COVID-19 & What to Expect This Season

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We are extremely excited to get people outside this season – we believe that getting into wild areas is more important than ever. We have put in place additional precautions and procedures to help reduce risks. The majority of our staff will be regularly tested, staff and guests will be screened pre-trip, masks or buffs will be required during certain times, and there will be increased cleanliness standards.

However, it is also important to understand that, just as we cannot remove the risk of falling out of a raft on a river trip, we also cannot completely remove the risks from COVID-19 on a trip – that would be impossible in the current situation. Going on our trips means that guests assume the inherent risks associated with COVID-19 during the current pandemic.

And people that are considered “high risk” as defined by the CDC, including those 65 years and older, or who have underlying medical conditions, should seriously consider whether the additional risks make it worth joining a trip this season.

 

Staff and Guide Testing and Screening:

The majority of our staff will be tested for COVID-19 regularly, and all staff will screened pre trip for symptoms, including a temperature check. Every day, before work or a trip, each employee must pass both a temperature screening, and then answer the following questions:

“Since your last day of work, have you had any of the following:”
– A new fever (100.4 or higher, or a sense of having a fever)?
– A new cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
– New shortness of breath that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
– A new sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition?
– New muscle aches that you cannot attribute to another health condition, or that
may have been caused by a specific activity (such as physical exercise)?

 

Guest Screening:

For overnight trips we are asking that all guests be very careful in the 14 days leading up to the trip – basically ‘stay at home’ as much as possible. If guests are in an area where there is enough testing to allow for non-symptomatic testing we are strongly urging people to get tested a few days before the trip to reduce risk, and for the small communities that we will travel through. But we understand that may not be possible for all guests.

Before all trips guests will be asked the following:

1. Have you recently experienced any of the following symptoms?
– Fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher) or chills.
– Cough that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Sore throat that you cannot attribute to another health condition.
– Muscle aches that you cannot attribute to another health condition, or that may not have been caused by a specific activity (such as physical exercise)
– Loss of taste or smell.

2. Have you been in contact with an individual who has been ill with flu-like symptoms in the last 14 days?

3. Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last 30 days?

4. Have you been tested for COVID-19?

5. Have you been tested for COVID-19 antibodies?

Guests who answer yes to #1 or #2 will not be allowed on the trip, as well as anyone in their household, or anyone who traveled with them prior to the trip.

Guests who answer yes to #3, #4 or #5 will be asked for clearance from a physician stating that they are non-contagious.

At the start of all trips we will also do a temperature check. All guests must have a temperature below 100.4 F.

Please understand that if a guest tests positive or does not pass the pre-trip screening the guest and anyone else who is traveling with them will not be able to go on the trip. We strongly recommend trip insurance. For those are not able to join and who’s insurance will not cover cancelation due to health reasons, we will give them a full trip credit towards a future trip good for 2 years.

 

Social Distancing and Masks:

Guides and staff will always be social distancing –  they will be wearing buffs or masks in any boats with guests, anytime there is a chance they will be less than 6′ feet away from anyone, and any time they are preparing or serving food.

While guests won’t need to wear face coverings continually, there will usually be some circumstances where all guests will need to do so. Guests will be required to wear masks or buffs anytime they are in vehicles or charter planes and anytime they will be within 6 feet of people not in their group.  On most of our trips, guests and staff travel through small communities – most of which have not had major outbreaks. Because of that, we will also all wear masks or buffs in any store or public place during the trip.

With charter trips, it is up to the group on how they want to handle social distancing and face-covering among group members on the trip. If the group size is under current local gathering recommendations then, outside of the above exceptions, your group is welcome to do what is comfortable. Or, if your group wants to keep social distancing guidelines (6′ between groups, buffs or masks when that is not possible) we will help facilitate that as well.

 

Keeping Things Clean:

Additional precautions have been implemented to further clean and disinfect all surfaces such as vans, rafts, aircraft interiors, door handles, paddles, etc. And you will see guides frequently cleaning items throughout trips.   All staff will have food-handlers certifications and be following the similar food service protocols that are required of restaurants.

And of course, there will be a LOT of handwashing and hand sanitizing. Be ready to hear “wash you hands everyone!” regularly : ).

 

Additional Items to pack:

–   2 masks or buffs
–   Personal hand sanitizer (we will have refills)

 

And a Final Note:

We are so excited to get back outside and show people wild areas. Our guides are some of finest anywhere – guides who have run some of the most difficult and beautiful rivers in the world, who love to share these places with others, and who are friendly and warm-hearted. Our trips have always been a mix of service, relaxation, excitement, and wild beauty – a chance to step out of civilization for a short time and step into a more simple and uncomplicated life.

That has not and will not change.

 


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