Yukon Territory declares COVID-19 outbreak in Whitehorse jail

Three people in jail have tested positive for virus.

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre (WCC).

According to a news release from the territory, the outbreak includes three active cases and contact tracing is ongoing.

As of Nov. 15, 41 out of 56 inmates at the WCC self-identified as Indigenous.

WCC has put control measures in place to prevent spread and all visitation to the facility has been cancelled until further notice.

“We are working closely with the Whitehorse Correctional Centre to manage this outbreak. I am reassured by the rapid implementation of control measures at the centre, and am grateful to staff and inmates for their cooperation,” said Dr. Catherine Elliott, Yukon’s acting chief medical officer of health.

Fiona Azizaj, a spokesperson for the department of justice, said in an email statement to APTN News that as of Dec. 10, 70 per cent of inmates at the WCC had received at least one dose of the vaccine and 51 per cent of inmates had received their second dose.

She noted that vaccination rates change daily based on admissions and discharges at the WCC.

Azizaj said all staff working at the WCC are required to have their first dose of vaccination as of Nov. 30 and all officers are in compliance with this direction.

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