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Some staff fired at Big White Ski Resort following massive COVID outbreak

Last Updated Dec 16, 2020 at 3:34 pm PST

FILE - Big White. (Chad Harris, CityNews Photo)
Summary

Some seasonal staffers at Big White ski resort near Kelowna have been fired

The layoff follows a COVID-19 outbreak linked, in part, to a large party at the end of November

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) – Several seasonal staff members no longer work at Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna as it grapples with dozens of new COVID-19 cases that started with a large party more than two weeks ago.

The resort tells NEWS 1130, some people were fired last week while three others were let go in just the last 24 hours. They were terminated for breaching Big White’s Social Responsibility Contract.

There are at least 60 confirmed cases of the virus at Big White after contact tracing and testing began almost a week ago, following a party with roughly 20-25 people in attendance on Nov. 28.

RELATED: 60 COVID-19 cases linked to Big White Ski Resort


The resort is now scrambling to find appropriate housing for those who are infected, as many share accommodations. “We are working with Interior Health … and should be in the position to allocate rooms possibly on the mountain or in Kelowna,” says Michael J. Ballingall with Big White.

The Interior Health Authority previously confirmed the transmission was linked to large households and social gatherings. “This highlights the importance of limiting social activities and following COVID-19 protocols when indoors,” it said in a statement.

Everyone who’s affected is in self-isolation and Ballinghall admits staff are stressed out.

Under public health rules, that have been in place for weeks, social gatherings are restricted to only those within a household and if you live alone, then those who are in your bubble.

As of now, the current ski season is not being impacted.