Yukon’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, receives his COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on March 3. With vaccination rates climbing across the North, thoughts are now turning to how to end public health restrictions that have limited travel for northerners for over a year. (The Canadian Press/Mike Thomas)
In many southern provinces, 900 cases of COVID-19 could be diagnosed in a single day.
But in the territories, where small, remote communities are the norm, 900 cases of COVID-19 have had a massive impact on the daily lives of residents.
Now, as early access to COVID-19 vaccines have propelled the territories close to 70 per cent coverage, thoughts are turning to how communities will gradually reopen alongside their southern counterparts.
Since the pandemic began, just 901 cases total have been reported across the three territories.
Most are connected to isolated travellers and their families — in fact, despite its superior connections to the south and its border with the United States, Yukon has avoided any local outbreaks at all, and counted just 87 cases during the pandemic.