Management at the complex said the health authority administered 60 tests on Friday and would begin testing an additional 60 to 80 people on Monday morning. Marketing director Michael Ballingall said the tests followed a number of well-attended parties hosted by station staff earlier in the month.
He says the situation is worrying as many of the resort’s employees live in similar conditions during ski season.
According to Ballingall, two employees have tested positive for the virus and 12 others are in isolation due to possible exposure.
“In the community right now there are a lot of nervous kids,” Ballingall said Monday in an interview with CBC. Daybreak South.
He said the number of positive tests was unknown at this time and staff who had tested positive never came into contact with the general public.
According to the 2016 census, Big White has a year-round population of 251, but that number jumps to over 2,000 during the winter.
There are around 600 people employed by the resort this season. Ballingall said many of them were under 30, likely away from home for the first time.
“We hope they follow the rules of the provincial health worker, but sometimes these things get in the way of staff parties, birthdays and the like,” Ballingall said.
Interior Health confirmed to CBC it was performing tests at the station on Friday.
The health authority has not confirmed any case to date.
Ballingall told CBC he believed the first case was reported on November 28 and that resort staff were working backwards with Interior Health to contact Trace.
He said the station hadn’t released this information earlier because it’s “not the obligation of a private company to go out there and start telling people what’s happening to citizens. private members of our organization ”.
Ballingall said he did not know how many cases of COVID-19 are currently in the mountain community.
The Kelowna area has seen a sharp increase in COVID-19 in recent weeks, with new daily cases increasing tenfold since the start of November and the number of cases per capita among the highest in British Columbia.
To hear the full interview with Michael Ballingall on CBC South dawn, tap the audio link below: