COVID outbreak declared at Nakiska, although ski resort says staff mostly recovered

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Nakiska in Kananaskis west of Calgary, although the ski resort says the outbreak is old and most staff have recovered.

15 cases have been linked to the ski hill in Kananaskis, according to Alberta Health

An outbreak at Nakiska, shown here in a 2013 photo, has been linked to 15 active cases. (Kyle Bakx/CBC)

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at the Nakiska in Kananaskis west of Calgary, although the ski resort says the outbreak is old and most staff have recovered.

Alberta Health says 15 cases have been linked to the resort, which will be added to the province's official list of outbreaks Tuesday. 

AHS said Monday morning that 15 cases were still active.

However, Nakiska gave an update later Monday, saying the outbreak was old, with 11 people fully recovered and back to work and only four remaining in isolation hotel rooms.

Those four no longer have symptoms but are finishing out the remaining required days of isolation, Nakiska said.

The resort said all their outbreak protocols were followed and no guest exposure was identified.

The Lake Louise ski area is also under an outbreak announced weeks ago.

Alberta reported 1,240 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and nine more deaths. The case numbers were compiled up until midnight on Sunday. A total of 860 people have now died from the illness since the pandemic began.

Active cases of the illness in Alberta have been slowly declining over the past week, with 19,165 active cases reported Monday. But during most of that time period hospitalizations have continued to climb.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, is providing a news conference at 3:30 p.m. Monday. You can watch it live here.

On Dec. 8, the government imposed a new set of rules in a bid to curb soaring COVID-19 infections, including the closure of all casinos and gyms, banning dine-in service at restaurants and bars and imposing a mandatory province-wide mask requirement. The province also banned all outdoor and indoor social gatherings and imposed mandatory work-from-home measures for at least four weeks.

76 cases linked to Big White ski resort

They're not the first ski resorts to face an outbreak. 

At least 76 COVID-19 cases had been linked to the Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna, B.C., as of last Friday. Among them, 44 lived at the resort.

B.C. Interior Health medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema confirmed that workers living in overcrowded housing are behind the spread of coronavirus at the Okanagan resort. 

Interior Health had not confirmed any cases among guests of the resort.

The majority of the infections are in people in their 20s and 30s, according to health officials earlier this week.

Earlier last week, the ski resort fired up to 10 employees for breaking their contracts.

The contract requires staff to report symptoms of illness to managers and follow public health orders that restrict social gatherings, according to Big White Ski Resort management. 

Among the confirmed cases, 44 live at the resort, and 19 people have completed self-isolation and recovered from the disease, the authority said on Friday. 


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