GO BIG BEND COVID OPERATING PLAN UPDATE SEPTEMBER 9, 2020
Regarding 3-day, 2-night Texas River Music trips scheduled for October 2020: We plan to operate, but with strict protocols and health practices to minimize opportunities for community transmission of Covid-19. Many factors may change between now and trip departure dates. Plan will be reviewed and modified over the summer. We encourage all guests with reservation to carefully review this page; email or call at your convenience. Thank you.
CLICK HERE for the source of information about viral spread that was most helpful in designing the protocol
- Check in procedures: Guests and staff will be masked while issuing and demonstrating use of waterproof duffel bags. Check in is in the open-air covered pavilion behind Terlingua Store on TX 170. Dry bags, tents, and sleeping pads will all be sanitized and handled by masked, gloved personnel. At check in, and prior to boarding vehicles or boats, temperatures will be checked. Presence of elevated temperature or suspicious symptoms could possibly result in not being allowed to join trip.
- Ground Transportation: Group travel in an enclosed vehicle is a high-risk environment for viral transmission. Normally our trips include ground transportation to and from a fixed location in 15 passenger vans and SUVS. Vehicles are always full. Under Covid precautions, the safest way to insure personal safety is to have all of our guests drive their own vehicle to the river. Our drivers will subsequently transfer guest vehicles to the take-out point for the river trip. They will be masked while driving, and will thoroughly sanitize the interior of the vehicles.
- Boat assignments: Many guests travel in pairs. Those in groups of 4 or more (pods) can be assigned to a dedicated raft. 6’ social distancing while in a raft is not possible. We know that open air is less risky in terms of viral spread, but that risk is not zero. We will also have a number of inflatable kayaks which are both fun and offer the maximum social distance for individual paddlers. We will have an ample supply of KN95 masks available and may require masks at any point on the trip where we see a vulnerability.
- Meal service: Staff preparing meals will be masked and gloved. Gloves will be available for guests, along with plentiful hand sanitizer. We will not share serving utensils and will use disposables much more than we would normally prefer. Staff will serve each guest as practical. Guest will mask up in the food line. Gloves will also be made available.
We are in communication with river outfitters in New Mexico and California who began operating June 1, under stringent guidelines. Local outfitters have been operating in limited fashion most of the summer. We will learn from their experience. It has been 6 months since Covid related measures have been enacted. We have learned how the virus spreads, clinical signs of infection, promising therapies, conspiracy theories etc. We have had friends and family who have tested positive or demonstrated symptoms. Me included. We learn more every day. Lets talk. Call (432) 386-5635, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to comment and ask questions.