Our Covid protocols are designed to keep our clients and guides safe, and they will be based on scientific facts and official guidelines.
This pandemic has been dynamic since spring 2020, and I expect it to remain so in 2021. As the circumstances change throughout the season, our protocols will also change. I’m optimistic that mass vaccinations, widespread rapid testing, and effective therapeutics will destroy this virus in 2021, but until real progress is made I’m looking at 2021 as a continuation of 2020.
Long before the trip
To prevent the spread of Covid within a group, the most effectively strategy is for clients and guides to simply not bring it into the field! In 2021 we will require that all participants do at least one of the following:
- Get vaccinated;
- Develop natural immunity, by having contracted it (not recommended);
- Test negative for Covid within three days of the start of the trip; or,
- Confirm that you have not had contact with anyone Covid positive within 10 days of the trip.
We may require proof of your vaccination, natural immunity (via a positive test result), or a negative test result.
We expect that most clients and guides will avoid exposure for 10 days prior to the trip. During that time, take the steps necessary to reduce your risk, like by physically distancing, wearing a mask, and washing your hands, etc.
If you are unwilling to meet one of these requirements, you should circle back in 2022 when it will be like 2019 again.
If you are exposed before your trip
If you are exposed within 11 days of your trip, immediately begin your quarantine and contact me. The CDC currently recommends that you can stop quarantining (and join the trip) after:
- 10 days without symptoms, without a test; or,
- 7 days without symptoms after a negative test.
If you are unable to join the trip due to exposure, we will get you on a future trip or roll your credit to the following year.
If you develop Covid symptoms before your trip
If you develop Covid symptoms (confirmed with a positive test, or not) after registering for a trip, contact me when it’s convenient for you, or ASAP if your trip is rapidly approaching. The next steps will be conditional, and our goal will be to avoid any risk to your group.
If you are unable to join the trip due to Covid, we will get you on a future trip or roll your credit to the following year.
Once in the field
Our chief goal is to not bring Covid into the field. But if it’s out there with us, additional measures should help prevent its spread. Clients and guides must:
- Remain physically distanced when practical;
- Wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained; and,
- Wash hands before breakfasts and dinners.
Participants will be respected if they abide by more stringent measures (e.g. wearing a mask at all times), but they should expect others in their group to follow only the minimum behaviors defined above.
In addition to requiring certain behaviors of clients and guides, we will take mitigating steps of our own in operating the program.
Sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and shelters will not be used on two consecutive trips at the same location, creating a gap of at least seven days, in excess of the known longevity of virus particles.
Stove systems will be sanitized in hot soapy water after every trip.
At the meet-up spot on the first day of your trip, check in with me. I will take your temperature with a no-touch thermometer and ask you questions about recent symptoms and exposure risks.