British Columbia

162 cases now confirmed in COVID-19 cluster linked to B.C.'s Big White Ski Resort

Nineteen more COVID-19 cases linked to the Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, B.C., were confirmed by Interior Health on Tuesday, bringing the total to 162.

19 more cases linked to the resort confirmed by Interior Health on Tuesday

Snowboarders walk toward ski lifts at Big White Ski Resort in December. Interior Health reported 19 new COVID-19 cases linked to the resort on Tuesday, bringing the cluster total to 162 cases — 29 of which remain active. (Nathan Peacock/CBC)

Nineteen more COVID-19 cases linked to the Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, B.C., were confirmed by Interior Health on Tuesday, bringing the total to 162.

The spread of the virus in the Okanagan mountain community was first reported in mid-December. Initially, it was linked to staff members at the resort who had reportedly violated rules against social gatherings.

Ten employees were fired for breaking their contractual obligations to report COVID-19 symptoms to managers and for failing to follow public health orders restricting social gatherings.

According to Interior Health, 107 of the people included in the cluster live in the Big White community. There are now 29 active cases, with 133 people having recovered from the virus. 

The regional health authority reiterated existing public health orders on Tuesday, reminding people at Big White to: avoid social gatherings, limit socializing to immediate household members, maintain physical distancing, wash hands regularly and wear a mask.

Interior Health also said visiting the mountain is safe for people who follow these rules.

The health authority plans to provide an update on the Big White COVID-19 situation on Friday.

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