Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley updated the Yukon public this morning on measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of today, March 20, at 9:30 a.m. there are no cases of COVID-19 in Yukon.
Yukon is now receiving COVID-19 test results back from BC more quickly. For now, we will be publishing how many tests have been completed on Yukon.ca on a weekly basis, though Information about first cases would be shared with Yukoners as soon as possible.
Whitehorse General Hospital will suspend all scheduled, non-urgent surgery procedures from Monday, March 23, 2020. They will continue to provide surgical care for urgent and emergency cases. Anyone with an appointment will be contacted individually by the hospital to let them know and to help them with any questions.
Yukoners may also be aware that no visitors are allowed at the territory's three hospitals with limited exceptions. Screening is in place at all hospitals, asking anyone coming to hospital about the reason for their visit, symptoms and travel history.
Day cares and child care centres do not need to close. Child care programs are considered to be an essential service that should remain in place as long as possible. They provide access to social supports particularly for vulnerable children and families and for parents who are themselves providing essential services to help keep Yukoners safe. Daycare operators have been briefed on safe social distancing measures within a daycare environment.
In the coming day or so, people calling 811 for COVID-19 advice will have two options. They will be able speak to the Public Health Agency of Canada; or if they have COVID-19 symptoms and have travelled internationally within the last 14 days, or if they have symptoms and have come in contact with an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19, they can speak to staff at Yukon Communicable Disease Control (YCDC).
Yukoners are reminded that they can now access an online self-assessment tool on Yukon.ca, which is the central place to find information about the territory's response to COVID-19.
As announced on Thursday, March 19, the Government of Yukon is setting up a respiratory assessment centre in Whitehorse for people with acute respiratory illness such as influenza or COVID-19 who need medical assessment.