COVID-19 Information

To our customers and friends,
We are pleased to announce that as of June 8 we are resuming classes. Your health and well-being continue to be our number one priority and, as such, we have adopted new guidelines aimed to protect our customers, instructors and the community-at-large that will in some cases include significant changes to our curriculums and practices.  This strategy is informed by direction and guidance from the following bodies:  CDC, NOLI Physician Advisory Team, State of TN, State of NC, Federal Government, US Forest Service, American Canoe Association, Health & Safety Institute and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. To be as transparent as possible we are sharing these guidelines here:

  • If you or someone in your group does not feel well the day of class please stay home. We will be happy to issue you a voucher for a future class and the other participants will thank you
  • All participants (instructors and guests) will be screened upon arrival by answering the following questions developed by the CDC:
    • Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?

    • Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath or sore throat?

    • Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?

    • Have you had new loss of taste or smell?

    • Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?

  • All participants will have their temperature checked upon arrival using a touchless thermometer
  • Anyone who answers yes to any of the screening questions or has a temperature that exceeds 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit will not be allowed to participate and will be issued a voucher
  • All participants will wear a bandana or gaiter-type cloth face covering such as a Buff that can be pulled up and down as necessary. Participants should expect to wear their mask upon arrival and throughout the duration of their activity unless otherwise indicated by the instructor. Participants are required to bring their own mask although we will have extra on hand 
  • All participants are encouraged to maintain 6 feet of separation from others not in their immediate group whenever possible. Participants will be especially mindful of maintaining separation in areas prone to congregating or congestion, such as bathroom facilities, classrooms, classroom entrances/exits, fire pits, gear shed and when checking in. Classroom seating will be set up so to best accommodate social distancing
  • Shared resources such as boats, PFDs, CPR manikins, etc will be sanitized after each use. All high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces (such as tables, counters, check-in areas, restrooms) will be sanitized every two hours and when visibly dirty
  • All participants are encouarged to wash their hands with soap and water before and after class, as well as before and after breaks
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be placed in high traffic areas, including classrooms 
  • Discontinue all customer self-serve practices (e.g., getting gear in boat shed, reaching in bag to get pens, passing around waivers or handouts, reaching in box for compasses, communal food, etc). Instructors will provide such items directly, sanitizing hands before doing so. Participants should bring their own writing utensils
  • Modify check-in and payment processes to observe social distancing and implement sanitization measures (e.g., no shared pens, use contact-less payments where possible)
  • Use of online instruction in some cases
  • Suspension of youth camps until further notice. Children are still encouraged to participate in our regular classes
  • Parent/guardian participation is encouraged, but not required, with their children to help ensure that they are able to comply with applicable guidelines (e.g., social distancing, wear face coverings)
  • Suspension or modification of classes where social distancing is difficult or impossible to maintain
  • Class curriculums and/or practices will be modified as defined here until further notice. These are in addiiton to those already mentioned:
    • Whitewater Kayak & Canoe
      • Limit class size to 3 students
      • For instructor classes limit class size to 6 and make use of online learning to reduce in-person time
      • For classes at the novice and above level participants should possess solid self-rescue skills to limit contact potential
      • Classes taught on rivers a class lower than skill level of group
      • Routes and eddies will be selected to minimize risk of group jumbling up
      • All participants will wear a bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff, including walking to and from the river. Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while paddling by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation. Any time groups congregate, such as in eddies, participants will wear their masks
      • All participants will wear masks during shuttles and have windows partially open as conditions allow. Shuttles will have no more than 4 people and be no longer than 20 minutes each way
      • Instructor will wear a mask during student wet exit drills and when conducting on water rescues
      • Company boats and gear issued to students will be cleaned by instructor after use
    • Flatwater Kayak
      • Class size limited to 8
      • Special care will be taken to ensure groups maintain social distancing during equipment issue/return, outfitting, entering/exiting the water and when breaking for lunch
      • All participants will wear a bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff. Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while paddling by maintaining 6’+ separation. Any time groups congregate, such as noted above, participants will wear their mask
      • All company boats and gear will be cleaned by instructor after use
    • Water Safety & Rescue
      • Class size limited to 7
      • Suspension of ACA L4 and L5 rescue classes. We have added a swiftwater rescue lite class in place of the the ACA L4 class that removes the person-to-person contact and close contact excercises. Specifics can be found on our Water Safety & Rescue page. Rescue classes may be further modified and designed by request, such as by doing no contact mini clinics, so long as risk mitigation protocols are followed
      • Flatwater safety classes can be conducted but will be modified to maintain 6 feet or more of separation
      • All participants will wear a bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff. Instructors and participants can remove their cloth facemask while on the water by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation. Any time training requires that participants come close to the social distancing buffer participants will wear their masks
    • Wilderness Medicine
      • Class size limited to 7
      • Vinyl gloves will be available at every class for each student for handling or touching manikins, lungs, or any equipment
      • After each student has used a manikin or related equipment, it will be cleaned and sterilized with an alcohol-based solution per CDC recommendations
      • Face shields will not be used for practice of ventilations. Instead, each student will be provided a pocket mask equipped with a one-way valve or simulate breaths
      • Manikins shall be spaced at least 3 feet apart per WHO guidance on social distancing
      • Incorporation of live streaming for classroom instruction in some cases
    • Survival & Navigation
      • Class size limited to 6
    • Conservation & Stewardship
      • Class size limited to 8
      • Incorporation of live streaming for Leave No Trace workshops
    • Hiking & Camping
      • Class size limited to 8
If you have questions about any part of our COVID-19 response please don't hesitate to contact us. We will continue to monitor federal, state and local public health communications about COVID-19 and make adjustments as necessary to protect the health of customers, staff and the public. 
We are excited to be back up and running and are as committed as ever to providing the same fun, safe and high quality training. See you outdoors!
Scott Fisher
NOLI Founder/Owner

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