Yukon's top doctor tells its residents to rethink visits to BC as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov 11 2020, 8:57 pm

Yukon’s chief medical health officer has warned residents from the territory against travel to British Columbia amid surging COVID-19 cases in the province.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Dr. Brendan Hanley urged Yukoners to reschedule or postpone any upcoming trips to BC.

“If you are planning to attend a gathering, a wedding, or a funeral in BC, I ask that you rethink your visit,” he said. “Ask yourself if the gathering will still be able to go forward with the new restrictions. Are you able to attend virtually, or will the gathering be rescheduled?”

On Saturday, BC’S Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced new COVID-19 orders for the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions. Under the new rules, weddings and funerals can only be attended by those in your immediate household.

Hanley said that the health regions affected by the restrictions contain several popular destinations for Yukoners, including Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby.

Yukon is currently in a bubble with BC, and residents can travel between the two without needing to self-isolate. He said he would be closely monitoring the agreement.

Anyone returning to Yukon will need to take deliberate steps to reduce their risk of exposure to the virus before their travel date, Hanley announced, such as wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing, and avoiding social gatherings.

“More than ever, we need to be as safe as possible. This may mean delaying a trip or making other arrangements,” Hanley said. “We have to recognize that the risk of exposure to COVID while travelling to the Lower Mainland is higher than it was in the summer months.”

“Travelling to the Vancouver area will require extra caution.”

To date, Yukon has seen 23 COVID-19 cases and one death. British Columbia has reported 19,239 cases and 284 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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