Revelstoke Mountain Resort has announced they will be suspending operations as of 4 p.m. March 16.
Original story, posted at 8:35 a.m. March 16:
As ski resorts like Whistler Blackcomb and Silverstar close temporarily to stop the spread of coronavirus, Revelstoke Mountain Resort remains open, despite requests from a local doctor to do otherwise.
Dr. Bret Batchelor, of Selkirk Medical Group in Revelstoke, is worried that with other ski hills closed, more people will come to Revelstoke.
And though the two ventilators and 16 inpatient beds available normally at the Queen Victoria Hospital are sufficient for the day-to-day needs of the community, they will not be enough if there is an influx of people and a local outbreak of the virus.
“There is not a lot of extra capacity in [the health care system in] Canada, even in Revelstoke,” Batchelor said, in an interview with the Revelstoke Review.
Already Selkirk Medical Group is seeing an increase in patients with minor symptoms, worried they have COVID-19.
“Right now people are concerned,” Batchelor said. “A lot of people have colds.”
This is on top of basic medical care that was already keeping the doctors busy.
Increased traffic to Revelstoke would be an increased burden on our medical system, Batchelor said. If the resort closed and decreased the amount of people, and potential cases of the disease, in Revelstoke, it would buy the doctors time.
“It is not the skiing but what people do afterward that is the problem,” Batchelor said in a Facebook post. “Undoubtedly they will go to restaurants and bars and if anyone actually has COVID-19 it will spread like wildfire.”
A petition has been created by Revelstoke resident Amber Hart calling on the resort to shut down operations.
On March 13, the resort announced precautionary measures such as single lift lines being removed, social distancing being allowed on the lifts and additional cleaning.
Canadian Mountain Holidays, a heliskiing company with lodges across the province, including in Revelstoke said they are suspending operations starting tomorrow due to the Government of Canada expanding their travel advisory.
The Revelstoke Nordic Ski club has also closed their lodge at Mt. Macpherson, though the trails remain open.