On Monday, March 29 at 1 p.m. the Province of British Columbia announced several major new restrictions associated with COVID-19 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the province and in our community. These restrictions include the closure of Whistler Blackcomb until April 19, as well as a three-week closure of all indoor dining across British Columbia and indoor adult fitness classes. Indoor group adult fitness classes at Meadow Park Sports Centre have also been moved online or suspended. Whistler Blackcomb has since decided to close its winter operations for the remainder of the season and shift focus to preparing for summer.
As tough as this is for our community, we must continue to focus on slowing the spread of COVID and getting to the other side of this pandemic. We must follow the advice of the health authorities to help contain the virus. Provincial health authorities anticipate the closure of the mountain will help deter travel to Whistler and reduce contacts that may result in spreading the virus to other communities.
We are hugely grateful for Whistler Blackcomb for the excellent work they did at staying open for so long this winter and allowing us all to ski safely during a global pandemic. We are also grateful to other Whistler businesses, organizations and community members for the excellent job adjusting to these challenging times.
To our visitors, now is not the time for non-essential travel, and we are asking everyone to respect the travel advisory currently in place in British Columbia so that we can welcome you back to Whistler soon.
The RMOW also remains committed to helping local businesses and advocating for the support they need to make it through the next few weeks – as we have done throughout the past year. Many programs that have been available to both businesses and members of the community continue to be offered.
We are a resilient and resourceful community that will continue to work together as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve. We need to double down on our commitment to all the measures that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the most important things anyone community can do right now to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid all indoor gatherings with people not in your household.
Free, confidential financial, mental health and wellness support is available through Whistler Community Services Society and free 24/7 support is available through the BC Crisis Centre by phone by calling 1-866-661-3311 and web-based chat support is available 7 days a week from noon to 1 a.m. at crisiscentre.bc.ca.
Support is also continues to be available to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been told to self-isolate and needs help covering rent or is in need of food or hygiene supplies. Learn more by visiting the Whistler Community Services Society site.