B.C. ski resort fires employees after dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to parties, shared housing

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B.C. ski resort fires employees after dozens of COVID-19 cases linked to parties, shared housing
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Massive White Ski Resort close to Kelowna, B.C., has fired a few of its workers for breaking a social duty contract, after well being officers introduced that 60 confirmed instances of COVID-19 had been linked to the resort. 

The contract contains clauses about reporting signs of sickness to managers, in addition to following public well being orders round social gatherings, based on resort administration. 

In an announcement issued Wednesday, the corporate mentioned all workers are anticipated to stick to the supply within the contract and signal a well being declaration at the start of their shift.

“Massive White Ski Resort Ltd has a zero tolerance coverage with any workers who’re discovered to be in breach of those paperwork,” the assertion reads. “To that finish, we’ve got needed to let go a few of our workers.”

It’s unclear what number of workers have been fired. 

Resort managers and well being officers have linked the unfold of the illness to social gatherings and many individuals residing in the identical family.

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The vast majority of the infections are in folks of their 20s and 30s who stay in properties with massive numbers of individuals, based on well being officers.

“We’re speaking about massive households — households which have 16 or much more folks in them,” mentioned medical well being officer Dr. Silvina Mema.

“People are sharing bedrooms with two, three as much as 4 folks sleeping in the identical bed room and that’s the place we’ve got seen the instances come from.”

RCMP growing patrols at resort 

Kelowna RCMP is growing patrols at Massive White — positioned about 55 kilometres southeast of Kelowna in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley — to handle group issues over folks not complying with provincial well being orders.

“The RCMP might be there to help the group in containing that state of affairs and sustaining public security,” Supt. Kara Triance mentioned in an announcement.

“Whereas we actually can, and can implement the provisions accessible to us beneath the COVID Associated Measures Act, we proceed to encourage everybody to voluntarily adjust to the provincial well being orders, so enforcement is just not required.”

Underneath the provincial COVID-19 Associated Measures Act, somebody organizing a social gathering can face fines of $2,300. 

Somebody refusing to put on a face masking in indoor public areas or failing to adjust to instructions of an enforcement officer might face a fantastic of $230, based on the RCMP.

Skier Lloyd Kerr wears a masks and eats his lunch within the car parking zone to be able to hold distance from different skiers at Massive White. (Nathan Peacock / CBC )

Resort administration mentioned it’s working with well being officers to seek out housing for employees affected by the COVID-19 cluster.

“The main focus of our staff and activity power is to assist all of people who require lodging to isolate, to transition into this area as quickly as doable, and to proceed to function the resort in a protected method and in accordance to our COVID-19 security plan,” Massive White president Peter Plimmer mentioned in an announcement. 

The corporate mentioned managers are assembly with workers to have them recommit to the resort’s social duty contract.

‘I’ll nonetheless be coming as much as shred’

Regardless of the handfuls of COVID-19 instances linked to the ski resort, well being officers mentioned it’s protected for folks to go to for snowboarding and different actions.

“It is unlucky that it has occurred however as a patron of Massive White I do not really feel in danger,” mentioned Lloyd Kerr as he was taking a break from snowboarding on Wednesday. 

“I carry my very own lunch and hand around in the car parking zone and put on my masks when I’m over there by the lifts, so I’ll nonetheless be coming as much as shred.”

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