Our plan for Small-Group Wilderness Adventures during Covid Pandemic Plan Overview:
We at ICD take our Covid response seriously and have established the following plans and policies below to ensure the health of our community. We know that the impacts of our adventure programs play a profound role in empowering and supporting those living with diabetes and we regularly see significant impacts to our participants health as it relates to both diabetes and mental health outcomes.
There are multiple factors to be considered in health and safety, particularly in the wilderness. The risks of Covid when combined with diabetes are well documented to be most severely impacted by age and blood sugar management. Thus it was important to consider and weigh the continuation of these empowering programs with the controls we can make to limit the risks of covid 19.
Our leadership team has always been health focused and this trip includes a wilderness first responder who will be reinforcing the values and measures detailed below.
Pre-Camp: Declaration and COVID-19 Self-Assessment:
Participants and staff must confirm full understanding and agree to following the below, prior to the program (known as a declaration). Written communication (email) indicating acknowledgement and understanding of this declaration must be submitted on the Friday prior to the start of adventure. The key component of this declaration attests to the adherence to social distancing protocols during the prior 2 weeks, wearing of ppe when unable to do so and the absence of any symptoms of covid 19. A Covid screening done prior to departing is an easy and important step to support the rest of our team.
Our group has been narrowed down to 2 “cohorts” with a maximum of 5 people. Each cohort will be self-supported with their own cabin spaces or campsites gear and supplies (maps, communication device, tents, cooking, filtration, medical kits, food, etc).The 2 cohorts can interact in outdoor settings provided appropriate social distancing takes place.
Within the cohort, our first step is to restrict sharing items unnecessarily. Each member will carry and use their own water bottles, use/wash/clean their own cutlery as well as carry and eat their own snacks such as trail mix or dried fruit where portions are not individually packaged. The cohort will share gear such as water filtration and cooking equipment and must adopt a hand washing policy before and after each use. Additionally, meal selection for trips will be made using easy preparation and handwashing/masks must be worn while preparing any group food or serving. Within tents, each cohort will work together to reduce congestion and arrange optimal sleeping arrangements to preserve best practices. Activities must be approved on an individual basis. For example, a deck of cards is a common game but could result in transmission of germs as they pass about the group. Feel free to come with activities that require no contact and rest assured our leaders will be sure to make this fun.
As much as we want this to be a getaway, we want to bring the routines we have formed over the past few months of Covid with us and will help you learn the methods we have planned to reduce any possible transmission to keep us all safe!
Training: As is standard for all wilderness trips with ICD, a minimum of one wilderness first responder must be on any trip. We have two on this trip and these staff are experienced in upholding the safety and health of our team.
Communication. Regular communication with our support team will be kept up, at minimum once in the morning and again in the evening with a trip highlight and trail report. Our tracking devices will be switched on when on the trails. Clear communication will be shared if any incidents occur or a concern is developing. The communication will identify who is involved, what the issue is and if assistance is needed.
Medical Kits. Our medical kits will be broad enough to address any foreseeable health and safety issues on such a trip including the most common blisters, cuts, strains as well as burns, breaks, extreme hypoglycemia, ketoacidosis and infections. Additional supplies with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer/soap will be included to support anyone who develops symptoms of Covid 19 and a daily symptom assessment will be conducted.
Emergency Evacuation. The sites can be easily accessed by boat and an evacuation would be possible.
● If a participant develops symptoms while at the program, the participant will be fully supported, monitored for progression of symptoms while isolating the rest of the group from possible transmission.
● If a participant requires close contact and care, ICD staff will continue to care for the participant and must wear a mask, follow hand washing protocol during all interactions with the participant.
● Staff should wash their hands before donning a mask, before and after removing the mask, and before and after touching any items used by the participant.