Yukon reports its first COVID-19-related death eight months into the pandemic

Yukon has reported its first COVID-19-related death, nearly nine months into the pandemic.

On Friday, the territory’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley confirmed the death of one of the five people who recently tested positive for the disease in Watson Lake.

According to a statement, an older person with underlying medical conditions died at their home on Oct. 29, while they were in self-isolation.

“Today, I mourn with Watson lake and with all of you as we announce the death of one of our Watson Lake cases, who now has become Yukon’s first COVID-related death,” Dr. Hanley told reporters on Friday. “This is a very sad day for Yukon; one that I had hoped we would not see that somehow we could spare everyone from the worst outcomes of this virus.”

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver also extended condolences to the Watson Lake community following news of the recent death.

“I am very saddened by this loss and I send my condolences to the friends and family of the deceased. On behalf of all Yukoners, I also send support and love to the entire community of Watson Lake at this difficult time,” the premier said in a statement on Friday.

He added, “I am grateful for all that Yukoners have and continue to do to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum. Thank you for your efforts and please, continue to be vigilant in taking the recommended precautions to keep yourself, your community and all Yukoners safe.”

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Health officials say the level of risk to residents of Watson Lake and other Yukoners remains low.

Yukon currently has five active cases of COVID-19. The territory has confirmed 23 cases since its first infection was detected in March. Since then, 17 people have recovered from the virus and 4,031 people have been tested.

“With this sad news we all need to maintain our efforts to prevent further disability or deaths in Yukon from the pandemic.” Dr. Hanley said in a statement.

Hanley again stressed that Yukon is just as susceptible to COVID-19 as other places.

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