Increase in COVID-19 cases among vulnerable urban populations in Yukon: officials
The Yukon’s chief health officer stated that the region “has still some way to go” before seeing the current wave of COVID-19 end.
Moreover, Dr. Brendan Hanley said that more new cases have been detected in vulnerable groups, including those without safe housing.
Hanley said at a news conference on Wednesday morning: “I think we are seeing cases increasingly concentrated among vulnerable groups in cities.”
“Because of the mainly gathering living environment-living with other people-transmission may happen quickly among this group of people.”
He said that officials are working hard to provide more social support to vulnerable groups who are infected or who need to self-isolate, such as providing “familiar, experienced, case management, social workers, counselors” in self-isolation facilities.
Watch | Wednesday’s press conference:
As of Tuesday, there were 147 active COVID-19 cases in the area. Seven people have been taken out of the territory for treatment, and Hanley said six of them are still in the hospital. Another 12 people in the Yukon are receiving treatment in hospitals.
Since the beginning of June, 3 people have died of COVID-19 and 238 people have recovered.
Hanley said the wave of cases continues to put pressure on the health care system in the region. Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said that health care workers in other jurisdictions have been asked to help-11 people arrived on Tuesday and another will arrive on Wednesday.
McPhee said: “This additional support will provide some well-deserved breathing opportunities for local workers.”
Hanley said that Yukonians should expect to see new confirmed cases of COVID-19 every day in the next few weeks or possibly months.
“For those who think this should end not long ago, well, I’m with you,” Hanley said.
“If we persist for another week or two, we should start to see a significant reduction in cases.”
McPhee said that Yukon’s behavior needs to be changed to cope with the increased risk.
“We know that there is a lot of disturbance and uncertainty in our territory. We are worried about floods and fires. But we need to focus on how to adjust our behavior and ensure each other’s safety,” McPhee said.
Tests show many undetected cases
Health officials urge people with symptoms to be tested. This week, the rapid response test team has been sent to Mayo and the old crows.
Hanley said health officials are paying close attention to the test results and the percentage of positive results. He said that the current “positive rate” is about 15%-which is worrying because it shows that there are still many undetected cases.
“This shows that we haven’t reached the bottom. Before we actually saw this number drop, we didn’t really show that we had surpassed the peak,” ideally, about 1% or 2%, he said.
“I would rather find many cases today, tomorrow and next week, many, many cases, find them, detect them and control them, so that we can prevent more people from getting sick… so that we can really show that we are getting infected before this. “
Hanley said the wave of infections continues to be mainly concentrated on unvaccinated people, although some vaccinated people have also been infected.
Hanley said that of the 33 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Yukon, 3 have been fully vaccinated.
As of Monday, 84% of Yukon adults had been vaccinated at least once, while 76% were fully vaccinated. Among the 12 to 17-year-olds, 68% had the first dose before Monday, and 35% had been fully vaccinated.
Hanley urges anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to be tested and not to go to work if they are sick.
“We have seen people go to work with sickness many times,” he said. “Remember, this has caught us off guard since last year and has led to cases or outbreaks many times.”