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Bulletin 24: COVID-19 Planning and Response

June 15, 2021

a printable copy of this bulletin is also available here

Message from the Chief

Danach’e.

On June 13, Yukon declared a COVID-19 outbreak and continues to announce new cases daily.  Since then we have seen the third COVID-related death for the Territory.  We know there are new cases in Whitehorse and rural communities, and we know there was potential exposure for those who attended graduation gatherings, including the Yukon First Nations graduation ceremony, and other events where students from different schools and communities gathered.

Today and over the days to come we ask you to be cautious, calm, respectful and kind to one another.  If youth or family members attended grad events, we encourage you to lay low and self-monitor for symptoms.  If you are required to self-isolate because you have been instructed to by YCDC, or have been a close contact of someone with COVID-19, please be sure to do so.

COVID-19 and its new variants are very transmissible, so we need to do all we can to prevent spreading this disease.  To avoid further transmission, please keep practicing the Safe 6 plus 1.  They are our strong tools and they work!  This means:

  • Keep a safe distance from people outside your household;
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly;
  • If you feel sick, stay home, and if you have COVID symptoms please get tested;
  • Do not travel to rural communities unless it is essential;
  • Keep your social bubble small – now is not the time for social gatherings;
  • Self-isolate if you are required to;
  • Wear a mask in public and when in close contact with others;

These practices have served us well throughout the pandemic and they continue to work, so please stay on guard and diligent in practicing them. 

If you have not been vaccinated yet and are eligible, please consider getting the vaccine.  Vaccines are proven to prevent severe illness and death from COVID-19, and are available in Whitehorse and the communities.  The more people who choose to get the vaccine, the better we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. 

By following all of these public health regulations and recommendations, we help reduce the risk to our Elders, most vulnerable, and those who cannot be vaccinated yet, which can save lives. Being responsible community members is our way as Dän Shawthän – good people. 

We are putting additional precautions safety measures back in place right away, including the closure of all CAFN buildings and community halls, return to remote work for non-essential staff, and the cancelling of all gatherings in the near future.  Please read this bulletin for full details and please stay tuned for

updated COVID-19 safety measures at CAFN during this outbreak.  Please also watch for continuing information from the Government of Yukon.

Council and staff are working closely together and with the Government of Yukon to monitor the COVID-19 situation until the outbreak is contained, and will adjust our COVID measures when it is safe to do so.  Ensuring the health and safety of our community members and Citizens is our highest priority.

Gunałchish, Kaaxnox, Dän nätthe äda – Chief Steve Smith

COVID-19 Outbreak Linked to Grad Events

Yukon had 21 active COVID-19 cases as of June 14, and more cases are expected. The outbreak is associated with gatherings including graduation events and people socializing in close proximity at bars and house parties without following safety measures. Dr. Catherine Elliot, Acting Chief Medical Officer, has advised that this outbreak is linked to the Gamma variant of concern (previously called the P1 variant from Brazil), and is highly transmissible.
Grads and Families:  All people who attended grad gatherings are asked to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested if you have symptoms. 
For more information: https://yukon.ca/en/news/acting-chief-medical-officer-health-declares-covid-19-outbreak  
For the latest Yukon updates on the outbreak, please visit: https://yukon.ca/en/health-and-wellness/covid-19-information/latest-updates-covid-19/current-covid-19-situation
 
Self-Isolation and Self-Monitoring
Students from the graduating class at Porter Creek must self-isolate and await further instruction.  If you are a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19 you are also required to: self-isolate; self-monitor; and get tested if you are experiencing symptoms. If you’re not a close contact, but were around someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you should still self-monitor for symptoms.  If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms self-isolate and get tested.  
Have Symptoms? Get Tested!
Anyone experiencing symptoms:
In Whitehorse should call the COVID-19 Testing and Assessment Centre at 867-393-3083 or book on-line to arrange for testing at https://book-covid-19-test.service.yukon.ca/en/
In Haines Junction please phone the health centre at 867-634-4444.  

CAFN is offering free testing for grads!
CAFN and Haines Junction grads who DO NOT have symptoms, but are worried you may have been exposed, can book for COVID-19 rapid testing organized by CAFN with Hummingbird Mobile Testing.

For all graduates in Haines Junction (both CAFN and St. Elias grads):
Where: Da Kų Cultural Centre
When: 11 am – 2 pm Wednesday June 16

For CAFN graduates in Whitehorse and Takhini:
Where: Hummingbird Medical Clinic, 510 Wood St. When:  Wednesday, June 16, to Friday, June 18

Book your appointment with Kari Johnston, covidcoordinator@cafn.ca or 867-335-0440.
Safe 6 + 1 (wear your mask)
Please stay safe by:

1. keeping 2 metres of physical distance,
2. frequent hand washing,
3. staying home if sick,
4. do not gather in groups,
5. limit travel to communities,
6. self isolate for 14 days when required, and
+1- wear a mask in public.
Youth Vaccine Clinics
The Government of Yukon is offering clinics for Yukon youth ages 12 to 17 to get the Pfizer vaccine.
In Whitehorse at the Convention Centre at the Coast High Country Inn:
First dose clinic: June 1-18
Second dose clinic: June 23-July 23
Rural youth may also get their vaccines in Whitehorse
In Haines Junction at St. Elias Community School:
First dose clinic: was June 2
Second dose clinic: June 28
To book your appointment: yukon.ca/thisisourshot
For more information on youth vaccines: https://yukon.ca/sites/yukon.ca/files/hss/hss-imgs/youth_vaccine_info_final.pdf  
Adult Vaccine Clinics
The Whitehorse vaccine clinic for adults age 18+ is open in the Convention Centre at the Coast High Country Inn:
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Wednesday from 12 to 6 p.m.
Drop-ins are welcome. Or book online at yukon.ca/Thisisourshot and by phone at 1-877-374-0425.

Haines Junction vaccines for ages 18+ are still available through the health centre:
Please phone the health centre at 867-634-4444 to book your appointment.
Need help to get the vaccine?
For help to book or for a ride to your vaccine appointment, 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 you find answers to your questions and make sure you have access to information about the Moderna vaccine provided by the Government of Yukon.
COVID-19 Enforcement
If you are concerned about unsafe events or people not isolating in your community, you can report a Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA) infraction: Online at https://yukon.ca/en/cema-reportBy phone to 867-393-6210, or Email covid19enforcement@gov.yk.ca
Current Safety Measures at CAFN
Kwätsi Dän (We Work): STEP 1 RESPONSE

As of June 14, 2021 the following COVID-19 safety measures are in effect at CAFN:
Offices remain closed to Citizens and the public.
CAFN non-essential staff continue to work from home.
Enhanced cleaning measures continue in all CAFN spaces.
All non-essential travel must be avoided.
Travel to communities is not permitted.
Bus service is allowed provided that physical distancing measures are in place.
Da Ku, the day care, the youth centre, and community halls are closed.
Gatherings are not permitted.

LEARN MORE:

What is the status of COVID-19 in the Yukon?  Please visit Yukon.ca

What is the status of COVID-19 in Canada?  Please visit Canada.ca

Council of Yukon First Nations COVID-19 information hub: CYFN.ca/covid-19

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