COVID-19’s unique impact on the Yukon 


Two of YukonU’s modelling experts have published a paper on Yukon’s unique experience with COVID-19. Dr. Sara McPhee-Knowles and Dr. Lisa Kanary, along with Queen’s University medical student and Yukoner, Bryn Hoffman, published a peer-reviewed commentary in the Canada Communicable Disease Report (CCDR) detailing how the Yukon’s restrictions reduced overall COVID-19 caseloads compared to many Canadian jurisdictions from the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 to June 2021. 

While attending  national COVID-19 meetings held by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Sara noted the lack of information on Yukon and approached Lisa and Bryn to develop a research team and start gathering data. The three researchers found that the Yukon’s travel restrictions, with a self-isolation requirement upon arrival, were effective in keeping COVID-19 out of the Yukon. When the self-isolation requirements were lifted in May 2021, due to the Yukon’s overall high vaccination rate, an outbreak of the Gamma variant was declared in June 2021. During the summer of 2021, COVID-19 was largely spread among unvaccinated individuals in the Yukon. The age and lifestyle of this group led to social interactions which contributed to the rapid spread during this outbreak.  

This publication was made possible by the YukonU Scholarly Activity Grant which allowed Sara time to research and write outside of her instructional duties.  

Photo: Dr. Sara McPhee Knowles, Dr. Lisa Kanary, Bryn Hoffman (clockwise)

Written by student communications assistant, Naomi Dedon.