I want you to know that we are seeing a concerning increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in our community and this is prompting me to ask everyone to pause and refocus their efforts towards stopping the spread of this virus in our community.
Like all communities across B.C., we are seeing COVID-19 spreading through gatherings in homes and workplaces. The BC Centre for Disease Control reported that last week, positive cases in the Howe Sound health area within Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) rose from 14 to 63. I can tell you many of those cases are here in Whistler.
I want to be very clear that we have no time to waste in stopping the spread of this virus. The way we do that is by doing what public health experts are asking us to do.
- Don’t get together with other households. One of the main ways COVID-19 is spreading in our community is through gatherings inside homes with people from other households. Please put a pause on having anyone over to your home. If you have children, this means no playdates and no birthday parties.
- Keep your distance at work. Wear your mask in shared spaces and on breaks, keep at least six feet (two metres) from your co-workers.
- Stay home if you feel ill. Physically distance from others in public and wear a mask.
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you have symptoms.
- If you have been contacted by VCH and asked to self-isolate please follow their directions and stay home for the full 14 day period. You cannot ski or ride if you’ve been told to self-isolate. If you require assistance to self-isolate, Whistler Community Services Society can help. You can book an appointment with an outreach worker online at www.mywcss.org
This is not the time for us to look for loopholes. The virus is not picky we are seeing cases across all segments of our community. It’s time for us to come together as a community and commit our efforts to stopping COVID-19 in its tracks.
I want everyone to have the right information and I know many of you have questions. I want to waste no time in providing that opportunity so I will be hosting a community Zoom tonight (January 21) at 5:30 p.m. to share information and the steps that are being taken here in Whistler to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I will be joined by:
- Dr. John Harding, Medical Health Officer- Sea to Sky, Vancouver Coastal Health
- Dr. Olivia Bailey and Dr. Karin Kausky, Whistler Health Care Centre
- Lisa McCullough, Superintendent School District 48 (Sea to Sky)
- Jackie Dickinson, Executive Director, Whistler Community Services Society
- Geoff Buchheister, Chief Operating Officer, Whistler Blackcomb
- Virginia Cullen, Chief Administrative Officer, Resort Municipality of Whistler
- Barrett Fisher, President and CEO, Tourism Whistler
- Melissa Pace, CEO Whistler Chamber of Commerce
A link to the Zoom meeting can be found at whistler.ca/COVID19.
I know this continues to be an extremely challenging time for our community. I want everyone to know that our community is actively working together and with Vancouver Coastal Health to have the right measures in place and take the right actions to get us through this pandemic. Vaccinations will be coming soon and the end is still months away, but in sight. Right now it comes down to each of us doing everything we can to not give the virus an opportunity to spread. Please do your part.
A thorough list of COVID-19 resources in Whistler can be found at whistler.ca/COVID19.