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People in Whistler warned of possible coronavirus exposure

Photos posted to social media show young people congregating in large groups in Whistler this week. Submitted

Vancouver Coastal Health is warning people in Whistler that they may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus last week.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler confirmed Thursday that one or more members of a group of people that travelled to the community between March 8 and March 13 have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Health officials issued a bulletin warning that people at three locations may have been exposed:

  • Rendez-vous Chalet, Whistler Mountain, March 9 between 1-2 p.m. and March 10 between 12-2 p.m.
  • Dubh Linn Gate Pub, March 10 between 12-3 p.m.
  • Escape Room, March 13 between 1:30-4 p.m.

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The health authority reiterated that the risk of contracting the disease is low, but asked people who were potentially exposed to monitor for symptoms until March 27, and to practice social distancing by avoiding any public place where they can’t keep two metres apart from others.

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The main symptoms to watch for include fever, dry cough, fatigue, and sore throat.

READ MORE: Public playgrounds closed in Lower Mainland to fight coronavirus

The potential exposures came before provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry banned gatherings of more than 50 people, and ordered bars and clubs, along with any business that can’t keep guests two metres apart, to close.

However, people have taken to social media since her announcement to share photos of others congregating in large groups and partying in the vacation hotspot.

Whistler Blackcomb ceased operations for the remainder of the season on Tuesday, when its parent company Vail Resorts announced it was closing its ski hills across the continent.

READ MORE: Whistler Blackcomb closed for the rest of the ski season due to coronavirus

The company says its owned and operated lodging properties will close on Friday.

Whistler said it is following the direction of Vancouver Coastal Health and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, and is asking people to work from home and avoid non-essential trips into the community.

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