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Killington public clinics to test 475 people for COVID amid resort outbreak

Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 10:46 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2022 at 11:12 PM EST
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KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - To contain the spread of a COVID outbreak at Killington Ski Resort, the health department is hosting two clinics where community members can get tested. Every one of the 475 appointment slots has been filled.

As of Thursday, 86 Killington employees have tested positive. We have not been able to confirm with the health department whether the number has changed since then. The state has not updated COVID counts since last Thursday.

WCAX News talked to people at Sunday’s clinic.

“Nobody’s happy about it, but I’m glad these people are here and doing what they’re doing,” said Joel Morse of White River Junction.

Morse was one of 475 people scheduled to get tested in Killington on Sunday and Monday after an outbreak at the resort.

Those there said due to the recent surge in cases throughout the state, they weren’t too surprised to hear about the situation.

“It seems to be everywhere. I’m here because my brother was diagnosed positive, so I’m trying to do my part,” said Morse.

“Well, you kind of expect it under the circumstances, so I think they’re doing the right thing by testing people,” said David Bahnson of Mendon.

The clinic offered PCR tests and was operated by staff from Regional Ambulance Service.

“I’m also nervous for the town as, again, everyone is community-oriented, and they’re all hanging out with each other, and we don’t want to see an outbreak further,” said EMT/firefighter Joseph Kay.

In a statement to WCAX News, a representative from Killington wrote: “We continue to monitor and comply with the ever-changing landscape of the pandemic, prioritizing the safety and well-being of guests, staff and the community. We have and continue to work closely with the Vermont Dept. of Health and they told us we’ve done everything we can, correctly.”

The mountain has had a vaccine and mask mandate for employees, as well as a guest mask policy.

“Hopefully we’re not going back there, we’re moving forward instead of regressing that way,” said Kieran Titus, who owns the Killington Shirt Company.

Titus said the outbreak is nerve-wracking for a business that’s been pivoting with pandemic protocols for almost two years, but he’s trying to stay positive.

“Hopefully we won’t have to be back to limited travel and limited operations that we’ve all been unfortunately forced to over the last year,” said Titus.

“I think everyone wants it to go away,” Morse said.

The next public testing clinic will be at the Town of Killington old firehouse on Monday by appointment only.

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