Mountaineers Programming and the Coronavirus

Visit this blog to see a timeline of our responses to COVID-19, and follow the link to our COVID-19 Response page to see all of the resources available for volunteers, members, guests, and staff.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
August 26, 2020

On February 28, 2020, the Center for Disease Control announced the likelihood that coronavirus (COVID-19) would spread in US communities. Since then, The Mountaineers  has been carefully tracking the recommendations of public health agencies, and our hearts go out to those who have been affected. The health and safety of our community is our top priority and we will diligently implement recommended actions while doing everything we can to sustain our mission and operations. We will continue to update this blog as the situation develops.

For all of the resources available for volunteers, members, guests, and staff, visit our:

COVID-19 Response Page

The COVID-19 Response page will also help you determine specific considerations about your upcoming activity, including whether or not it is still happening.

updated August 26, 2020; 3:00pm

In the early months of the pandemic, leaders overwhelmingly preferred more specific guidance over general guidelines; as leaders have become more accustomed to our modified operations, we’ve removed some of these specifics (especially pertaining to Risk Profile) to empower volunteers to use their best judgement within our guiding framework. 

Additionally, as the state has moved forward with a county-by-county reopening, we’ve updated our guidance as it pertains to county of residence and trip destination. Moving forward, activities should operate according to the phase of the trip destination. Leaders and participants may lead or attend trips in any phase, regardless of their county of residence. Mountaineers trips may not operate in Phase 1 counties, though they may operate in modified Phase 1 (Phase 1.5) counties. 

Please review the updated guidance, available on our COVID-19 Response page, before your next trip.

Summary of Updates:

  • Removed home county consideration for participation. Trips run on phase of destination county only.
  • Simplified the Risk Profile across phases. Removed most specific limitations for activities. Leaders are expected to make more-conservative-than-usual decisions for all trips.
  • Revised our information about high-risk populations to reflect updates from Washington State and the CDC.
  • Adjusted the capacity of indoor activities for both Phase 2 and 3 activities, including the use of our Program Centers.

The Mountaineers encourages everyone to evaluate their personal risk profile prior to attending an in-person trip, and to make conservative decisions that protect the health and safety of our community. 

updated july 17, 2020; 4:30pm

This week, in response to the significant, recent uptick in coronavirus cases in Washington State, Governor Inslee announced new steps to address the spread of COVID-19.  Under the new Safe Start phase limits, the number of individuals allowed in social gatherings during Phase 3 will be reduced from 50 people to 10 people. Counties in Phase 2 may continue to have social gatherings of up to five people. These changes impact only social gatherings such as picnics, BBQs, parties, gatherings at parks & beaches. Although Mountaineers programs are not impacted by this change, we urge members to read, understand, and continue diligently following the specific guidelines explained on our COVID-19 Response webpage. Face-to-face interactions continue to be the most common causes of infection so physical distancing and wearing face masks/coverings are the best ways we can reduce spread of the virus. 

Governor Inslee also announced this week a pause in any county advancing to a new phase of reopening until at least July 28. How we collectively respond to COVID-19 guidance and in our daily lives may help get the reopening process back on track. 

updated june 5, 2020; 3:00pm

In alignment with Safe Start Washington, The Mountaineers has developed a phased re-opening plan for our  programs with programs set to reopen beginning June 6. The Mountaineers is aligned with the state’s county-by-county reopening process, and as an organization, we’ll ask members to consider their county of residence and trip location when choosing to participate. Please visit the COVID-19 Response page for the full program guidance.

In Phases 1.5 & 2, all activities will be required to follow  specific safety guidance and adhere to public health recommendations. We know it’s important for our community to come back together in-person, and we’re working with our team of incredible volunteers to offer opportunities to get you back in the outdoors together as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

Over the last couple of weeks, we've continued to update our guidance for participants and leaders in Mountaineers activities as we've received new guidelines about outdoor recreation from the state. Our full guidance is available on the COVID-19 Response page, and we encourage you to read all materials before signing up for any activities. Please note that this guidance includes an FAQ to provide additional context. The Mountaineers guidance is subject to change as the guidelines set forth by state and local government officials and public health departments continue to evolve. 

Read blog on Phase 1.5 & 2 guidance

Updated May 29, 6:20PM

In a press conference on May 29, 2020, Governor Inslee announced an expansion of the Washington Safe Start plan that moves Washington through a re-opening on a county-by-county basis. Counties that remain in Phase 1 have the ability to apply for a modified Phase 1 (Phase 1.5), which allows for small group recreation.

All in-person Mountaineers programming is suspended through at least June 5. 

In alignment with Safe Start Washington, The Mountaineers has updated the phased reopening plan for our  programs. All Mountaineers branches will operate in the same phase. Please visit the COVID-19 Response page for the current program status and full guidance.

Updated May 27, 2020; 5:15pm

As Washington state begins to reopen, it’s critically important for our community to recreate responsibly. The Mountaineers is looking forward to reopening, and our programs will operate according to the most conservative state-wide recommendations, implementing our Phase 2 guidance when all counties in Washington have moved to Phase 2 of the Safe Start Washington plan.

In Phase 2, The Mountaineers will allow small groups to resume Mountaineers trips and programs while following specific safety guidance and adhering to public health recommendations. We know it’s important for our community to come back together in-person, and we’re working with our team of incredible volunteers to offer opportunities to get you back in the outdoors together as soon as it’s safe to do so. 

Last week, we provided Guidance for Participants & Leaders in Mountaineers Activities during Phase 2, available on the COVID-19 Response page, and we encourage you to read the new guidance before signing up for any activities. Please note that this guidance includes an FAQ to provide additional context. The Mountaineers guidance is subject to change as the guidelines set forth by state and local government officials and public health departments continue to evolve. 

Updated May 1, 2020; 4:10pm

Governor Inslee announced this afternoon that the Stay Home order is extended until May 31. He introduced the outline for the Phased Approach to re-opening our state, and indicated that for the majority of Washington's counties, it will be at least three weeks to move from one phase to the next. 

With the Stay Home order extended, the introduction to a phased reopening, and the Governor's guideline to limit recreation partners to only those in your household during Phase 1, all in-person Mountaineers programming remains suspended through at least May 31. For additional information, please visit our response page.

As public lands begin to reopen, it's critically important for our community to recreate responsibly. We've provided a detailed update on our new How To: Recreate Responsibly blog, and we ask all of you to follow those guidelines if you do choose to recreate.

Updated April 29, 2020; 2:30pm

Fighting the coronavirus pandemic is a community-wide effort, and thanks to the diligence of Washingtonians to Stay Home and Stay Healthy, some public lands will begin to reopen for day-use on May 5. Although we're all looking forward to these openings, it's essential that we recreate responsibly to keep the lands open and our communities safe from further infection.

In partnership with many other outdoor organizations, we have released guidelines to help you navigate what responsible recreation looks like during COVID.

With the Governor's current guideline to limit recreation partners to only those who live within your household, our program operations have not changed and in-person programming remains suspended.

UPDATED April 28, 2020; 11:00am

In a news conference this afternoon, Governor Inslee issued new guidance for outdoor recreation. Beginning Monday, May 5, Washington will partially reopen state-operated public lands for day use only. This includes the day use of state parks, state public lands, and fish and wildlife areas. Some federal lands may still remain closed, and camping is prohibited.

This update includes several important guidelines and restrictions, including:

  • People must recreate locally: Do not travel farther than necessary and do not stay overnight to recreate.
  • Limit your recreation partners to only those who live within your household unit.

For the full list of guidelines and restrictions, please read Governor Inslee's full announcement. Washington State DNR has also released a Recreate Responsibly Tip Sheet.

We know our members, particularly our leaders, have questions about what program guidelines The Mountaineers will set in the coming weeks and months. We are working in close partnership with land managers to understand how The Mountaineers and our programs can best re-engage with public lands and local communities while being mindful and supportive of the challenges they’re facing. Staff and volunteer leadership is working hard to provide thoughtful and comprehensive guidelines. For the time being, with the Stay Home order still in effect through May 4 and the Governor's guideline to limit recreation partners to only those who live within your household, our program operations have not changed and in-person programming remains suspended.

As Governor Inslee stated in his announcement, "This is not a return to normal. This is the first phase of reopening the outdoors to Washingtonians." Inslee went on to advise that this may be a long journey and that if the virus springs back or guidance isn't followed, restrictions may need to be reinstated. 

Last week we signed on to a letter to Governor Inslee, thanking him for his response to this crisis and encouraging him to consider allowing trail and ecological restoration work to restart in the near future. And while we’re happy that state public lands will begin to open up on May 5, we recognize that it’s unlikely things will be back to normal in the outdoors this summer. We must all work together responsibly to increase safety and the likelihood of keeping public lands open. This means continued diligence around social distancing while recreating: only getting outside with members of your household, staying at least 6-feet away from others, wearing face masks, avoiding touching your face, and washing/sanitizing hands as frequently as possible.

The Mountaineers is also participating in a "Recreate Responsibly" working group of outdoor-oriented partner organizations to coordinate our approach. State and federal land managers are also part of this effort. Working closely with these outdoor recreation and conservation organizations will ensure we continue to do our part to slow the spread of the virus while we're getting back into the outdoors. 

The resources of our public land managers and first responders are stretched incredibly thin due to this crisis, and in partnership with our land managers, we urge our community to be patient, dial back planned adventures, and reset expectations. Adopt a lower-risk mindset and choose simpler objectives. Refrain from traveling long distances to recreate – rural gateway communities are still more vulnerable, and you can reduce your impact by traveling with extra gear and supplies to prevent unnecessary stops. Have backup plans in place in case guidelines change, or you find yourself in a situation where social distancing isn’t possible or practical. This will keep others safer, and reduce the potential burden on local communities, land managers, and first responders. Our collective goal is to disperse recreation as much as possible. If high-density occurs, localized closures will be possible in response.

We have a blog where we’re tracking public land closures, which is being updated regularly. We will continue to work closely with partner organizations to establish consistent, thoughtful guidelines about how we should be getting back into the outdoors as restrictions are lifted. For more information on the assumptions and actions for reopening The Mountaineers, please read our CEO update from April 24.

Updated April 22, 2020; 8:30am

On April 21, Governor Inslee introduced a roadmap for leaders as we continue to navigate this pandemic. He indicated that some restrictions on outdoor recreation may be eased soon. We're developing various scenarios, both internally and with our partner organizations, to better understand how we can begin restarting operations while continuing to maintain safe practices that help slow the spread of the virus. This process is likely to be gradual - as Inslee stated, “It will look more like the turning of the dial than the flip of a switch” - and we are excited at the possibility of resuming some outdoor activities when it is safe to do so.  

Updated April 6, 2020; 9:40am

On April 3, Governor Inslee issued an extension to the Stay at Home order until May 4. As a result, all of our in-person programming has been suspended for an additional week. 

We are in the process of launching a Virtual Education Center, and have already set up a Virtual Events & Activities calendar, which lists more than a dozen opportunities to stay connected and involved in April. We'll continue to update that calendar as opportunities arise.

We know times are uncertain right now, and we're still asking you to stick with us. The support, enthusiasm to help, and creativity coming from our members, volunteers, and staff in the last few weeks has been tremendous. Together, we can get through this. Thanks to everyone who has made a charitable gift, renewed their membership, signed up for a future course, and participated with us in this new virtual landscape. We appreciate you!

UPdated april 3, 2020; 3:25PM

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our state and federal public land are closed. Take a look at our round-up of public land closures.

We also released a public statement from our CEO about the impacts of COVID-19 on The Mountaineers. We encourage you to give it a read.

updated March 24, 2020; 11:45am

On March 23, 2020, Governor Inslee issued a stay home, stay healthy order for Washington state. The goal of this order is to help slow the spread of COVID-19 to “flatten the curve.”

We are being asked/ordered to stay at home with the exception of essential activities. These activities include going out for groceries, medical care, and approved work in an essential business. We are also being asked to observe strict social distancing protocol and hygiene measures when we do leave the house.

It’s important to note that we are no longer being told to continue with life as usual while practicing social distancing. We now find ourselves in a pandemic, and our response needs to reflect the gravity of this situation. The best case scenario from all of this is that we all look back and feel as though we overreacted.

Find out what this means for your recreational life and get ideas for ways to stay connected to your outdoor identity while keeping it hyperlocal in our Stay Home, Stay Healthy blog.

Updated March 20, 2020; 6:10pm

As we all adjust to a "new normal", people continue to seek solace in the outdoors. While we recognize that getting outside is integral to mental health, we urge you to get outside responsibly. Yesterday we shared a blog by Meghan Young urging people to be mindful that "many of the towns and communities that are gateways to the outdoors are more rural, with limited access to groceries, fuel, and medical supplies....Each time you take advantage of these services, you’re potentially exposing yourself and others to COVID-19. Further, you’re placing additional strain on communities that have either already been hit or are in fear of being hit, and that’s not what any of us should desire."

Before you opt to go outdoors, we urge you to read the entirety of our Covid-19 and Trip Planning blog, and check out similar posts from Washington Trails Association and the American Alpine Club. Please also note that the King County Sheriff's office has seen a spike in calls for lost or injured hikers. 

To help you stay connected, we also have tips from Super Volunteer Skye Stoury to stay connected to the outdoors while practicing social distancing.

If you or someone you know is struggling right now, our state has great resources set up to help: 

  1. King County 24-Hour Crisis Line: primary source for linking Seattle-King County residents to emergency mental health services.
    1. Local number: 206-461-3222
    2. Toll free: 1-866-427-4747 or 1-866-4CRISIS
    3. Good resource for you or anyone you know who may need to talk to someone about anxiety or loneliness, family or relationship difficulties, symptoms of mental illness, loss of a job, thoughts of self-harm, and more.
  2. Washington Warm Line: a service of the Crisis Line, but geared more towards people who need attention but are not in crisis. Many people struggle identifying their needs as critical so the Warm Line can be a good option. Calls are answered by specially-trained volunteers who have lived experience with mental health challenges.
    1. Toll Free: 1-877-500-9276 or 1-877-500-WARM
    2. Traditionally open M-F, 5am – 9pm and weekends 12:30p – 9pm

updated march 16, 2020; 9:35am

Yesterday, Governor Inslee announced a statewide closure of all entertainment & recreational facilities. As a community organization, and in keeping with the spirit of our Governor’s orders as well as the decisions of our sister clubs, we feel we have an obligation to our community to put our programs on pause. 

Beginning Monday, March 16, all courses, trips, and in-person activities will be suspended until April 24. This includes small day trips as well. All three program centers and all lodges will be closed per the Governor's order. Should the COVID-19 situation dramatically improve sooner than we expect, we will reassess resuming activities sooner. Either way, please visit our COVID-19 webpage for updates. We will continue to be in communication with our community.

The Mountaineers expects to resume our activities when the greatest threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. Right now, we anticipate resuming normal operations on April 24, but we will need to assess the situation around that time. We have provided online meeting access to our volunteer leaders, and encourage everyone to stay connected by participating online whenever feasible. Your volunteer leaders will be in contact about any activities you are signed up for. Please allow your leaders time to reach out, as they will be working hard to determine what can be rescheduled, what can be moved online, and what simply needs to be canceled. 

For programs with a fee, the following refund policy applies:

If the course, activity, or event starts between now and April 24: 

  • If the leader decides to cancel, a full refund will automatically be issued during the week of 4/20.
    • In the wake of course and activity cancellations, support of The Mountaineers is more critical now than ever before. If you can, please consider donating a portion or all of your course fee as a 100% tax-deductible charitable donation. We rely on course fees and charitable gifts to carry out our volunteer support systems, conservation work, and community outreach throughout this difficult time. Students who wish to donate some or all of their course fees to The Mountaineers should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17.
    • With a few exceptions, students may choose to receive a credit for the next time this course is offered. Students wishing to receive a credit should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17.
  • If the leader reschedules or moves components online, participants who cannot make the new schedule work should contact member services for a credit or refund.

If the course, activity, or event starts after April 24:

  • Standard cancellation policies apply.
  • In the event that a leader cancels a course, a full refund will automatically be issued during the week of 4/20. For courses that are canceled after 4/17, refunds will be issued two weeks after cancellation notice is sent.
    • In the wake of course and activity cancellations, support of The Mountaineers is more critical now than ever before. If you can, please consider donating a portion or all of your course fee as a 100% tax-deductible charitable donation. We rely on course fees and charitable gifts to carry out our volunteer support systems, conservation work, and community outreach throughout this difficult time. Students who wish to donate some or all of their course fees to The Mountaineers should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17.
    • With a few exceptions, students may choose to receive a credit for the next time this course is offered. Students wishing to receive a credit should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17, or within one week of receiving cancellation notice if after April 17.

If the course is in-progress, and some but not all course-related activities have happened:

  • If the leader decides to cancel, a pro-rated refund will automatically be issued during the week of 4/20.
    • In the wake of course and activity cancellations, support of The Mountaineers is more critical now than ever before. If you can, please consider donating a portion or all of your course fee as a 100% tax-deductible charitable donation. We rely on course fees and charitable gifts to carry out our volunteer support systems, conservation work, and community outreach throughout this difficult time. Students who wish to donate some or all of their course fees to The Mountaineers should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17.
    • With a few exceptions, students may choose to receive a credit for the next time this course is offered. The credit will allow the student to take the FULL course the next time it is offered. Students wishing to receive a credit should email info@mountaineers.org by Friday, April 17.
  • If the leader re-schedules or moves components online, participants who cannot make the new schedule work should contact member services for a credit or pro-rated refund.

We want to make sure there is time for our leaders to make decisions about their courses, and to communicate with students. We also want to give students time to reach out to member services in the event that they wish to donate their refund or receive a credit. For that reason we won’t process refunds until the week of April 20. 

We hope this decision does not stop you from being active outdoors. The benefits of getting outside are undeniable – it reduces stress and anxiety, boosts the immune system, lowers the heart rate, and reduces inflammation. During these unprecedented times, a good dose of sunshine, fresh air, and a break from the daily news can be restorative. You can also practice social distancing in our many open spaces as long as you're mindful about not carpooling with anyone outside your household.

The situation around the COVID-19 pandemic is changing rapidly, and we will continue to diligently monitor expert sources, like the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and King County Health, to help us navigate this unchartered territory. We will also keep you updated on any other changes to The Mountaineers policies.

Thank you for your support, your understanding, and your membership. We are deeply grateful for this community and the support it provides. We hope you’ll stay connected with one another during this break from Mountaineers activities and stay well.

UPdated March 11, 2020; 5:25PM

This morning, Governor Jay Inslee issued new guidance to cancel gatherings of more than 250 people in the Seattle region. Seattle Public Schools also announced they will be close, following a number of schools and universities which have already closed or moved to virtual classrooms.

The Mountaineers has already canceled or reimagined many of our large events, and we just announced that we will moving our annual fundraising Gala from April 4 to July 23, 2020. In addition to the rescheduled event on July 23, we will host a small, online silent auction and ask for support for our community March 30-April 4. Doing so will provide an opportunity for more of our community members to connect with our Gala festivities, and hopefully inspire people to make a gift that they might not have otherwise. As you can imagine, the generosity of our members and supporters is more critical than ever.

We made the decision to reschedule the Gala yesterday, prior to the restrictions announced by Governor Inslee and the Washington State Health Department, and our decision was driven by our deep desire to do everything possible to protect the health and well-being of our community. While we were disappointed to reach this decision, we’re comforted by the fact it aligns with Governor Inslee’s proclamation prohibiting large gatherings.

In light of this new guidance, we updated our decision-making rubric for volunteers and created a main COVID-19 response page where you can view the most current Mountaineers guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It's designed as a resource for members, volunteers, guests, and staff. Of particular note for volunteers is guidance on what to do if a participant from your activity becomes sick.

As you can imagine, the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak are significant. Your generosity is more critical than ever so we thank you in advance for any support you can provide to The Mountaineers and our mission. If you are in a position to do so, we have set up a special donation page to support our efforts in this time of uncertainty.

UPdated march 6, 2020; 3:30pm

On Wednesday night, King County Health released new guidance to reduce the number of people who could come into contact with COVID-19. As a result, we have cancelled a number of programs and have encouraged staff who are able to work remotely to do so. Our member services team, program center facilities team, and Mountaineers Books distribution staff will continue to be onsite for now, so as to continue operating without significant disruptions. 

We have also developed a decision-making rubric to help volunteers and staff evaluate whether to proceed with programming for the rest of March. The situation has been changing rapidly so new guidance may warrant us updating this rubric. We encourage volunteer leaders to follow this guidance to determine whether or not to proceed with programming. If your activity is cancelled, you will receive a direct message notifying you of the cancellation. Cancellations will also be posted on each activity page on our website, so please check your activity’s posting for updates. If you need to cancel your personal participation in a future program due to illness or Coronavirus related issue, you will be given a full refund. In order to receive the full refund, please email info@mountaineers.org.

If you are not feeling well, or are at high risk, please opt-out of our programming for a full refund. 

If the volunteer has chosen to proceed with the program and you do choose to participate, we ask that you join our efforts heighten our hygiene practices during, prior to, and after all Mountaineers activities to reduce risk:

  • Wash hands frequently before, after, and during all Mountaineers gatherings or activities.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing; remember to cough/sneeze into your elbow and immediately wash hands afterward.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Our buildings will be continually cleaned (wiping down countertops, bathrooms, and door handles).
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most impacted and anyone who might be sick. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we.

This situation is changing by the hour, and we will do our best to keep everyone informed of changes as they happen. For the latest, please follow our COVID-19 blog. We also recommend that you regularly check or subscribe to King County Public Health's updates to stay informed.

Updated March 5, 2020; 10:25am

Last night, King County Health released new guidance for employers to reduce the number of workers who come into contact with COVID-19 and to help minimize absenteeism due to illness. As a result,  we have encouraged our staff members who are able to effectively work from home to develop a plan with their supervisor to work remotely in a manner that best sustains our operations. Our member services team, program center facilities team, and Mountaineers Books distribution staff will continue to be onsite for now, so as to continue operating without significant disruptions.

King County Health also made the recommendation that "if you can feasibly avoid bringing large groups of people together, consider postponing events and gatherings." We are committed first and foremost to keeping our community healthy (see recommendations for how to do so below) and to responding to public health recommendations in a way that allows us to best sustain our mission.

For now, we are planning to continue operations with the least possible disruptions and encourage everyone to follow the health safety guidance when participating with The Mountaineers. All activities/events will continue as planned unless you receive a direct message that it has been canceled. Cancellations will also be posted on the activity page on the mountaineers website. Please check your activity’s posting for updates. We encourage people at higher risk to opt-out. If you need to cancel your personal participation due to illness or Coronavirus related issue, you will be given a full refund. 

Our Risk Management Committee is working in conference with our Board of Directors and Staff Leadership to develop a rubric by which we will determine which programs to move forward with and which to cancel. This situation is changing by the hour, and we will do our best to keep everyone informed of changes as they happen. We also recommend that you regularly check or subscribe to King County Public Health's website or blog to stay informed.

Updated March 4, 2020; 11:15am

Based on the latest information we have available, most people and organizations have been advised to carry on their activities and operate normally for now, while taking common-sense precautions to prevent spreading. It is our intention to do the same at this time and we encourage our community to follow the advice of public health organizations and not panic.

At this time, The Mountaineers is not canceling or delaying programs or events due to possible impacts of the COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation closely to stay abreast of recommendations from public health officials.

Preliminary research is showing the virus is moderately infectious and probably transmitted through sneezes, coughs, and contaminated surfaces. As a precautionary measure, we are asking that we all heighten our hygiene practices during, prior to, and after all Mountaineers activities to reduce risk.

A few simple practices we aDVISE:

  • Wash hands frequently before, after, and during all Mountaineers gatherings or activities.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing; remember to cough/sneeze into your elbow and to wash hands afterward.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Stay home if you’re feeling sick. For more information, please visit our Flu Policy.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Our buildings will be continually cleaned (wiping down counter tops, bathrooms, and door handles).
  • If you are sick and wondering what to do, call your healthcare provider before you go to a clinic or emergency room. #Callfirst
  • Show compassion and support for individuals and communities most impacted and anyone who might be sick. Viruses don’t discriminate and neither should we.
  • People at higher risk for serious illness should consider taking extra precautions such as those listed on the Washington State Department of Health website. 

With this said, we also recognize that Mountaineers activities and our program centers and lodges bring people together, often in large groups and sometimes in close contact. Our winter course seminars and field trips are in full swing, our CHS courses are about to kick off, and this spring will bring the launch of our sailing and kayaking courses, to name just a few.

Social distancing is an intervention to increase the physical distance between people and reduce the spread of a disease. As this time, public health officials have not issued a recommendation for organizations such as The Mountaineers to implement social distancing. We are preparing for this possibility should it become a recommended intervention.

The health and safety of our community is paramount and our highest priority. Before you participate in a program, visit a Mountaineers program center, or travel to a lodge this weekend, please perform a simple 'yes or no' self-evaluation about whether or not you have:

  • Known exposure to an infected person?
  • Traveled in the last 14 days to areas defined by the CDC as a COVID-19 Level 2 or Level 3 risk?
  • A fever of 99.5°F or higher? 
  • Body aches, chills, or fatigue?
  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea?
  • A cough? 
  • A headache? 
  • A sore throat? 
  • A stuffy or runny nose? 

 If you answered yes to any of the above questions (or are showing symptoms of cold, flu, sore throat, fever, or generally are not feeling well), we ask that you please stay home.

You can learn more about the Coronavirus and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on the CDC's website. We will actively continue to stay informed and follow any CDC guidance as well as more specific guidance from the Washington State Department of Health and county authorities such as King County Public Health. You can also sign up for email alerts on the King County Health page.

 

Photo by Sarina Clark.

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Andrew Black
Andrew Black says:
Mar 02, 2020 01:25 PM

This article was posted on Saturday and by Monday it already seems outdated. I recommend deleting this post and reposting a message that prepares people for the strong possibility of cancelations.

Victoria Sheldon
Victoria Sheldon says:
Mar 10, 2020 09:21 AM

Two suggestions: Keep this blog up to date; and, if events, programs or classes have been canceled, list them or provide a link to the list.

Doug Palm
Doug Palm says:
Apr 03, 2020 07:47 PM

This blog should be updated.

Dick Hayek
Dick Hayek says:
Apr 28, 2020 10:02 AM

Governor Inslee's April 27 announcement permits hiking to resume in designated areas, but only with members of the same household. This would prohibit the Mountaineers from scheduling any in person activities. Fishing and private construction have been allowed to resume following organized protests by fishermen and construction workers. The outdoor community needs to make a joint request that hiking not be restricted to members of the same household and backpacking and camping should not be prohibited, so that outdoor organizations can resume scheduling those activities. There is no evidence of the covid 19 virus being contracted outdoors. Physical exercise, especially outdoor exercise, enhances immunity, which fights of the virus. Infection from the virus occurs from prolonged contact with other people indoors. The greatest number of infections have occurred at home, the second most on public transportation and the third most at health care facilities. There are very few infections in rural communities, which would correspond to hiking areas. Campers and backpackers almost always only share tents with other members of their household. A restriction on tent camping to only sharing a tent with other members of your household would be easy to implement. Likewise a limit below 12 could be placed on the size of hiking groups, if necessary. Carpooling with people not a member of your household could be banned for the time being. But to limit hikes to members of the same household would keep all Mountaineers in person activities shut down and thereby prevent many people from having the exercise they need to stay healthy and immune from the virus.

cheetah adventures
cheetah adventures says:
Jul 18, 2020 06:59 AM

hi,thanks it's so helpful