Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)

Sun Peaks is tracking rising COVID-19 cases. (Kamloops This Week Photo)

Sun Peaks sees spike in COVID-19 cases at end of ski season

On April 9, there were 15 positive cases confirmed.

  • Apr. 10, 2021 1:24 p.m.

-Kamloops This Week

A number of positive COVID-19 cases among employees of various Sun Peaks businesses has the resort municipality’s mayor worried that the numbers may rise even more.

On Friday (April 9), there were 15 positive cases confirmed, with about 20 positive cases recorded in the past 10 days.

“It is quite widespread,” Sun Peaks Mayor Al Raine told KTW. “We are concerned.”

He said the cases mainly involve employees of businesses in the community, including restaurants and pubs, adding that he does not know of any positive cases among visitors to the resort, which wrapped up its ski season last Monday (April 5).

Raine said those who have tested positive are isolating and contact tracing of people who may have been exposed has been undertaken.

While it is not known if the cases at Sun Peaks involve any of the more contagious variants — genome sequencing takes about a week to complete — Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said earlier this week health officials will now assume all cases are one of the highly infectious variants.

Read More: Coquihalla motorists warned of fresh snow

Read More: Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

According to B.C. Centre for Disease Control data, about 75 per cent of all variant cases in B.C. have been B.1.1.7, the so-called U.K. variant. it is also the dominant virus in the United States.

He said the municipality is getting to the message out to the community via email, the Sun Peaks Independent News, social media and websites. In addition, traffic signs are being installed to warn people coming and going of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the community.

Raine said the primary goal is to stop the spread within Sun Peaks.

“The concern we have is the mountain closes last Monday and a large number of employees packed their bags and went off to new jobs,” he said, noting they are being contacted to ensure they get tested and monitor for symptoms.

Raine said testing has been ongoing in the community on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with this past Friday (April 9) set to be the final day of testing as the focus turns to vaccinations. There were 45 tests administered on Friday. As a result of the spike in cases, he said the municipality and the Sun Peaks Community Health Centre are hoping to conduct more testing next week.

Read More: 1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Read More: Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

While the number of cases is concerning, Raine said the only saving grace may be the timing — coming as it did as the resort enters its quietest period of the year, that lull between ski season ending and the start of mountain biking, hiking and golf.

“As of Tuesday, when the lifts didn’t run, we’re like a ghost town,” he said. “Many restaurants are now closed completely. Pre-COVID, this is the period when businesses that have been running steady for six or seven days a week, this is when they take a break.”

As for now, Raine said the community is hoping for the best.

“We’re just crossing our fingers now,” he said.

KTW has asked Interior Health if the situation at Sun Peaks is considered an outbreak and what the health authority plans to do to address the rise in cases. KTW is awaiting a response.

Anybody who has been to Sun Peaks in the past 10 days is urged to monitor for symptoms and to call call 811 for further advice.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Sharks have been around longer than trees

Your morning start for Tuesday, May 11, 2021

BC Coroners Service logo, no date, stock photo
Police probe Lake Country man’s sudden death on parkway

Pelmewash Parkway was partially closed yesterday while RCMP, Coroners investigated

Members of the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus sing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Vernon choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

The southern mountain caribou, an iconic species for the Splatsin First Nation, is threatened with extinction, much to the dismay of the First Nation. (Province of B.C. photo)
Splatsin First Nation concerned over dwindling caribou herd

Southern mountain caribou at risk of extinction, will struggle to recover without habitat protection and restoration action - report

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Winnipeg Jets’ Andrew Copp (9) and Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith (41) watch an incoming shot during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, April 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
‘Very jealous’: Canadian teams can’t take advantage of NHL’s relaxed COVID-19 rules

League eased some tight COVID-19 health and safety protocols over the weekend for fully vaccinated clubs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

Kelowna resident Sally Wallick helped rescue a kayaker in distress a week and a half ago. (Sally Wallick/Contributed)
VIDEO: Kelowna woman rescues capsized kayaker in Okanagan Lake

Sally Wallick is asking people to be prepared for the cold water and unpredictable winds

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add 6 seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

Most Read