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Big White shows skiers how to stay 6 feet apart

Big White Ski Resort staff using their poles to stay six feet apart.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Michael J Ballingall
December 19, 2020 - 4:14 PM

Big White Ski Resort members are suggesting an easy tip for skiers to measure how to safely socially distance from one another.

"Our team Big White Ski Resort is out to assist with our mandatory mask policy and to show you pictures of how to use your poles so you can stay six feet apart," wrote senior vice president Michael Ballingall, in a Facebook group.

Six feet, or roughly two metres, is the distance health officials recommend people stay apart from others not in their household in order to prevent COVID-19 from spreading, since symptoms don't always show up when someone has the disease.

Big White Ski Resort staff standing six feet apart.
Big White Ski Resort staff standing six feet apart.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Michael J Ballingall

This week, the ski resort fired staff members after a COVID-19 community cluster was reported after staff members had a party. So far 76 cases amongst staff or those associated with the resort have been reported as part of the cluster.

In a statement to the media, the ski resort said it has a zero-tolerance policy for staff members found breaching its policies around social gatherings and "to that end" has "let go some of our employees."

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has banned social gatherings until at least Jan. 8 due to rising coronavirus cases across the province.

She has also mandated mask use indoors and asked residents to avoid non-essential travel at this time.

Big White says that staff have to adhere to a Social Responsibility Contract and sign a Daily Health Declaration. Among many things the health declaration mandates staff sign that they have adhered to the government's rules relating to social gatherings at all times "both on and off duty."

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has implemented an Emergency Operations Centre with the support of Interior Health and Big White Ski Resort to help contain the COVID-19 cluster. To date, 44 of the cases reside on Big White Mountain and 57 remain active as of Dec. 18.


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