COVID-19 Response

Visit this page often for updated information on The Mountaineers' COVID-19 response

As of Monday, March 16, all Mountaineers courses, trips, and in-person activities are 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. Please continue to visit this page for updates. We will continue to be in communication with our community.

update alerts

4/1/2020

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.

3/24/2020

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.”

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.

3/16/2020

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 continue to visit this page for updates. We will continue to be in communication with our community.

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.

3/11/2020

table of contents

overview

This page has the most current Mountaineers guidelines in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is meant to be a resource for members, volunteers, guests and staff. For a detailed timeline of changes, or to review only the most recent changes, please visit our COVID-19 Blog.

Mountaineers COVID-19 Response: Guiding Principles

  • Our top priority is the health and well-being of The Mountaineers community. As a part of the broader community, our response to the COVID-19 outbreak will also support the overall well-being of western Washington.
  • We will make balanced recommendations to protect our community’s safety while minimizing the impacts to Mountaineers mission-filling programs and protecting the interests of members, volunteers, and staff.
  • We commit to decisive decision-making, transparent communications, and providing actionable guidance and as much support for changes as possible.
  • We will show compassion and support for individuals and communities most impacted. 

Is my activity happening?

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 continue to visit this page for updates. We will continue to be in communication with our community.

program centers

  • Seattle Program Center, including outdoor rock walls - Closed until April 24.
  • Tacoma Program Center - Closed until April 24.
  • Kitsap Program Center - Closed until April 24.

Please note that staff will be working remotely and are available to support both members and volunteers during this time.

Refund Policy

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. 

Additional Guidance

All Members & GUests

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.

If you have confirmed COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19

  1. The first thing you should do is review the latest King County Public Health, Washington State Department of Health, and/or local health department recommendations and follow their guidance. Seattle Times offered a great fact sheet about the virus.
  2. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, and have been at a Mountaineers facility or participated in a Mountaineers event or activity in the past 14 days, please notify staff so that we can take quick and thoughtful action to protect you and our members: 
    1. Contact us at 206-521-6001 or info@mountaineers.org. Or, contact a member of staff you feel most comfortable with. 
    2. If you cannot reach anyone on staff within two hours, please contact the emergency line 206-521-6030.

Our goal is to support you, protect your privacy, and reduce the risk to our community. It will be helpful for us to know things like when you started feeling sick, when you tested positive, and what Mountaineers activities you participated in over the past 14 days. It will also help us to know if you have any specific concerns we can help address.

Staff will then notify participants from the rosters of those activities to let them know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 on the trip, and that they should take extra precautions for 14 days. The sooner staff know and can contact participants, the more we can protect you by reducing word-of-mouth panic.

Volunteer Leaders

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.

During this suspension of in-person programs, we hope that some of you will be inspired to get creative using online resources for classroom sessions, meetings, and even community gatherings to help our community stay connected. Amanda, Nick, Sara, and Dilek on staff are here to help any volunteer with Zoom, creating a quick eLearning slidedeck, or any other creative remote options.

As a Leader, your first course of action will be to determine whether to modify, reschedule, or cancel a trip, event, activity or course. For fee-based programs, you'll need to decide whether you want to offer a credit to use for the next time the program is offered, or to only offer refunds.

It is very important for volunteers to do the following:

  • Review our cancellation policy
  • When you decide on a plan for their course/activity (cancel, adjust schedule, move online, etc...), copy Elaine at info@mountaineers.orgon the email that gets sent to students, so Member Services knows the plan. Ideally, please put it in the course description as well.
  • Individual free activities can get canceled via the website without contacting Elaine.
  • Contact Elaine as soon as a course is canceled if you DO NOT want member services to issue course credit for next year, allowing students to have priority in next year's enrollment. (or whenever the next iteration of the course is) Otherwise, students will be offered a refund or credit.

CREDITS FAQ

If the course fee will be increasing next year, how would ‘credits’ work?

  • If your course fee will be increasing, and you’re committee has decided it cannot accept this year’s course fee from any of the participants, it’s best if you do not offer receiving a credit as an option. Offering a credit should mean that we’re honoring this year’s course fee for next year’s course, regardless of the price. If it is not feasible for your committee to do this, we are happy to offer full refunds to all of this year’s participants. Then each can decide if they want to take the course next year and pay the higher course fee.

How will ‘credits’ be managed?

  • Member Services is keeping a spreadsheet of all credit requests we receive. We will be in touch with you several months before the next offering of the course to coordinate the addition of these folks to the roster. If you add the course to the website before we’ve been in touch with you, please let us know and we can send you the list of folks. Additionally, we are recording credit requests on this year’s course roster. That way all course leaders can see what each participant chose and have a reference for how many folks are taking a credit for next year.

Can ‘credits’ be used as a dollar amount that can be applied to different courses?

  • Unfortunately no. Our website isn’t set up to handle transactions like that, and doing it manually is not feasible for Member Services.

Scheduling an online meeting

Leaders wishing to move their events to an online format can complete an Online Meeting Request Form. This form helps staff expedite meeting requests. 

If you learn that someone in one of your activities has tested positive for COVID-19

First, it’s important to confirm that they tested positive for COVID-19 (rather than thinking they probably have it). If you talk to them directly, please encourage them to reach out to staff so we can gather more specific information and respond appropriately. This is important because we can offer support to them and to other participants who may have had contact with them. Direct outreach from Mountaineers staff can help prevent rumors and hysteria, and protect the participant so that they can focus on getting better.

Please reach out to staff to let us know, and encourage the participant to follow the guidelines above for participants. Please DO NOT notify other participants from your activity. By allowing staff to streamline communications, we can ensure the right people have the information they need, without inducing widespread panic and to protect confidentiality as much as possible. Depending on the activity, staff may need your help understanding who from the roster might have been in contact with the infected participant.

Staff will then notify participants from the rosters of the activities this person participated in that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 on their trip, and that they should take extra precautions for 14 days. The sooner staff know and can reach out directly to participants, the more we can protect participants by reducing word-of-mouth panic.