Yukon confirms 3 new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake, says others could have been exposed

Yukon's chief medical officer confirmed 3 new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake, late Friday afternoon.

Cases were part of 'family cluster,' says chief medical officer

On Friday, Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake. (Government of Yukon/Alistair Maitland)

Yukon's chief medical officer announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Watson Lake on Friday.

The three cases are part of a "family cluster" and in the same household, said Dr. Brendan Hanley. The affected people had not travelled outside Yukon.

He said the three people are "doing fine," and are self-isolating at home. 

Hanley said there are three places in Watson Lake where others may have been exposed to the virus.

He asked anyone who was at the following locations and has symptoms to call the Watson Lake hospital if they live in Watson Lake, or the health centre in their own community, to arrange for testing:

  • Watson Lake Foods – Super A  on Oct. 8 and Oct.16.
  • Home Hardware on Oct. 7 and Oct. 10.
  • Big Horn Motel on Oct. 7 through 9 and Oct. 13 through 16

If you're not sure of when you were in these locations, monitor yourself for symptoms, said Hanley.

At a news conference late Friday afternoon, Hanley said health officials were notified of the cases Thursday night, and contact tracing is underway.

He said the three locations identified in Watson Lake currently pose no higher risk than anywhere else.

Hanley said officials do not yet have enough information to determine the source of infection.

'No need for alarm,' Hanley says

Hanley said there was "no need for alarm," but said it is a reminder that COVID-19 can always appear, and people should take any symptoms seriously. 

He also said the new cases were not prompting him to reconsider travel restrictions.

He said the Watson Lake Community Hospital is prepared to take on the bulk of testing this weekend.

The chief medical officer said symptoms to watch for are:

  • Fever/chills
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle aches

People in Watson Lake can contact the Watson Lake Community Hospital at 867-536-4444 to arrange a test.

Others who are experiencing symptoms can contact the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 in Whitehorse or the community health centre in their own community.

Yukon has now confirmed a total of 20 COVID-19 cases, with 15 people considered recovered. Two cases were announced Monday, linked to travel outside the Yukon/B.C. bubble.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?