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Whistler mayor pushing for pandemic hot spot to get fully vaccinated by summer

Last Updated Apr 7, 2021 at 7:30 pm PDT

The village of Whistler, B.C. is seen as the sun sets on the snow capped mountains Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Whistler mayor is now campaigning for that resort community to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the summer

Jack Crompton says it's important to mass vaccinate even though the popular resort was forced to end the ski season

Dr. Bonnie Henry ordered Whistler to shut down and almost 200 people there have tested positive for the P1 variant

WHISTLER (NEWS 1130) — This year alone, Whistler has recorded hundreds of COVID-19 cases — which is why the city’s mayor is now lobbying the province to mass vaccinate people in the area.

Jack Crompton says 3-million visitors usually keep at least 13,000 workers employed, and those employees are already suffering from the ski season ending earlier than expected this year.

“There was a big enough risk here that the economy of the town needed to be shuttered for some time. My hope is that that same urgency is turned toward having this community vaccinated,” he says.

As the summer season nears, Crompton tells NEWS 1130 he hopes the community can be protected in order for it to reengage.

“We’re now turning our attention and our minds to the summer and ensuring that we are ready to welcome people back.”

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Especially since most works in the hospitality industry, Crompton says the group is uniquely exposed to a large number of people.

“So yes, they need the protection that comes through vaccination,” he says.

“I don’t think that we are uniquely a problem, there are just many people that come through this town and so it’s incumbent upon us to raise our game and do even better than we’ve done.”

Crompton admits — at this point — nothing’s been approved by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“But we continue to make the case.”

Henry ordered Whistler to shut down last week, and almost 200 people there have tested positive for the P1 variant — a strain first identified in Brazil which has led to more young people in B.C. ending up on ventilators.

Another popular resort community on Vancouver Island –Tofino– has mass vaccination clinics booked starting April 12 for anyone older than 18.