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20 more infections added to Big White Ski Resort COVID-19 cluster

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

The Big White COVID-19 cluster has grown by 20 infections

Interior Health says the total is now 96 cases

Group housing and social gatherings are the cause of transmission, the health authority says

KELOWNA (NEWS 1130) — Another 20 COVID-19 infections have been identified in a cluster at the Big White Ski Resort.

Interior Health reports a total of 96 cases in the exposure that has been linked back to group housing, social events, and gatherings.

RELATED: Big White COVID-19 cluster grows as district sets up emergency housing

A party with about two dozen people was held at the end of November.

“These new cases were expected, many of these new cases were on isolation already as they had shared their household with confirmed cases,” said Dr. Silvina Mema, medical health officer, in a release. “What we hope to see in the days ahead is a reduction in the new cases which will show our case follow-up and the additional safety measures are working. I want to thank Big White leadership, local residents, staff, and guests for doing their part to limit further exposures.”

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

Despite the outbreak, the local health authority says the risk of going to Big White is still low if visitors stick to their immediate household bubble and don’t socialize.

Under current public health orders, social gatherings have been restricted and there is an advisory to only travel if it is essential, which means sticking to local ski hills.

The health authority will provide another update on the cluster Dec. 29.

-with files from Sonia Aslam