COVID outbreak at Killington doesn’t deter skiers, riders

Vermont health officials are watching an outbreak of coronavirus among employees at the...
Vermont health officials are watching an outbreak of coronavirus among employees at the Killington Mountain Resort. But the COVID cases didn't appear to keep away skiers and riders.(WCAX)
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:27 PM EST
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KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Department of Health is watching a COVID-19 outbreak at the Killington Mountain Resort. As of Thursday, 86 employees had tested positive and 22 others were awaiting their results.

But the COVID cases didn’t appear to keep away skiers and riders.

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

Friday morning, skiers and riders were hitting the trails at Killington despite the positive COVID-19 cases.

“There’s at least somebody at the bottom and top of every lift and another person in the shack supervising, and it appeared everywhere, plenty of ski patrol out, mostly on snowmobiles,” McSwiggan said.

Killington and Pico Resort President and General Manager Mike Solimano says about 5% of the staff has been affected across different departments.

“It’s a lot of young people who work here and they’re social and sometimes it’s hard to try to tell people what to do when they aren’t around,” he said.

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

“Hopefully 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 doesn’t seem to be deterring many skiers and riders based on the number of lot full signs at just about every parking lot.

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

McQuattie’s family skied half the day and is getting ready to go back home to Boston. She says Killington doesn’t feel any less safe 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 still got tested before coming to the mountain just to be sure.

“I’m vaccinated and boosted. My daughter who is 5, she is also vaccinated. My son, we’re a little worried about, just because he’s only 2. But we’ve taken all of the proper precautions, wearing masks and not going out to eat. We brought our own lunch,” said Lally of Lynn, Massachusetts.

Killington skiers and riders are staying optimistic.

“Ski on! Have a great day! Happy New Year, everyone!” McSwiggan said.

Solimano says employees will test again on Sunday.

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

Related Story:

State tracking growing COVID outbreak at Killington Resort

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