesses, especially as the holidays approach, but stressed that the government must consider what is needed to keep people safe.

Under the territory's previous rules, residents of Yukon, B.C., Nunavut and the N.W.T. did not need to self-isolate when arriving in Yukon, as long as they hadn't travelled outside those four jurisdictions within the past two weeks. Critical workers were also exempt from having to self-isolate.

The new rules come as the territory confirmed one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday in Whitehorse, and as Nunavut grapples with a staggering 70 cases of the respiratory illness. The Northwest Territories also updated its COVID-19 travel rules several times this week amid ballooning cases in the North. 

Silver said the government will provide more details during a press conference at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Corrections

  • In a previous version of this story, the photo caption mistakenly stated health officials confirmed another new positive COVID-19 case in Whitehorse Thursday evening. It was, in fact, Wednesday evening when this was confirmed.
    Nov 19, 2020 10:29 AM CT

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