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    Sandy Silver interview April 8, 2022 CHONfm

The Yukon is set to ease some COVID-19 restrictions, though nothing is set in stone 

Yukoners may soon be able to gather with more than two households. 

Premier Sandy Silver speaking at this morning’s COVID-19 update (screen shot from Facebook.com/yukongov).

With the number of active cases of COVID-19 declining as the country deals with the Omicron wave of pandemic, the Yukon is beginning to ease some public health restrictions – pending case counts staying low and people following guidelines.

 

Premier Sandy Silver announced the news at a press conference this morning.

 

Starting this weekend, the limits on recreational team sports for those under 19 will increase to 25 people or 50 percent of a venue’s capacity, whichever is less. Next weekend, the same increase will apply to sports for those 19 and over, as well as arts and recreational activities.

 

Next week the two-household rule for indoor personal gatherings could be dropped but the limit of 10 people will remain.

 

The week after that, indoor organized events may be allowed to have 50 percent of a venue’s capacity in attendance.

 

When it comes to bars and restaurants, they might be able to operate within their normal hours and not close by 10pm starting on March 1. The limit of six to a table will stay in place, but groups won’t be limited to two households.

 

Premier Silver says the plan may have to change if the situation gets worse and right now, nothing is set in stone.

 

“Public health measures, they’re like speed limits. They set certain standards for all people to follow to be safe but it is still up to the individual drivers to pay attention to the road conditions and drive accordingly. When the roads have ice fog one them, ice and ice fog, it’s not safe to drive the speed limit as you know, and you need to slow down – not just for your own safety, but for the safety of those around you,” said Silver

 

State of Emergency Extended

 

This morning Silver also announced that the state of emergency declared on November 8 under the Civil Emergency Measures Act has been extended for 90 days, though it could be ended at anytime if things improve.

 

Silver said the state of emergency helps make sure the territory’s healthcare system is not overwhelmed.

 

“If we don’t take additional steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce the number of hospitalizations here in the territory, we will risk being in a position where we can not provide routine medical care to those who need it for reasons that have nothing to do with COVID-19,” said Silver.

 

Starting tomorrow, information about hospitalizations and daily case averages will be available at Yukon.ca.

 

Two Yukoners dead

 

Today’s news conference also revealed that two more Yukoners have been lost to COVID-19, bringing the territory’s pandemic death toll to 18.

 

“This is extremely sad news and a tragic reminder of the seriousness of this virus and our condolences go out to families and friends and our thoughts are with them and with their loved ones as they’re grieving,” said the premier.

 

“We’re not done with this pandemic. You know, Omicron has proved to be milder, but deadly,” said Silver.

 

Long term care home outbreaks over

Dr. André Corriveau joined from the Northwest Territories via zoom (screen shot from Facebook.com/yukongov).

 

Dr. André Corriveau joined Silver from the Northwest Territories via zoom, filling in for Acting Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Catherine Elliott

 

He said that the majority of outbreaks at the Yukon’s long term care homes are over. An outbreak was declared on January 12 at Copper Ridge Place and another at Whistle Bend Place was declared on January 24. Safety protocols are remaining in place at the Whistle Bend facility until March 2 out of an “abundance of caution.”

 

The latest numbers show that active cases in the Yukon are under 150 – compared to a few weeks ago when there were an unprecedented number of infections nearing 500. Though that does not account for those who have not had a PCR test and are assumed to be sick.

Written by: Dylan MacNeil

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