An unconfirmed case of COVID-19 was allegedly reported to Mica Heliskiing on March 21 from a former guest.
Nicole Fricot, CEO of Mica Heliskiing was asked if a guest contacted the company to report the fact they were ill with the virus. She would not confirm nor deny the case, instead, she referred to Interior Health.
“If there is a story here that is relevant and important for the Revelstoke community at large, I assure you Interior Health will let you know,” writes Fricot. She continued her focus is on ensuring Mica’s employees, local community, and family is healthy and employed.
According to an email sent by the company to a potential guest, Mica Heliskiing closed operations March 15. There is no mention of COVID-19 on their website.
There have been three other confirmed cases of COVID-19 this month from other heliskiing operators in the Revelstoke area.
The first to be reported was Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing on March 17, the second was Canadian Mountain Holidays on March 20, and the third was Eagle Pass Heliski on March 23. All three operations are currently closed.
Selkirk Tangiers Heli Skiing and Eagle Pass Heliski both responded within an hour to media inquires about COVID-19. Canadian Mountain Holidays reached out to media directly to report the incident.
Mayor Gary Sulz said none of the heliskiing operators reached out to the city concerning the COVID-19 cases. While Revelstoke knows COVID-19 is in the community, Sulz said he does not know how many cases exist or where they are located.
However, Revelstoke’s first locally tested case of COVID-19 was also confirmed on March 17 by Selkirk Medical Group, a local clinic.
Sulz said the city is in frequent contact with local physicians, however, doctors cannot always give specifics, such as locations or levels of the virus in Revelstoke, due to privacy laws.
Interior Health explained they also cannot confirm individual cases due to privacy unless there is a pressing public health need.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, stated in a media conference that cases confirmed outside of B.C. of non-B.C. residents are not included in the provincial count. She explained B.C. Public Health would have followed up with any close contacts of a confirmed case, once they were alerted to it.
Thursday (March 26), the province had an additional 66 positive tests for COVID-19, bringing the total to 725 cases, of which 62 are in the Interior. To date, B.C. has conducted 31,739 tests.