COVID-19 Information

 
To our customers and friends,
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
  • 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?

  • 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
  • Participants will be required to wear a non-woven 3-layer face mask upon arrival and should expect to wear it for the duration of class except when paddling or hiking. Participants in water-based and hiking-based instruction will also need to bring a neck gaiter-type mask such as a Buff for wear while on the water or trail. Given the results of a recent study conducted at Duke University, the neck-gaiter will need to be doubled up (minimum) or triple upped (preferred) when wearing. Participants are required to bring their own mask although we will have extra on hand 
  • Participants are encouraged to maintain 6 feet of separation from others not in their immediate group whenever possible. Participants are asked to 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 routinely
  • Participants are encouraged 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 
  • We have discontinued 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
  • We have modified check-in and payment processes to observe social distancing and implement sanitization measures (e.g., no shared pens, use contact-less payments where possible)
  • We have incorporated online instruction in some cases
  • We have suspended 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 when required)
  • We have suspended or modified 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 addition 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 double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  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 double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while paddling by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation
      • All company boats and gear will be cleaned by instructor after use
    • Water Safety & Rescue
      • Class size limited to 7
      • Modification of safety & rescue courses to limit or remove person-to-person contact
      • Suspension of the ACA L5 Advanced Swiftwater Rescue Downriver Scenarios Course
      • All participants will wear a double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while on the water by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation
    • 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 sanitized 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
      • All participants will wear a standard cloth face mask or a double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  Instructors and participants can remove their mask while hiking by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation
    • Conservation & Stewardship
      • Class size limited to 8
      • Incorporation of live streaming for Leave No Trace workshops
      • All participants will wear a standard cloth face mask or a double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while hiking by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation
    • Hiking & Camping
      • Class size limited to 8
      • All participants will wear a double or triple-layer bandana or gaiter-type cloth mask such as a Buff.  Instructors and participants can remove their cloth face mask while hiking by maintaining 6 feet or more of separation
 
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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