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COVID-19 spreading among staff at Big White, not skiers

Big White
January 13, 2021 - 1:38 PM

Even though 162 people have now been included in what’s called Big White Ski Resort’s COVID-19 cluster, health authorities see no need for tighter restrictions.

The disease has spread amongst staff of various employers on the hill and there have been people coming and going from that group, Interior Health's Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said at a news briefing today, Jan. 13. There’s no indication that skiers have been infected by any of those workers.

A lot of those who were initially infected have recovered and are free of the disease, de Villiers said. 

“They have lots of safety measures in place to make sure there isn’t further spread,” he said. “It does look like the situation is actually getting better. Although the numbers are increasing it isn’t increasing as fast as it was increasing at the beginning.”

As of yesterday, there were 29 active cases and 133 people had recovered, according to a news release issued yesterday.

READ MORE: Big White COVID-19 cluster grows to 162

Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President at Big White Ski Resort, said in a statement they are "devastated" those numbers climbed again.

"It’s like a rollercoaster," he said. "Our emotions were up last week because we only had six new cases, and we had bent the curve and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Now, we have been told, through both testing on and off mountain, that an additional 19 cases have been linked to our community. To our knowledge, these are young people, who are not experiencing serious symptoms and we are thankful there has still not been a transmission in the workplace at the resort.”

Interior Health has no restrictions for skiers and snowboarders beyond regular pandemic protections. 

“The risk remains low for families and individuals visiting Big White Mountain who follow public health guidance. In other words, it is safe to go to Big White when you stick to your immediate household bubble and avoid socializing and gathering, etc,” Interior Health said in a release.

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