In a select number of cases, proof of vaccination will not be needed anymore.
“Yukoners you have been diligent. I’m very proud of how we’ve all pulled together in recent weeks,” said Premier Sandy Silver at this morning’s COVID-19 update.
After “circuit breaker” safety measures were implemented last month and a state of emergency was declared in response to a surge in COVID-19 cases in the Yukon, the territory’s active case count is no longer over 100.
There are now 61 active infections in the territory and today Silver announced that means some public health measures can be relaxed.
Starting December 4, proof of vaccination won’t be needed for faith-based gatherings or personal services like hair salons, though businesses and organizations can don’t have to drop that policy if they don’t want to.
And young people under 18 won’t have to prove they have been vaccinated to play sports or participate in recreational activities.
This weekend also brings changes in gathering sizes. Indoor organized gatherings won’t be limited to 25 people but will have to be 50 percent of venue capacity with mask use.
When it comes to outdoor gatherings, they will no longer be limited to 50.
Also today, Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott spoke of the newly discovered Omicron variant. She said it is not in the Yukon, but she expects it is coming. We now have recognized this variant early and we have time to prepare and stall it’s inevitable introduction here,” said Dr. Elliott.
“We are in a good position in many ways. We have high and increasing vaccination rates. We have the pediatric vaccination program starting.
86 percent of eligible Yukoners are fully vaccinated. Kids under five can get their shots starting, this Monday.
In other COVID-19 news, the government of Yukon’s vaccine mandate is now implemented. Yesterday was the deadline for government employees to get their first shot. At today’s update, Silver said that 94 percent of the government work force has been vaccinated. Those who didn’t get their shots are on leave without pay
The Yukon Employee’s Union represents government workers. Yesterday in a press release they said that they had just laid eyes on the Order in Council that the mandate is based on for the first time. Up until Monday, they were told it was incomplete.
The union also said that according to the Vaccine Regulation Document, any YG worker who enters their workplace on or after December 1 while on administrative leave with out pay will be fined $500. They said that the policy was finalized in haste without consultation and that the government has “failed its workers.”
The union believes that unvaccinated workers should not be placed on unpaid leave and they have advocated for alternatives.
They said that vaccination is the best way to foster workplace safety and they support the goals of the mandate and most of their members agree, but they must support all of the people the represent, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.
They also said they are obligated by law to consider all members’ concerns and assess whether a grievance is appropriate.
The deadline for workers to get their second shot is January 30.