British Columbia’s latest COVID-19 hotspot has seen more than 500 cases over the past month, according to health officials.
On Friday morning, Health Minister Adrian Dix addressed the ongoing spike of new infections in Whistler.
“There’s been a total of 547 cases of COVID-19 in Whistler from January 1 to February 2,” he said during a live press conference.
Dix added that the “majority of cases in Whistler continue to be identified with young people in their 20s and 30s who live, work, and socialize together.”
Fortunately, only two individuals so far have required a brief hospitalization, and there are no known deaths that have occurred.
“Almost all the recent cases are associated with transmission occurring within households and social settings, according to our contact tracing,” Dix stressed.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), says that very little transmission has been linked to outdoor recreation areas such as Whistler and Blackcomb mountain.
Health officials add that “significant enforcement actions are taking place in Whistler.” Dix mentioned that he and Provincial Health Dr. Bonnie Henry have spent time and are working with Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton, adding that he’s played an “extraordinary leadership role.”
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Mayor Crompton spoke to Daily Hive about the situation last week, sharing his concern about the “sharp increase” in cases.
“I’ve asked our community members to reduce their personal contacts, stay home, and stay local, as the most effective things we can all do to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Whistler,” he said in an emailed statement.
Last week, a dozen employees at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler also confirmed that 12 employees tested positive for COVID-19. The hotel said that the infected individuals and their contacts have entered self-quarantine.