Yukon feeling optimistic as numbers of cases of COVID-19 remain low

The chief medical officer for the Yukon announced two new cases of COVID-19 bringing the total for the territory to eleven but says life could get back to normal this summer if people remain vigilant today.

Dr. Brendan Hanley said the new cases are related to a cluster in Whitehorse that is associated with international travel.

Hanley said of the eleven total cases, eight have recovered from the virus.

The Yukon territory was one of the last to report a case of COVID 19 and Hanley attributes that to having an early advantage of learning about social and border measures abroad as neighboring provinces started experiencing community spread.

“That gave us evidence that the risk profile is changing from purely associated with international travel to now being associated increasingly with domestic travel” Hanley told APTN News.

Nicer weather is drawing more people to the outdoors, but Hanley said most Yukoners are taking social distancing seriously and following the measures announced by the government.

The Yukon recently announced that all territorial parks and campgrounds will remain closed until June.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanley has been responsible for keeping Yukoners informed with the most up to date information on almost a daily basis.

He said due to the fundamental steps being taken, the number of cases have remained low in the territory.

Ten of the cases have been reported in the city of Whitehorse and one from an outside community.

Hanley won’t say which community citing privacy as the issue.

He said if the trend continues, he is optimistic that life for Yukoners could start returning back to normal by summer.

“If we can adhere to all of the physical distancing and maintain that,” Hanley said, “we do more of in terms of encouraging the ability to have say recreational facilities reopen, summer activities, what are the parts we can relax.”

Reporter / Whitehorse

Chris was born in Toronto but has lived all over Canada. He moved to the Yukon in 2009 where he lived and worked in Dawson City. Chris’s background is in radio broadcasting and he has worked with CFYT 106.9, CBC Yukon, and CHON FM as a host and show producer. Chris joined APTN News in May.