Adventure Treks’ Approach to Coronavirus
March 23, 2020
As part of the Adventure Treks family, we want you to know that the health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority.
We understand that some of our parents are concerned about their children traveling in light of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the United States. As we all know, this is a rapidly evolving situation that we’re monitoring daily, and our response may change as we learn more.
We are operating under the assumption that we will be able to run a safe and successful summer as planned; the population we work with seems to be minimally affected by the Coronavirus. Please understand that we have been preparing for summer 2020 since May 2019 and must continue planning as we believe we will (and need to be prepared to) operate this year.
We feel it’s too early to make any changes to our current schedule, though we are working hard on alternate routes, locations, and itineraries just in case. We will continue to stay in touch regarding any changes to this summer’s programming. We believe the next six to eight weeks will indicate whether we can proceed as normal.
Our trips will take place in outdoor locations away from major population centers and involve little social interaction with the general population. We will continue to monitor travel, social, and community guidelines and will make changes as they become necessary.
We’ve always recommended that parents purchase travel insurance to protect their investment in sending their children to Adventure Treks; that has never been truer than today. We strongly advise all families to purchase a protection plan that will cover their students in the event they become ill with Coronavirus and cannot travel. While you may not be able to purchase the “cancel for any reason” rider, many insurance plans will provide protection if your child becomes ill or gets injured and cannot attend.
We have modified our cancellation policy, extending our deadline for refunds (minus the $200 cancellation fee) until May 1, 2020. If government authorities do not permit Adventure Treks to operate this summer—or if we feel we cannot run a safe, successful and healthy summer and choose not to operate—we will move tuition forward to summer 2021 or you may request a refund. For international families: If your child is unable to fly to the United States due to travel restrictions (or other government-imposed restrictions beyond our control), we will refund your tuition or push it forward to 2021.
If your child tests positive for Coronavirus and cannot make their scheduled trip, we will work with you by either putting your child on a later summer trip (pending availability) or pushing tuition forward to 2021.
In order to help protect our students and staff, please contact us immediately if:
- Your student has been or will be traveling through an area identified by the CDC as warning level 3 in the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.
- Your student has been in close contact with someone (within approximately six feet for any sustained period of time) of a person known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.
We may (at our discretion) quarantine a student at Adventure Treks if they develop flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the trip. If a student or staff develops flu-like symptoms during an Adventure Treks trip, per CDC guidelines, we will immediately take them to the nearest medical facility, disinfect any suspected items or areas of contamination, and consult local agencies about next steps.
We will update and communicate our policies as the situation evolves and as more information becomes available. We continue to be touch with federal, state, and local agencies and are monitoring the following resources to help inform our decision-making:
- Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- U.S. Department of State Travel Advisories
- Helpful infographics (updated 3/12/2020)
Our directors, trip leaders, and instructors will convene at our Pacific Northwest basecamp more than three weeks before our first Adventure Treks trip, providing time for a full quarantine if necessary. Health, hygiene, hand-washing, and camp cleanliness will continue to be an essential part of staff training.
We want you to know that the CDC’s current recommendations for Coronavirus prevention have always been part of our standard operating procedures. We set up handwashing stations with soap and water regardless of where we camp, and we also always have hand sanitizer available. Our instructors take food handlers’ certification tests to ensure they adhere to strict guidelines for food preparation and clean-up, and Adventure Treks gear (including sleeping bags and pads) are laundered and sanitized between each trip. We will take any and all additional steps necessary based on the most current information with the goal of keeping students and staff safe and our trips running smoothly.
We’re all in this together. Thank you for your understanding, patience, and support as we navigate uncharted waters. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-954-5555 with any questions.
Dock and Dmac
Trip and travel insurance
As you consider travel insurance, make sure you read through the fine print carefully. Insurance typically will not cover cancellation due to “fear of travel”; essentially, they won’t reimburse you if you’re worried about how COVID-19 may impact your student’s travel plans. If you purchased the “cancel for any reason” rider, call your insurance company to see if “fear of travel” is covered.
Some companies do not have exclusions regarding epidemics or pandemics, meaning you may make claims including emergency medical or trip interruption if your child contracts COVID-19 or goes under quarantine while traveling.
Read through your insurance (or credit card) company’s FAQs regarding Coronavirus, or call them directly to get all of your questions answered.
Here’s a great article from Outside Online regarding travel and trip insurance.
March 11, 2020
Resources we’ve found helpful:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- USA Today: A Coronavirus primer
- Wall Street Journal: How vulnerable are children to the Coronavirus?
- Washington Post: Why Coronavirus is sparing kids
- Demographics and statistics about Coronavirus cases and deaths
March 3, 2020
For prevention of Coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the following:
“There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
- CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.”
We will be updating this page as the situation progress. However, know that our current plan is to operate summer 2020 as scheduled. If you have questions, please call us at 888-954-5555. We are always happy to chat!