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2 Yukoners contract COVID-19 while outside of territory

Two Yukon residents contracted COVID-19 while travelling in another province, Yukon's acting chief medical officer of health said Friday. The pair are said to have mild symptoms and are recovering in self-isolation.

Pair have mild symptoms and are recovering in self-isolation, says health official

Two Yukoners have tested positive for COVID-19. They contracted the coronavirus while in another province, according to health officials. (Nova Scotia Health Authority)

Two Yukon residents contracted COVID-19 while travelling in another province, the territory's acting chief medical officer of health said Friday.

Dr. Catherine Elliott said in a news release that the pair have mild symptoms and are recovering in self-isolation.

"They will return to Yukon once they are no longer infectious," she said in the statement.

"Yukon Communicable Disease Control is working closely with the provincial health authority to ensure they are receiving the appropriate care and to co-ordinate on contact tracing."

The statement does not say where the individuals contracted COVID-19, though the provinces and territories have agreed to include the case count based on the individual's permanent residency.

Territorial public health officials aren't sharing where the two people travelled to protect their privacy, Elliott told CBC.

Elliott said any travel outside the territory comes with risks, but people may need to leave for any number of reasons.

"We can't cocoon ourselves in Yukon and not travel and not do the things that we need to do in order to stay happy and healthy," she said. "So it is a balance."

Elliott also reminded Yukoners that just because someone contracted COVID-19, it doesn't necessarily mean they were flouting public health advice. 

"It is really important that we remember to be kind and compassionate to people and give people the benefit of the doubt," she said.

"There are many cases that it's luck of the draw and they just happen to acquire COVID, so just being really kind to anybody is really critical at this time as well."

She said how the two people contracted the virus is still being investigated.

In the statement, Elliott said "we were anticipating that we would have cases among Yukoners and these two cases do not change the risk for Yukon. These persons were not infectious while in Yukon."

These two cases bring the total number of confirmed cases in Yukon to 13. The other 11 cases are considered recovered. A total of 1,391 people have been tested in Yukon; 24 results are pending.

Elliott stressed that these cases are a reminder that COVID-19 is still present and people need to maintain proper hand hygiene, physical distancing, small gatherings, stay home when sick, follow self-isolation protocols, and be respectful when travelling — known as "the safe six."

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