Quebec couple who fled to remote Indigenous community to avoid COVID-19 sent back: Chief

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By Staff The Canadian Press

Posted March 31, 2020 4:26 pm

Updated March 31, 2020 4:28 pm

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2:00Coronavirus outbreak: Yukon announces first two cases of COVID-19

WATCH ABOVE: Yukon announces first two cases of COVID-1

The chief of a remote Yukon Indigenous community says the Far North should not be considered a safe place for people to escape the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm says a couple from Quebec arrived in the village of Old Crow fleeing the pandemic and were told there was no room for them, and they should leave.

Tizya-Tramm says he was called when local airport officials were told by the man and woman that they drove across Canada and flew to Old Crow from Whitehorse seeking an isolated community to hide from COVID-19.

The chief says the couple was taken to a local hotel, told to stay inside their room and wait for the RCMP to arrive, who then assisted the pair onto the next flight out of town.

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Tizya-Tramm says Old Crow, with a population of 250 people, has a housing and employment shortage and is not prepared to accommodate those who could possibly spread the virus among residents.

1:50Coronavirus: FSIN wants to see urgent action on COVID-19 for remote communities

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Coronavirus: FSIN wants to see urgent action on COVID-19 for remote communities

He says the couple also appeared poorly prepared for life in the North as they were wearing light clothing in temperatures of around minus 30 C.

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