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Updated: 19 January, 2021

KELOWNA – Interior Health has identified 28 additional cases of COVID-19 linked to the Big White Mountain community cluster bringing the total to 203 since the cluster was declared.

Of the 28 new cases, 22 reside and/or work at Big White. Of the 203 known COVID-19 cases linked to this cluster, 126 have resided and/or worked on Big White Mountain. There are currently 43 cases active and on isolation and 160 individuals have recovered.

“There remains transmission among people who work and live at Big White. We are testing broadly at Big White so it’s important for those living and working to seek out testing and follow public health guidance,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, medical health officer.

“We continue to work with the Big White community to limit spread of the virus.”

“As much as Big White has done to limit the spread of COVID-19 this season, it really is our season passholders and local guests who deserve a big kudos,” says Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President at Big White Ski Resort Ltd.

“Every choice we, as individuals make, every opportunity we have to ‘do the right thing,’ is imperative during these times. For everyone who has stayed home when they felt unwell, who has gotten a test, who has forgone a family or friend get together – you are the reason we still have a season. There’s still plenty of Okanagan Champagne Powder to fall until mid-April – let’s ensure we all get to ski it.”

The next update will be Friday, Jan. 22.

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Updated: 8 January, 2021

By order and direction of the BC Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all events and social gatherings across the Province of British Columbia, are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions and travel. 

The travel advisory remains in place until February 5, and states: “At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example: Do not travel for a vacation, do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble.”

The order came into effect from November 19, 2020 at midnight and has been extended to February 5, 2021 at midnight.

In light of yesterday’s announcement from the Provincial Health Officer, it’s locals only for another month at Big White Ski Resort. Big White Central Reservations Ltd will be calling and cancelling all bookings from non-local customers until midnight February 5.

Tracy Layng, Vice President of Big White Central Reservations Ltd has instructed the reservation teams to start the onerous task of calling excited guests and ski groups from all over the country to cancel their bookings to Big White Ski Resort.

“This will take a few days, as there are literally hundreds of reservations due to the pent-up demand of not being able to visit us earlier this season.”

Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry said yesterday, “I want you to know by choosing to use your layers of protection and following restrictions and orders in place, you are saving lives.”

“We take Dr. Henry’s orders very seriously, and we ask and expect others in our resort community to do the same,” says Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd, owner of Big White Central Reservations Ltd.

“In December, we cancelled Christmas and New Year’s holidays, which unfortunately disappointed many, many guests and their families. We’re not going to give up now. The Provincial Health Officer is recommending to avoid all non-essential travel, and to travel within your local area only, and so we are cancelling and encouraging visitors from all around Canada to abide by these rules. Following the rules is not about the bottom line, it’s about bending the curve and staying open for our season passholders and local skiers and snowboarders.”

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health also said yesterday to, “consider the importance of this moment, in January of 2021, dig in and be 100% in to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.” That is what all of us at Big White Ski Resort are committed to doing.

“It’s safe to ski at your local mountain,” Ballingall says. “If you live in the Central Okanagan, we are your local mountain. Wear your mask, ski in your household bubble, wash your hands, and don’t gather with people outside your bubble. Being outside, exploring your local area, and supporting your local businesses is how we will find our moment of normal – we’re all in this together.”