A doctor in the resort has sounded the alarm after a jump in the number of positive cases in the municipality of Bagnes, where Verbier is located, according to the newspaper Le Nouvelliste.
Local doctor Sabine Popescu said “after we receive the next round of results, we expect around 60 people will have tested positive in the region”, a number she thinks is just the tip of the iceberg.
When spread accelerates it can be difficult for testing to keep up. “For example, we had a chalet where one person was officially positive, but seven other guests were sick”, said the doctor.
Popescu has called on the authorities to quarantine the municipality to reduce the chance of accelerating the spread of the virus in the plateau region of the canton where most of the population lives.
In Verbier, all shops, bars, restaurants and places of recreation and entertainment are closed until 19 April 2020 with the exception of supermarkets and other food shops, doctors surgeries, public administration and hotels. The commune requests seasonal workers process their departure administration via email. Instructions can be found here.
Later in the day, the canton of Valais announced that it would not quarantine the municipality, a suggestion made by a group of local doctors. Instead, cantonal leaders called on residents to strictly adhere to government directives on social distancing and hygiene.