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Fort Steele Impacted by COVID-19 Reaction

Fort Steele Heritage Town decided to close the rest of March as a precaution for their staff, noting that the lack of visitors will impact their business and their operations.

Speaking to MyEastKootenayNow.com on Friday about the closure, the Manager of Fort Steele Heritage Town said they’ve already been greatly affected by the response to COVID-19.

“We’ve had large school groups cancelling, other school groups have been cancelling for their spring program, that’s a huge bulk of our first part of our season which is going to affect staffing as well since people who are looking for jobs are looking to start in the spring and work through the summer,” said Jessica Marusyk. “It’s looking quite bleak for us for that area but we’re hoping that things will turn around and work out for the best.”

On Friday, Fort Steele announced they would be closing the remainder of the month, given the chance that travellers may come into contact with their staff and increase the chances of everyone getting sick.

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Previous: Fort Steele Heritage Town Closing for Rest of March (March 13, 2020)

While Fort Steele is closed to the public, Marusyk said their current staff will still be able to go about their days and continue their work.

“We’ve got animals on-site so they always need to have the care from the livestock team. There’s also lots of maintenance jobs that need to get done, they can work on that as they progress through the spring here,” Marusyk told MyEastKootenayNow.com. “In all of our retail departments, we need to get ready for the season so we need to get all of our inventory done and get cleaned up and ready for the season. Hopefully, it starts on a good note.”

The major event that could be impacted by the closure is Fort Steele’s 30th annual Easter Egg Hunt. Marusyk said they are continuing to monitor the situation with COVID-19 and the B.C. Government’s ban on gatherings over 250 people.

“We decided that should the ban still be in effect, then we will cancel the Easter event,” said Marusyk. “It would be a shame since we have already got most of the preparations in place for the event but there could potentially be other options that we could still provide some level of Easter to people without getting the large numbers but we’re still working out those details.”

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