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The Zoar Outdoor Mitigation and Operations Plan for COVID-19

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Moses Rice house with solar pannels

COVID-19 and the risk of viral contamination have fundamentally changed the recreation industry and we have been planning accordingly. As we start looking beyond the immediate crisis, it’s clear people are yearning for human connection. We believe that we can satisfy that need for connection while maintaining a healthy distance from each other. In order to achieve that balance, it’s important to have a clear set of principles, guided by our core values to help us. These are our guiding principles:

  • Be unwavering in our commitment to our team members well-being 
  • Provide an experience that brings people together in a healthy way
  • Commit to doing the right thing

We have done our best to stay true to these principles. Here is our plan for the next few months:

  • Private tours and clinics— Whether you’re traveling as a couple, with the kids, or as friends, you will have a private tour guide all to yourself. While we are grateful for the opportunity to meet friends from all over the world we will do so from a healthy distance. 
  • Reduced trip sizes with multiple launch times— You have the convenience of choosing what time works best for your friends and family and the luxury of smaller, more intimate experiences.
  • A focus on hygiene— Handwashing, strict cleaning and disinfecting measures of common areas such as bathrooms, vehicles, and equipment, and limiting the number of people gathered in outdoor and indoor spaces. 
  • Refund policy–We offer cancellation insurance so you can book risk-free and cancel up to 24 hours before your trip date. For folks without insurance, we are offering guests to reschedule to a different date or receive an “Adventure gift card”  that can be used at a later date.

The Specifics

For all trips running from May 25th – June 30th:

Zip Lining can open in Phase I, May 25th. Phase II is expected to start on June 15th.

  • Bookings are restricted to household units.
  • During this time period we will be taking groups up to 8 on private trips.
  • Guests and staff are required to wear a mask during Phase I.

All River operations will start on June 13th.

  • Bookings are restricted to household units of up to 8. With private rafts and small trips of 3-4 rafts.
  • Guests and staff are required to wear masks during Phase I.

Lodging will be available starting June 15th for Phase II.

A focus on our team’s well-being:

  • Each team member will wear a mask at all times when engaging with customers
  • Every day, before work, team members meet with a team leader to have their temperature taken and answer a health declaration questionnaire, answering the following questions:
    • Do you have any of the following flu-like symptoms:
      • Fever (100.4°F or higher)?
      • Cough?
      • Breathlessness?
      • Sore throat?
    • Have you or an immediate family member come in close contact with a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the last 14 days? (“Close contact” means being at a distance of less than three feet for more than 15 minutes.)
  • If an employee answers yes to any of the screening questions, or has a temperature higher than 100.4 °F, the screener will immediately activate the emergency protocol for COVID-19 by following these steps:
    • Send the employee home  
    • Require the employee to be examined and tested by a medical professional.
    • Require a negative COVID-19 test, written permission to return to work by a medical provider, or have completed a 14 quarantine period before returning to work
  • If the employee tests positive:
    • Assure adequate medical care and treatment for the employee 
    • Coordinate with local officials to conduct “contact tracing”
    • Have those who have been in close contact with the positive employee tested
    • In consultation with local and state board of health, consider quarantine measures

A focus on our guests’ well-being:

  • At the time of booking any tour, all participants will receive an automatic email that provides important explanations of inherent risks related to COVID-19 and will also include a link to sign an online waiver to facilitate a touch-free registration

  • Upon arrival, guests will be asked to consent to completing a health declaration questionnaire, answering the following questions:
    • Do you have any of the following flu-like symptoms:
      • Fever (100.4°F or higher)?
      • Cough?
      • Breathlessness?
      • Sore throat?

Upon check-in:

  • Each team member will wear a mask when social distancing is not possible
  • All guests are requested to complete their waiver before check-in to accomplish a touch-free check-in process
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be set up at the entrance to all buildings
  • Informational video /lessons will be delivered to small custom trips according to social distancing and group size guidelines 

Guidelines For Programs and Clinics

  • Each reservation group traveling together will have a private guide experience 
  • Multiple staggered launch times to assist with social distance guidelines
    • Reduced trip sizes
    • Staff will wear a mask when social distancing is not possible
  • Every person has assigned equipment for the tour clearly marked and distinguishable from others
  • The spacing of guests according to current social distancing guidelines: on the river, in the trees, food lines, eating meals, orientations and in the store

Transportation:

  • Bus capacity will be reduced to allow for social distance guidelines 
  • Groups traveling together will be seated together

Restroom and changing facilities:

  • Control traffic patterns and limit capacity to maintain social distancing guidelines

Lodging and campground:

  • Control traffic patterns and limit capacity to maintain social distancing guidelines
  • Limit bookings of the campground to allow for deep cleaning
  • Booking entire floors only in the lodge to assist with social distancing guidelines
  • Hand sanitizing stations at the entrance to the lodge
  • Hand sanitizing stations in the campground

Retail:

  • Online and phone orders with available curb-side pick-up from now until June 12th
  • Masks will be required to enter all buildings, other than pavilions
  • Shop floor taped and displays reduced to assist in proper social distancing
  • Signs to inform customers of social distancing policies
  • Hand sanitizing stations at the entrance to the store
  • Equipment rentals will be reserved and waivers completed online and equipment picked up outside the instruction school (starting June 13th)
  • Cleaning and disinfecting rental equipment before next use 
  • POS and retail counter will be cleaned and disinfected between customers

Cleaning:

  • All surfaces cleaned and disinfected in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Health (MDH) and CDC guidelines
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