Coronavirus cluster at Big White 'stabilizing' as cases reach 235, officials say
An image of Big White Ski Resort near Kelowna in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. Source: Big White Ski Resort
VANCOUVER -- The number of COVID-19 cases connected to Big White Mountain is continuing to grow, but health officials believe they're getting the cluster under control.
There are now 20 active infections associated with the community cluster at the Okanagan ski resort, while 215 people have recovered.
That's an increase of just four cases since the last update from local health officials on Tuesday.
"We are happy that cases are stabilizing at Big White, and we will continue to conduct testing on the mountain," Dr. Silvina Mema of Interior Health said in a statement.
"This cluster is not yet over, but we are confident the measures in place are working."
According to the health authority, most of the transmission happened at social events and gatherings – the kind that have been banned by a public health order since November.
On Friday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry extended the order once again, this time indefinitely, though she suggested restrictions could be eased at the end of February if people work together to bring case numbers down.
Interior Health urged residents living in the health authority region to stick to socializing with members of their household for now, and also urged the public not to "stigmatize or judge others who seek testing or test positive for COVID-19."
The community cluster at Big White was initially declared on Dec. 15 following the discovery of "a few" positive cases. Some staff at the resort were fired in the following weeks.