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Begin slowly and smaller for a safe AMC activity restart

 

While most experts agree that outdoors is the safest place to begin gathering again, there are also significant challenges to keeping people safe as we begin this process.

AMC’s Outdoor Leadership Development Committee, in consultation with staff and volunteer groups, has worked hard to develop a framework for slowly restarting in person activities. It is a conservative plan that will require adjustments by leaders and participants, but it is a first step toward what is being referred to as the new normal. The plan is guided by adherence to all state, local, and land management agency rules where the activity is to be held. It is a fluid plan with three phases that may shift forward or reverse related to safety factors and government guidance.

It should be noted that details regarding Phase 3, which will be deployed when government restrictions on movement have been lifted due to significant herd immunity, vaccine, or testing levels begin in place, have not yet been formulated. The entire plan may be viewed by clicking here.

Key components of the plan that are still in development at this time are training for all leaders in safe outdoor activity group management related to COVID-19 and a new electronic trip waiver for all activities. Also, no dates have been set for the start of each phase of the reopening as of today.

All activities in Phase 1 and 2 will require pre-registration via the electronic waiver system. All participants will need to be screened by the leader for each activity related to a special COVID-19 screening protocol. All participants will be required to bring their own face covering, water, snacks, and hand sanitizer. Leaders will be required to carry additional supplies in their first aid kits. It is recommended that participants not car pool with people outside of their contact group (the people with whom they have been sheltering). There will be no group meals on Phase 1 or 2 activities. Anyone traveling to another state or area where AMC operates will need to abide by all rules of that area.

If a participant becomes ill on an activity the group will stop and return to the start point. If it becomes impossible to safely socially distance (i.e., a stream crossing that would require hand to hand assist, other large groups on the trail that are making social distancing difficult) the group will stop and return to the start point.

Phase 1 of the plan allows for trail maintainers working alone or in groups with a maxi- mum of 4 participants including the leader.

Phase 2 of the plan allows for activity groups with a maximum of 10 participants including leaders.

At this time AMC large group activities of more than 10 persons are not occurring. There will be more information on future activities as we progress through the summer. Meanwhile, sign up for the DV Chapter Weekly message at amcdv.org/mail.html for information on virtual learning and social opportunities.

We will all need to be flexible as AMC restarts activities. I hope you will join us when you feel comfortable. Please understand that your cooperation with all the guidelines set by your group leader are meant to protect you and others and are being required of all participants. The way we work together as a community will determine how well we all move safely out of quarantine and learn to live with the new challenges we are facing.

Susan Weida

DV Chapter Chair

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