Bulletin 22: CAFN COVID-19 Planning and Response

Bulletin 22: CAFN COVID-19 Planning and Response

April 1, 2021

Message from the Chief


As we approach the Easter long weekend, we remind CAFN Citizens and families that it is still important to be safe and keep your gatherings small.

What safety measures are still in effect and why?

In the Yukon, and most of the world, social gatherings are still limited to 10 or fewer people, we all must wear our masks in public, practice safe distancing (6 feet), and continue the Safe 6. 

Why?  The territory is still in the process of immunizing its adult population, and COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Canada and the world.  And there are new COVID-19 variants that are more easily transmitted than the original virus.  So please keep your gatherings small and safe, think about celebrating safely outdoors, and if you have questions, please visit:  yukon.ca/en/guidelines-covid-19.


Gunałchish – thank you – to all our CAFN people who have made an informed choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine.  At the two vaccination clinics in Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction this February and March, 84% ofresidents received their first dose, and most received their second dose.  A third vaccine clinic is planned for April 13, and vaccines are available to our Citizens age 18 and up in Whitehorse (see p. 2). 

Now that Yukoners are getting vaccinated, do you still need to follow public health measures?  Yes. Public health measures will stay in place while we roll out vaccines. It will take time for everyone who wants the vaccine to be able to get it. Once you have had your vaccine, you’ll need to continue to do your part to keep others safe while we continue the rollout.  You’ll still need to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces and practice the Safe 6.” 

From Yukon.ca/Thisisourshot

You can also learn more about vaccines in Canada at canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/awareness-resources/know-vaccine.html

What are variants and what can we do about them?

We’ve learned from Dr. Hanley, Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, that variants are viruses that have mutated.  They are also called “variants of concern” or “VOCs”. 

In Canada, we now have three variants of concern:  B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.351 (the South African variant), and P.1 (the Brazilian variant).  A common feature of these variants is that people can pass them to each other more easily, so case rates can rise much more quickly.  We are encouraged that the Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have all been shown to protect against B.1.1.7.  Vaccines are still the best tool we have to fend off variants, in combination with our ongoing public health measures, like the Safe 6.  To watch Dr. Hanley talk about variants, please go to https://fb.watch/4AH4ITxiA7/

Dúch’į Shį – We will always do what we must do to ensure the safety of our people.  Please continue to practice the Safe Six and wear a mask in public, and consider getting the vaccine if you haven’t yet. 

The CAFN Council (Dän nätthe dätthʼi) wishes you and yours a safe and happy Easter weekend.


Kaaxnox, Dän nätthe äda
Chief Steve Smith

Next Dakwäkäda/Haines Junction Vaccine Clinic:
The third vaccine clinic for residents of Haines Junction, Canyon, Champagne, Takhini River Subdivision will be held: 
April 13, 2021 2 to 5 p.m. at St. Elias Convention Centre Whitehorse 18+ Vaccine Clinic: Open Monday through Saturday, on an ongoing basis., 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Yukon Convention Centre.
Drop-ins welcome from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  
Book your appointment online at yukon.ca/Thisisourshot and by phone toll free at 1-877-374-0425
NEED HELP? For help with rides to vaccines or booking vaccine appointments: please phone our Community Wellness team at (867) 634-4200 or (867) 456-6888 ext 211,
OR talk to your regular CAFN Community Wellness support person
Our CAFN team cannot provide medical advice, but we can help make sure you have access to info provided by the Government of Yukon.
Robocall System
CAFN now has an automated phone and text message system. This tool delivers important information to Citizens quickly. To sign up and receive Robocall messages, please visit: cafn.ca/new-robocall-system.  After you begin to receive messages, you can also “unsubscribe” at any time.  We are currently testing the system and look forward to beginning regular use soon. 
Updated Safety Measures at CAFN
Kwätsi Dän (We Work):  STEP 3 Recovery

As of March 25, 2021 Council agreed to the following COVID-19 safety measures at CAFN:

– Continue practicing the Safe 6 + 1.
– CAFN offices remain closed to the public.
– Masks are required in all CAFN common areas.
– Up to 50% staff may work in CAFN offices, with priority to staff who provide essential services.
– Limit travel to communities. Enhanced cleaning measures continue in all CAFN spaces.
– The Youth Centre is now open.
– The Shawkwunlee Daycare continues to operate.
– Organized indoor and outdoor gatherings may be held by CAFN in keeping with Government of Yukon COVID-19 guidelines for safe gatherings. 
– Language immersion classes may be held in-person at Da Kų with COVID-19 restrictions.
– Da Kų Cultural Centre and community halls are closed to the public, and may be used for CAFN programming
– Bus Services continue with small numbers, family bubbles and safe spacing.
Note:  CAFN is also working on ways to safely hold funerals.