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Coronavirus: Stop sneaking into closed Fernie ski resort for hikes, manager pleads

More B.C. mountain resorts suspend operations amid pandemic
(March 15) More B.C. mountain resorts suspend operations amid pandemic.

The general manager of Fernie Alpine Resort is pleading with hikers to stop sneaking into its boundaries, which have been closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The ski hill posted a message from Andy Cohen to its Facebook page Friday, saying “a few of our neighbours” have continued to hike uphill into the resort since it was shut down on March 15.

READ MORE: ‘We’re devastated’: COVID-19 dries up tourism industry, thousands laid off in mountain towns

With few staff working and search and rescue teams limited, the manager says those hikers are putting themselves at risk of getting trapped in the elements or triggering an avalanche.

“What happens if they get hurt?” he asks. “Who will rescue them? Who will take care of them?”

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Cohen says anyone caught trespassing on resort property “risks losing the ability to buy passes for years to come.”

“Our choices are becoming less and less as this pandemic rises around us,” he continues. “Please do not put our staff and community at risk for the sake of a run.

“Is it really worth it?”

READ MORE: People in Whistler warned of possible coronavirus exposure

Ski hills across B.C. and Alberta closed last month after public health officials limited the size of public gatherings to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Over 2,000 cases of the disease have been confirmed across the two provinces as of mid-day Saturday, 56 of whom have died.