He says the virus is part of our reality now.
One week from today some COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in the territory. Masks will no longer be mandatory in indoor public spaces, bars and restaurant will be able operate a full capacity with no physical distancing between tables, and self isolation rules will be dropped completely.
The announcement came with mixed reactions from excitement to concern.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley shined some light on the upcoming changes at this morning’s COVID-19 update. He says establishments can still ask patrons to dawn a face covering.
When it comes to bars and restaurants, Dr. Hanley is recommending that people do not mingle between tables or dance. As well people should keep their distance when moving around and waiting for a table.
Limits to social gathering will still be in place though. Dr. Hanley says parties are where the virus is spreading.
“A hundred adults attending a party right now… If we just took a bunch of random Yukoners from around the Yukon and put them in a house party, there would be a fifteen percent chance, for example, of someone being infected. So, this is where we have to rethink our whole strategy and no longer look outside the territory towards the border, but look at, ‘what should we be doing? What can we be doing better in the territory?’” said Dr. Hanley.
Dr. Hanley also gave an update into the situation in Watson Lake. He says a rapid response testing team will return next week.
There is also some vaccine news to report, Premier Sandy Silver says that young Yukoners born in 2009 can now get the Pfizer shot even if they have not yet turned 12.
Dr. Hanley says there may be no end to COVID-19 but we are at a pivotal point. He compares the virus to flooding and climate change, saying it’s part of our reality now.