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    Sandy Silver interview April 8, 2022 CHONfm

Old Crow on lock down

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the community is not yet known.

Old Crow, the Yukon’s only fly in community is on lockdown due to COVID-19.

According to a Facebook post by Vuntut Gwitchin Deputy Chief Paul Josie, there are active infections in the community, but there won’t be a good understanding of how many until more tests are done.

A rapid testing station has been setup at the new community hall and people are being encouraged to get checked out.

Right now, visitors are only allowed into the community if they get permission from the council.

The school and co-op are now closed and grocery delivery has been organized.

Last month, every resident was asked to self isolate for 14 days when Old Crow’s case count began to climb, peaking at 18.

The community will remain shut down until January 24.

New public safety measures

New public safety measures to stop the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 are in effect in the Yukon as of yesterday.

“Omicron is a variant that has changed the game,” said Premier Sandy Silver at an afternoon press conference yesterday. He also said the new restrictions will help to reduce the anticipated strain on the territory’s healthcare system.

“We recognize that these measures will make life more complicated and more challenging in the days ahead and we absolutely do not make these decisions lightly. We have seen in other jurisdictions, that Omicron – that wave hits very hard and we are bracing for that impact,” Silver told listeners.

Private and public gatherings are now limited to two households and a max of 10 people. The restriction includes team sports, group fitness, group recreation and leisure activities, and outings at bars and restaurants.

Indoor organized events including funerals and weddings will have to be postponed.

Casinos are to remain closed and bars and restaurants will have to be shut down by 10pm.

Premier Sandy Silver said the new measures are temporary and will be lifted when it is safe to do so.

Yesterday, Silver also announced that the territory is expected to get a shipment of the Pfizer COVID pills that were approved by health Canada earlier this week.

Later in the day Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee and Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott issued a joint statement about the new at home administered drug for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults – PAXLOVID. The statement says that PAXLOVID is a combination of two medications that together, stop the virus from replicating, reducing the chance of hospitalization and death.  The statement goes on to say that the territory will get a very limited amount of the pills from the federal government as soon as possible but they are not an alternative to vaccination.

The latest case count shows that an unprecedented number of cases are declining in the Yukon, but that only accounts for those who have had a PCR test and not those who are assumed sick. Last week there were almost 500 known active infections. Now there are a little over 300.

Written by: CHON

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