Killington COVID outbreak not deterring skiers and runners

KILLINGTON, Vermont (WCAX) – The Vermont Department of Health is monitoring a COVID-19 outbreak at Killington Mountain Resort. As of Thursday, 86 employees had tested positive and 22 more were awaiting their results.

But the COVID cases haven’t seemed to keep skiers and runners away.

“I thought it was well staffed,” said Daniel McSwiggan of West Bridgewater.

On Friday morning, skiers and runners raced down the Killington slopes despite positive cases of COVID-19.

“There is at least someone at the bottom and top of each ski lift and another person in the cabin to supervise, and it has appeared everywhere, a lot of ski patrollers, mostly on snowmobiles,” McSwiggan said.

Killington and Pico Resort President and CEO Mike Solimano said around 5% of staff have been assigned to different departments.

“There are a lot of young people working here and they are outgoing and sometimes it is difficult to try to tell people what to do when they are not there,” he said.

Solimano says the resort has had cases for about two weeks, not all at once. He says the majority of the spread is in employee housing and those who have contracted the virus have had mild cases.

“I hope we are moving in the right direction. That we actually have more people who went into quarantine and waited and are now coming back to work, ”Solimano said.

The number of positive cases among employees does not seem to deter many skiers and cyclists based on the number of full road signs in just about every parking lot.

“In the cable cars, in the lodges, you have to wear your mask at all times. So we felt relatively safe, ”said Mariana McQuattie of Boston, Massachusetts.

McQuattie’s family have skied for half the day and are preparing to return home to Boston. She says Killington feels no less secure than a big city like Boston.

“These days, omicron is everywhere, honestly. So I don’t think any place is safe; you just have to be safe yourself, ”she said.

Kristen Lally’s family and friends are all vaccinated, but they were tested anyway before they came to the mountain just to be sure.

“I am vaccinated and boosted. My daughter, who is 5, is also vaccinated. My son, we are a little worried, just because he is only 2 years old. But we took all the necessary precautions, wearing masks and not going out to eat. We brought our own lunch, ”said Lally of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Killington skiers and riders remain optimistic.

“Ski! Have a nice day! Happy New Year everyone !” McSwiggan said.

Solimano says employees will test again on Sunday.

The Vermont Department of Health will hold public testing on Sunday and Monday. Click here for more information.

Related story:

State tracks growing COVID outbreak at Killington Resort

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