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This ski resort had a massive COVID-19 outbreak

Does COVID-19 spread at ski resorts?

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General view during the top of the mountain concert with U.S singer Mariah Carey in Ischgl in the Austrian province of Tyrol, Monday, April 30, 2012.

General view during the top of the mountain concert with U.S singer Mariah Carey in Ischgl in the Austrian province of Tyrol, Monday, April 30, 2012.

Kerstin Joensson, Associated Press

The Austrian ski resort Ischgl saw a massive COVID-19 outbreak that led to cases in 45 countries across the world, a sign that — despite being an outdoor activity — the coronavirus can spread at ski resorts

And now, an Austrian consumer rights group has filed four civil lawsuits against Austria over the outbreak at the ski resorts, saying the government did not work to hold off the spread, BBC News reports.

What’s happening:

On March 7, the Ischgl ski resort reported its first case of COVID-19. But officials said there were likely cases there back in February, BBC News reports.

Consumer Protection Association, a private organization in Austria, said the government was aware of the infections but did nothing to stop people from visiting the resort, according to BBC News.

  • “On Feb. 25, the authorities closed down a hotel in Innsbruck because one of the employees had tested positive, so that means the authorities reacted immediately when this case in Innsbruck — the capital of the province of Tyrol — became known,” the lawsuit said, according to BBC News.
  • “A group of tourists from Iceland tested positive, and the Icelandic government reported the cases to the Austrian government as early as March 5.”

Assessing the damage

Hundreds of people from Austria and thousands of tourists were infected at the resort, according to Sky News.

  • Infections were spread at the bars at the resort, which has often been called the “Ibiza of the Alps.”