Revelers who attended the restaurant party at Big White Ski Resort on Monday are now being asked to monitor themselves for potential coronavirus symptoms.
On Friday, Interior Health issued a statement “advising guests, staff and residents who attended congregate events in the past week to monitor themselves for symptoms related to COVID-19.”
In releasing the statement, Interior Health only mentioned Big White and not any other businesses. Instead, it skirted around naming Charley Victoria’s, where the restaurant party occurred, but the message was clear.
According to Interior Health, medical health officer Dr. Silvina Mema sent a letter to Big White on Friday that said:
“Interior Health is advising anyone who attended a congregate event at Big White Ski Resort on March 29 that they have put themselves at risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Interior Health.
“COVID-19 activity is increasing across the Interior, including Big White.
“As such, we are asking anyone who was at this recent event to monitor themselves closely for symptoms of COVID-19.”
The letter went on to say individuals who have symptoms should arrange to get a COVID-19 test immediately.
The party at Charley Victoria’s gained notoriety, as cellphone video posted to social media showed mass gathering, no masks and table dancing.
In the aftermath, Big White Ski Resort called the party disgusting and embarrassing. The restaurant is not associated with the resort corporation, other than being located at Big White.
After news of the gathering went public, the restaurant owner issued a public apology on social media, which was greeted with widely varying opinions.
In turn, Big White vice-president Michael J. Ballingall said it was seeking to terminate its lease with the restaurant, stating “we thought we would have a long-running relationship with Charley Victoria’s, but we just can’t ignore the seriousness of this event.”
That same day, the resort announced it was closing a week earlier than normal, citing tourism demand from the Lower Mainland.
“We have decided to close the resort on Monday, April 5, Easter Monday, due to the unprecedented demand that we are seeing from the Lower Mainland of people that are inquiring about accommodations and tickets,” Ballingall told Global News.
“We would be the only resort west of Revelstoke open in British Columbia that week, and we know that Big White is a magnet for people that want to spring ski and snowboard.
“And we just decided that this is not the right time to travel. This is not the right time for Airbnbs and couchsurfing and people visiting friends up at the resort. We know that if we turn off the lifts that we will be able to stop people from travelling to our resort, and, hopefully, other parts of B.C. when it is just not safe to do so.”
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