UPDATE for October 4, 2021
Canada West Mountain School is committed to the safety of our participants, staff, and the public. We continue to adapt to the ever-changing requirements that this pandemic is bringing and adhere to the BC Provincial Health Orders (PHO’s) and public safety mandates, whenever applicable to our activities and programs.
Please review the most current Province of BC Covid-19 guidelines and protocols – https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/response.
Mask use on courses:
For all indoor, in-person instruction or activities, mask use is required by participants and instructors.
While mask use is not required for outdoor activities, Canada West Mountain School encourages students to use masks when distancing cannot be maintained.
Canada West Mountain School supports the BC Provincial vaccination program to reduce transmission of Covid-19 and also to ensure a safer environment for our students, staff, volunteers, and members of the public during our activities and training programs.
Starting on October 24th, 2021, the BC Province requires proof of double-vaccination for participants on many indoor activities, establishments, and events. This is part of the Provincial Health Order (PHO) issued by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer. However, outdoor small-group activities, and indoor events with fewer than 50 people, are not included in this PHO.
Canada West Mountain School continues to follow the advice and direction provided by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and based on the advice and guidance given in her latest PHO, we will be implementing the following requirements:
Training courses, guided trips, and other activities that are conducted exclusively outdoors will not require proof of vaccination.
Indoor classes and activities:
The PHO does not require proof of vaccination for indoor events with fewer than 50 people; however, Canada West Mountain School will require proof of vaccination status for participants on all indoor programs as of October 24th, 2021. This will affect the following programs:
- Avalanche Skills Training (AST-1, AST-2, etc.)
- Wilderness First Aid and CPR training
- All other training that includes any in-person, indoor sessions
Canada West Mountain School continues to encourage proper hygiene, and safe distancing between all participants, staff, and members of the public while on our programs. All indoor spaces used include:
- ample ventilation
- access to running water and washing facilities
- have hand sanitation products available to everyone
- regular cleaning of surfaces and common areas
Canada West Mountain School Covid-19 Protocols summary:
- For all indoor, in-person instruction, masks are required to be worn, as per PHO guidance.
- For all outdoor programs, masks are not required to be worn but encourage mask use in any situation that proper physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Every participant, Instructor, and Guide will continue to be asked to complete a pre-trip screening questionnaire to identify and disclose any existing Covid-19 symptoms and current or prior contact with Covid-19 positive persons. This Screening Questionnaire is part of the required Waiver and Medical Disclosure form that each participant is required to complete before each program
- There is a screening discussion at the start of each program to ensure that everyone is free of Covid-19 symptoms. Anyone exhibiting symptoms (at any time during the program) may be asked to remove themselves from the program.
- Anyone (participants or CWMS staff) who has Covid-19 symptoms, or has been in direct contact with another person who has tested positive for Covid-19 is asked to postpone their participation.
- All programs continue to follow existing Federal and/or Provincial Health Orders or other health guidance.
- Instructors, Guides, and Staff on all CWMS programs are trained in current industry best practices for protecting the health and safety of everyone on our programs, as well as to continue to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Some modifications we have incorporated into our programs:
- Training activities continue to focus on maintaining physical distancing of 2 meters when appropriate.
- Programs are run with a maximum group size of 10 people with 1 Guide/Instructor; most programs are run with smaller groups.
- Most activities are conducted in a manner to minimize close physical contact. However, standard safety protocols have not been sacrificed or compromised – we ensure that safety levels are maintained at the same time as physical distancing.
- Class lectures and theory sessions continue to be held through our Canada West Mountain School Virtual Classroom where appropriate.
- Online training through our Virtual Classroom will be the first priority for theory instruction. Programs with in-person theory sessions, such as Wilderness First Aid training, are held in classrooms with ample ventilation and physical distancing, wearing of masks, and proper hygiene.
- Canada West Mountain School follows BC Public Health Guidelines where applicable regarding our indoor classroom instruction.
- Programs with overnight camping are conducted in a manner that avoids requiring participants to share cooking, tenting, or other activities. People may choose to share with others but are not required to do so.
Canada West Mountain School provides the training for you to safely get out and enjoy all of the hiking trails, mountains, and climbing areas that British Columbia has to offer, while at the same time ensuring that we do everything we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and keep people healthy! Please contact us directly with any questions or concerns you have, we want to hear from everyone.
Safe safe, stay healthy!