Big White ski resort in British Columbia has said it has fired “a number” of staff after a large cluster of coronavirus cases came to light at the resort.

The Interior Health’s investigation has found a total of 76 cases so far at the resort, with 44 residing on mountain and 57 active, according to a resort statement.

Local reports indicate staff were sacked for breaching their employment contact terms regarding COVID prevention and/or the British Columbian provincial health officer’s requirements. The resort says it had made it clear it has zero tolerance of any such breaches.

All staff are required to sign a health declaration before starting work each day and to follow all provincial health rules.  Interior Health have blamed ‘social gatherings’ among the causes of the cluster. Everyone who has now tested positive for COVID-19 at Big White is required to self-isolate and public health workers are following up with their close contacts while testing at the resort is ongoing.

Non-essential travel is currently banned in BC and there have been reports of skiers and boarders travelling from cities to ski or board in the province being stopped, turned round and fined.

Big White continues to operate and the Interior Health authority says the risk of transmission to skiers and boarders visiting the ski resort is very low so long as they stick to their household “bubble”, wear a mask and practise social distancing.

“Outdoor activities at Big White are considered safe for anyone following public health direction,” a statement from Interior Health says.