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New Yorker: Why an Idaho Ski Destination Has One of the Highest COVID-19 Infection Rates in the Nation

Christy

Angel Diva
#2
The part that involves the National Brotherhood of Skiers is so unfortunate. I've been at SV when the group has been there and I know the town worked hard to get them back; that's why they got the key to the city. Idaho's reputation as a haven for white supremacists or at best a very non-diverse place makes it hard to attract minority groups. And now this--locals accusing them of bringing the virus.

Meanwhile in northern ID the crackpots are going in full force. There are legislators fighting closures and the idea of social distancing, pastors who refuse to stop holding church services...even as another locale in Idaho has the highest per capita rate in the world.
 
#3
The part that involves the National Brotherhood of Skiers is so unfortunate. I've been at SV when the group has been there and I know the town worked hard to get them back; that's why they got the key to the city. Idaho's reputation as a haven for white supremacists or at best a very non-diverse place makes it hard to attract minority groups. And now this--locals accusing them of bringing the virus.
I would bet you $50 that the trauma/ICU surgeon conference that I tagged along to the week before was the source of infection. How awful. I wonder why they aren’t reporting on that?!?!
 
#4
I’m really curious to know if anyone from that conference got sick afterwards. Dr Pugs doesn’t know of anyone but he doesn’t necessarily know everyone at that conference and they could have attributed it to just working in an ICU generally.
 

Christy

Angel Diva
#5
With all the Seattle people that go there, it was inevitable. I mean, the guy in the gondola they describe with the sick employee was in February.
 
#6
You’re right. I spent the better first half of March wondering if I had it because of my Seattle layovers.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#7
With all the Seattle people that go there, it was inevitable. I mean, the guy in the gondola they describe with the sick employee was in February.
I also think that COVID-19 was probably already in Ketchum long before early March.

Here's another article about ski towns and COVID-19. The county that includes Mammoth is in bad shape, even compared to the rest of California. There is a short video by the Chief Medical Officer of Mammoth Hospital. His plea for people to stay home in pretty intense.

April 1, Adventure Journal
Why the Coronavirus May Hit Ski Towns Particularly Hard
https://www.adventure-journal.com/2020/04/why-the-coronavirus-may-hit-ski-towns-particularly-hard/
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#8
Just a guess, but it's possible that the reason a county in western MA that has a very high per capita death rate from COVID-19 is because Jiminy Peak is close by. A lot of families from NYC spend the weekend at Jiminy during ski season. While most stay at the resort and don't go into Pittsfield (20-30 min drive, population around 45,000), presumably there are staff who live in Pittsfield and surrounding towns.

March 30, Commonwealth Magazine
Berkshire County a COVID-19 hotspot
On one measure, highest death rate in state
https://commonwealthmagazine.org/health-care/berkshire-county-a-covid-19-hotspot/
 
#9
I can't help but wonder if the dismal snowfall during February helped the Tahoe region. Just as we were looking at a long awaited snow storm in March, the resorts shutdown and shelter in place order was placed. Probably just in time, we went get groceries the Friday before the shutdown and it was nuts with people who were clearly from out of the region.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#10
One of the sources for Mexico City was clearly the large group of wealthy Mexicans who were at Vail for a week or two in late February. About 50 tested positive within a week or two of returning home.

A ski vacation in February at Vail is an annual tradition for many of those Mexicans. This year, Vail hosted the Burton Snowboard U.S. Open Championships during the last week of Feb. Although COVID-19 may well as already been around Vail by early Feb, it's quite possible there were athletes who traveled from Italy for the competition who were infectious without knowing it.

March 20, Vail Daily
Mexican visitors to Vail suspected of taking coronavirus home with them
Group was in town during Burton U.S. Open
https://www.vaildaily.com/news/mexi...spected-of-taking-coronavirus-home-with-them/

April 1, Colorado Public Radio
How Mexico Is Coping With A Coronavirus Outbreak Partially Imported From Vail, Colorado
https://www.cpr.org/2020/04/01/how-...tbreak-partially-imported-from-vail-colorado/
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#11
https://www.newyorker.com/news/news...e-of-the-highest-covid-19-rates-in-the-nation

An unfortunate article about how the virus was able to spread in a ski resort town.
As a follow up . . . the editor of the Idaho Mountain Express felt the need to publish an editorial to put out the full story behind the New Yorker article about Sun Valley and Ketchum. Seems fairly clear the article in the New Yorker had what can be called an urban bias to the reporting. The writer did not ever talk to anyone at the Idaho Mountain Express. The initial article that mentioned the National Brotherhood was published on March 20.

April 6, Idaho Mountain Express
A letter from the editor, by Mark Dee
" . . .
We’re disappointed that Mr. Ames, a former employee at the Express, did not make any attempt to reach out or talk to us before publishing his misleading and inaccurate story.

. . .
Our March 20 article was published after the Brotherhood itself openly shared information about the positive tests. We realize that those who tested positive may very well have contracted the virus in our valley. Our article did not assert otherwise. If you read Mr. Ames’ story, I’d ask that you read ours, too, and see for yourself.
. . ."


March 20, Idaho Mountain Express
‘ISOLATION’
Outbreak intensifies in Blaine
‘Community spread’ official as 16 cases are confirmed
 
#14
I guess my statement of hope for the Tahoe area was premature, the March storm brought in nasty germs.
While certainly seems like community spread is in north Tahoe, still probably less than if it there had been great snow all of February.

". . .
Another problem facing the hospital is an increasing number of employees with positive tests or symptoms of the disease.


Weis said that across the Tahoe Forest system in Truckee and Incline Village, 11 employees have tested positive and another 120 are at home due to showing potential symptoms.

The numbers aren't entirely accounted for in Nevada County totals because many employees live in places like Reno in neighboring Washoe County or in Placer County in the Lake Tahoe basin.
. . ."


Bay area folks are being asked to stay away from Tahoe.

April 8, Mercury News
Coronavirus: Lake Tahoe officials take unprecedented step, tell Bay Area visitors to keep out
https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/04...nted-step-tell-bay-area-visitors-to-keep-out/

Sounds like South Lake Tahoe has been able to do contact tracing.
 
#15
I guess my statement of hope for the Tahoe area was premature, the March storm brought in nasty germs.
Well I don't think any ski resort was left unscathed. I had my timeshare week for March 1 and changed as no snow to March 14..... cancelled and was wise to do so as Vail Resorts closed the very next day. Also cancelled a week in Crested Butte March 24-31...... Planned on skiing about 15 days in March and probably another 7-8 in April. Ski resorts got hit really hard - all over the world.
 
#16
Well I don't think any ski resort was left unscathed. I had my timeshare week for March 1 and changed as no snow to March 14..... cancelled and was wise to do so as Vail Resorts closed the very next day. Also cancelled a week in Crested Butte March 24-31...... Planned on skiing about 15 days in March and probably another 7-8 in April. Ski resorts got hit really hard - all over the world.
What we are discussing in this thread is not the fact that ski resorts had to close early. It's the fact that people who traveled internationally, as well as domestically, may well have either brought COVID-19 to ski mountain towns or went home infected without knowing it. In particular in February before countries in Europe or N. America were doing anything like testing returning travelers or requiring a 14-day quarantine of any kind.

There was a feeling in Jan-Feb 2020 that only travelers from Asia were a factor for the spread of COVID-19, not people vacationing in the European Alps or N. American Rockies. Recent checks of the genomic sequence of samples from patients in the U.S. make it clear that the source was Europe, not China. Without the ski vacationers who went to Vail, Mexico City would probably have had far fewer cases in early March due to COVID-19. Included at least one employee who died because she worked for a family who went to Vail.
 

SierraLuLu

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#17
While certainly seems like community spread is in north Tahoe, still probably less than if it there had been great snow all of February.

". . .
Another problem facing the hospital is an increasing number of employees with positive tests or symptoms of the disease.


Weis said that across the Tahoe Forest system in Truckee and Incline Village, 11 employees have tested positive and another 120 are at home due to showing potential symptoms.

The numbers aren't entirely accounted for in Nevada County totals because many employees live in places like Reno in neighboring Washoe County or in Placer County in the Lake Tahoe basin.
This Tahoe article hits home for me. 2 years ago my grandma passed away in the nursing home connected to Tahoe Forest Hospital. As someone with Alzheimer’s, had she been alive she would have been especially susceptible to Covid. Patients she was friends with who still live there, as well as the absolutely fantastic nurse staff are all at risk. When I find myself wishing I could just go to Tahoe or Mammoth, I have to think of my grandma.
 

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