The health and safety of our patients, families and clinical teams is of utmost importance as we prepare for potential increases in demand for our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals are still safe places to seek care. Anyone needing urgent emergency care should visit their closest emergency department.
Find the latest COVID-19 updates at Yukon's hospitals below. For the most up-to-date information in Yukon, visit www.yukon.ca/covid-19.
Coming to the hospital
Yukon’s hospitals are safe places to come if you need medical care or a health service. Only come to a hospital emergency department if you need urgent emergency care. All other hospital services (such as bloodwork, x-rays and imaging exams, elective surgeries, etc.) are by appointment only.
When you arrive, you can expect to be greeted by a screener who will ask you a few questions. At the hospital, a screener plays a critical (and sometimes difficult) role to help identify risks and take the right steps to keep everyone safe.
Asking these questions takes only a minute and helps us ensure safe access to the hospital for everyone. Answering ‘yes’ does not necessarily mean you won’t receive a hospital service, but it gives us information to:
- Better direct you to the right place for the care you need
- Better control the flow of people into the building while ensuring timely access to services and helping to maintain safe physical distancing in some small space
- Gives our team a ‘heads-up’ so they can take the right precautions, put on the right protective equipment (if needed), and care for you in the best manner
It's also the perfect opportunity to ensure everyone cleans their hands on their way into the hospital and knows important information about what's happening. We appreciate your ongoing patience, cooperation and support.
Although travel restrictions for Yukoners have changed, any patient coming for a scheduled surgery or minor procedure must not have any COVID-19 symptoms, have traveled outside of the Yukon (including to BC, NWT and Nunavut) in the past 14 days, or be a direct household contact of someone who has been directed to self-isolate, unless the procedure is deemed urgent by the surgeon. This is being done to minimize risk and maintain a safe hospital environment. In the event a surgery is deferred due to recent travel or close contact with someone directed to self-isolate the procedure will be rebooked for another date.
Yukon Hospitals have maintained visitor restrictions in order to ensure a safe environment for patients and staff. These measures will are in place for a number of reasons, including the need to limit the number of people in hospital to those who need to be here and maintain physical distancing particularly in areas where space is quite limited. We reassess these measures and update our policy as new information is released.
At this time, a limit of one consistent support person or visitor is allowed for:
- Emergency department and intensive care unit patients[K1] [C2] [JL3]
- All admitted patients
- Maternity patients
A limit of two visitors at a time to a maximum of five consistent visitors is allowed for:
- Patients near the end of life on advice from a physician
- Patients or substitute decision-makers determine who is on their approved visitor list. This list allows our staff to more efficiently and quickly provide access to visitors or support persons who are approved for visitation. Substitutions of a visitor/support person is currently not allowed to ensure we limit the number of people in hospital at this time.
No individuals are currently allowed to accompany or visit patients (except in limited circumstances) in the following areas:
- Bloodwork and lab tests
- Medical imaging exams (x-ray, ultrasound, MRI and CT)
- Visiting specialist clinic appointments
- Cast clinic and minor procedures
- Medical or surgical day care
- Physiotherapy and occupational therapy
Patients will be allowed a visitor or accompanying in these areas if they:
- Are under the age of 18
- Have a disability requiring a support person
- Require a Substitute Decision-Maker (SDM)
- Are post-anesthesia/been administered a medication impacting decision making, involving discharge care instructions, or support leaving the facility in which case the patient will be permitted one consistent support person/visitor.
Support persons may come to the hospital if they are symptom free, have not travelled outside of Yukon or had contact with someone who has travelled outside of Yukon. If you have travelled outside of the Yukon (including to BC, NWT or Nunuvut), or had contact with someone who has, you are required to wear a mask when coming to the hospital.
If you have travelled outside of Yukon/BC/NWT or Nunavut, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days, as per the Yukon Governments requirements and should not come to the hospital until after the 14 day period.
Mask use in the hospital
We are fortunate at this time because the risk in Yukon and our hospitals is low – and this means masks should only be used in very specific situations:
We work with physicians, medical experts, and the office of the CMOH to regularly evaluate if our approach to using masks and other protective equipment is right. We are also confident that we have adequate additional controls in place for our territory’s current situation such as screening, plex-glass barriers and visitor restrictions.
Appointments for bloodwork and lab tests
For bloodwork and lab tests at Whitehorse General Hospital, Yukoners are used to ‘walking in’ without an appointment. In response to COVID-19, we have moved these services to appointment only for the time being. These measures are necessary to ensure access to services, while keeping everyone safe.
Your physician will send your lab referral to the hospital. The hospital will call you with a date/time to have your bloodwork or lab test.
If you haven’t heard from the hospital within one (1) week, call the lab directly at 867-393-8739 (press 1 from the list of options) unless you’ve been directed otherwise by your physician.
We are currently experiencing higher than normal volumes, but want to reassure you that we are working to have your test completed in a safe and timely manner. We thank you for your ongoing patience and help, as the lab team supports you and others during this time.
Other non-urgent services that were temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 (such as scheduled surgeries, X-ray, MRI, CT, ultrasound, physio/OT and visiting specialist appointments) have also resumed – and continue to be available by appointment.
Hospital-related COVID-19 questions
Have COVID-19 questions specifically related to Yukon Hospitals? Call our dedicated COVID-19 phone line: 867-393-9040.
Please note: This line is not for medical advice or emergencies. If you need medical advice or have health concerns, call 811. If you're experiencing an emergency, call 911 or visit the nearest emergency department.
COVID-19 testing in Yukon
Anyone who does not feel well should check the COVID-19 list of symptoms on Yukon.ca, complete the online assessment tool and get tested if it’s recommended .
Anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and use the online self-assessment tool at Yukon.ca, call 811 or contact their health care provider. They’ll receive guidance from a health care provider according to their individual circumstances. There are many unique situations that require guidance from public health officials.
People who are tested for COVID-19 should continue to self-isolate until they receive their test result or until a health care provider advises them they no longer need to.
People returning to or travelling into Yukon from anywhere except British Columbia, the Northwest Territories or Nunavut must self-isolate for a full 14 days, regardless of testing.