Tuesday • February 16, 2021
Cases are Down - Keeping it ‘Strong’ in Fernie & Now with SkiBC Strong.
As of February 16th Fernie COVID-19 cases are down to two from the 97 cases since January 1st, showing the local community has worked hard to flatten the curve and will continue to do so.
It became evident as a result of the local COVID Cluster announced in late January that stronger communications were needed at a local level. One of the initiatives was the unique, yet simple website launched in early February called www.FernieStrong.com.
“Tourism Fernie wanted to be involved in helping the community in any way it could. We’ve been messaging the PHO orders and restrictions since March and have a vast array of marketing tools so we felt creating www.FernieStrong.com in partnership with the Chamber, the ski resort and local health officials and businesses was a great way to help,” exclaimed Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer of Tourism Fernie.
Since the cluster data indicated many of the cases were a result of local social gatherings going against the current PHO order and the challenges of following, or being able to follow, the orders when living in housing where multiple people are sharing living quarters together, the site focused on targeting this challenge. This was a somewhat common trend at ski resort communities which resulted in Canada’s West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA) reaching out to Tourism Fernie to create a provincial version of the FernieStrong.com site.
“Through collaboration with the PHO Dr Bonnie Henry, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture & Sport Melanie Mark, and municipalities, new communication tools were developed by industry,” explains Christopher Nicolson, CEO of CWSAA. “Tourism Fernie demonstrated tremendous leadership and vision with its FernieStrong website which was used to model the provincial SkiBCStrong.ca campaign.”
This new website includes where to get assistance and current information about COVID-19, how to have household conversations and setting expectations, what self-isolation means, what COVID-19 symptoms are and a self-assessment tool, how to get tested and more. The site also includes Bill, a character to help simply articulate supported behaviour during the current pandemic.