Sun Peaks closes stores, daycare as COVID-19 case count grows | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Sun Peaks closes stores, daycare as COVID-19 case count grows

FILE PHOTO - This photo shows the heart of the village in Sun Peaks, covered by snow.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Sun Peaks Resort
April 13, 2021 - 3:13 PM

Sun Peaks Resort has decided to close its daycare, food outlets and retail stores out of an abundance of caution due to a recent increase of COVID-19 cases.

The mayor of the mountain resort municipality near Kamloops, Al Raine, said so far 25 people tested positive for the virus since the COVID-19 case increase was announced a few days ago but since Sunday, April 11, 26 residents have been tested, with 18 results that have negative results. The rest of the testing results are currently unknown.

Raine said he was proud of the community for only having 17 cases in 12 months but then their luck ran out. But with the latest test results he said it looks like they are turning that around.

READ MORE: COVID-19 case count at Sun Peaks grows, residents asked to stay put

The last day of skiing or boarding at Sun Peaks was April 5 when the lifts were shutdown for the season.

The cases have come from a variety of areas, but a number of positive results involve guest-facing functions of resort businesses, the resort said in a statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution, all Sun Peaks Resort operated guest facing business functions are currently closed. This includes our food and beverage outlets, rental and retail stores, guest services office, as well as our daycare facility. Staff members are available to assist via phone and email as required,” the statement reads.

Dr. Shane B. Barclay of the Sun Peaks Health Centre has been providing updates on the number of cases in the municipality but Interior Health would not confirm the number of cases. It said so far it has not seen the widespread transmission at Sun Peaks that was seen at Big White Ski Resort.

“Although a local physician is periodically sharing his patients’ COVID status, we cannot speak to that reporting process, however can confirm COVID-19 activity is increasing throughout Interior Health, including Sun Peaks,” according to a statement from Interior Health.

Community specific numbers are provided by the health authority if there is a cluster or outbreak. A cluster, defined by the World Health Organization, are COVID-19 cases clustered together by time, geographic location or by community exposure.

Interior Health has also stopped on-site testing at the resort as of April 12, as “many nurses as possible are required at the central testing location and at the many immunization clinics that are taking place across the Thompson region.”

“We have to carefully allocate resources where they are best used to help the majority of the population. The focus now is on immunizations to get people protected against COVID-19 as quickly as possible,” IH said.

Those from Sun Peaks who need a COVID-19 test must meet testing criteria and are asked to self-isolate for the trip to and from the testing centre. They are then directed to remain in self isolation until their test results return. If they are positive for COVID-19, they will be contacted by a contract tracing team who will direct their self-isolation, according to the health authority.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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