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Last Updated: September 13th, 2021

Kootenay Backcountry Guides Communicable Disease Prevention Plan 2021-2022

Since 2016, Kootenay Backcountry Guides has provided unforgettable backcountry adventures to guests from Canada, the U.S.A., and other countries.  We have had the privilege of sharing the mountains of B.C. with many amazing people, making life-long friends, and working with fantastic staff.  Right now, more than ever, we appreciate all of you, our Kootenay Backcountry Guides crew.

We are taking all the necessary steps to be at the forefront of operating in a manner that adheres to all local, provincial and national guidelines. We work closely with our associations and partners: The A.C.M.G, the C.A.A, the C.S.G.A, the Backcountry Lodge Association (BLBCA), Avalanche Canada, Whitewater Ski Resort, and other local businesses. For more information about travel to and from Canada, please visit www.travel.gc.ca.

Kootenay Backcountry Guides will be following all public health orders and guidelines as laid out by our provincial health officer. For up to date information, please go to https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/response

Table of Contents

  1. Preamble 

  2. Travel to Canada Advisory 

  3. Proof of Vaccination & BC Vaccine Card 

  4. Communicable Disease Policies 

  5. Vaccination: 

  6. Physical Distancing: 

  7. Environmental Hygiene: 

  8. Personal Hygiene: 

  9. Kootenay Backcountry Guides COVID-19 2021/2022 Booking & Cancellation Policy: 

  10. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES 

Preamble 

As COVID-19 vaccinations have become widely available to British Columbians, for those who have been vaccinated the overall risk of COVID-19 transmission and serious consequences have diminished. Despite this, the virus will still circulate as communicable diseases typically do. 

This guide provides information for guests and employees to follow ongoing measures to reduce the risk of infectious diseases and additional steps for an elevated risk of communicable disease. A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxic product that can be transmitted in a workplace from one person to another. Examples of communicable diseases that may circulate in a workplace include COVID-19, norovirus, and seasonal influenza. 

Vaccinations remain the essential criterion to comply with standing WorkSafe BC Updates and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Orders. Still, while the controls are listed in order of effectiveness, all controls should be considered, as they often work best in combination. 

We are continually reviewing and updating our policies to make sure we are ready for you.  Any new information we receive will be passed along to guests and employees as soon as we get it and are posted on our website. Guests and employees will receive a thorough email with all your pre-trip or pre-course info a few weeks before your guided tour or course as well. Please ensure you review our Booking & Cancelation Policy.

This document delineates our approach for preventing the communal transmission of infectious diseases while visiting Nelson or participating in one of our scheduled programs during the current crisis. Note that we feel we need to point out that, no matter how many precautions and measures are taken, we cannot guarantee with certainty that communicable diseases will not find their way into our community. Therefore, we all need to do our part by getting fully vaccinated, showing up in good health, minimizing our social contacts before the guided tour/course, and strictly following the measures we have laid out in this document. 

Please refer to BC Centre for Disease Control website for up-to-date information on COVID-19 and other communicable diseases (http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/). Public health policies are updated at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/response

Travel to Canada Advisory

Effective August 9, 2021, Canada will allow entry to fully vaccinated American citizens and permanent residents (currently residing in the US) for leisure travel

  • If you meet the entry criteria, fully vaccinated travelers do not have to quarantine upon arrival to Canada. 
  • We encourage all travelers to be fully informed of the pre-entry and on arrival public health and testing requirements both federally and provincially. This includes the mandatory use of the ArriveCAN app. In addition, travelers should plan for extra time in the lead-up, and upon the arrival of their trip. 
  • Please visit the Government of Canada website for the latest information on travel to Canada, including the updated federal requirements and restrictions. 
  • BC tour operators, accommodation providers, and attraction hosts have implemented stringent protocols to keep visitors safe. Visitors are asked to return the favor by travelling this summer and fall responsibly. 
  • Travelers are encouraged to reference Destination BC’s “Know Before You Go” page for information on the latest travel restrictions, what’s open, and more.

ENTRY INFORMATION: 

To qualify for the fully vaccinated traveler exemption, you must: 

  • Be eligible to enter Canada on the specific date you enter 
  • Have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19 
  • Have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines 
  • Have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day you enter Canada 
    • For example: if your last dose was anytime on Thursday, July 1st, then Friday, July 16th would be the first day that you meet the 14-day condition 
  • Upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN 
  • Provide a negative pre-entry test result from one of the accepted types of molecular tests (ex. PCR), not an antigen test 
  • Meet all other entry requirements

Proof of Vaccination & BC Vaccine Card

Starting September 13, you need proof of vaccination to access some events, services, and businesses in British Columbia. The easiest way to show proof is using the BC Vaccine Card. Get your card today

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some events, services, and businesses. Starting September 13, you must have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. By October 24, you must be fully vaccinated. The requirement is in place until January 31, 2022, and could be extended. 

The requirement applies to all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+) and covers:

  • Indoor ticketed sporting events
  • Indoor concerts, theatre, dance, and symphony events
  • Licensed restaurants and restaurants that offer table service (indoor and patio dining)
  • Pubs, bars, and lounges (indoor and patio dining)
  • Nightclubs, casinos, and movie theatres
  • Gyms, exercise facilities/studios, pools, and recreation facilities
  • Businesses offering indoor group exercise
  • Indoor adult group and team sports for people 22 years old or older
  • Indoor organized group recreational classes and activities 

This mandate applies to all residents and visitors of British Columbia. People who don't have a B.C. IDs are also required to show proof of vaccination. You might not have B.C. identification if you're visiting from another place or you just moved here.

People from other Canadian provinces or territories must show:

  • Provincially/territorially officially recognized vaccine record
  • Valid government photo ID

International visitors must show:

  • Proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada (like ArriveCAN)
  • Passport

For more information regarding the vaccination mandate in B.C., please visit here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html 

Communicable Disease Policies

Vaccination:

  1. As per public health orders, Kootenay Backcountry Guides will require that all guides and participants of any indoor course, trip, or basecamp tour be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  2. By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), proof of vaccination is required to access some courses and trips. The BC Vaccine Card can be submitted as proof of vaccination for any of our products. 
  3. Outdoor courses such as our Avalanche Education courses (AST, MAT, CRS, Ski/Split 101)  and private guided trips are accessible to all regardless of vaccination status. 
  4. All unvaccinated guests and students will not be allowed to interact with our staff or other guests in an indoor setting. 
  5. We will be checking the vaccine status of every student and guest for all courses and guided tours/trips.
  6. We strongly encourage all visitors to Nelson to be fully vaccinated before arriving to ensure the local community’s safety. In addition, please ensure you are following all Public Health Orders at all times to protect our vulnerable community that does not have large capacity at our hospitals. 
  7. All Kootenay Backcountry Staff (including the owner, guides, instructors, administrators) are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 
  8. All non-vaccinated students and guests must make sure they maintain a two-meter physical distance from members outside of their household at all times regardless of mask-wearing. 
  9. Staff and guests may be exempt from the vaccination mandate for religious or health concerns. 
    1. An employee or guest who has legitimate health issues, documented by an appropriate medical doctor, has the right to expect accommodation from an employer. A legitimate health issue is not something that is stated on the internet or on someone’s blog but rather must be from a recognized medical professional. An employee can be required to supply satisfactory documentation explaining the health issue. 
    2. This also applies to employees seeking accommodation on religious grounds. The objection based on religion must be of established religion and not one made up for the purpose of vaccine avoidance.

Physical Distancing:

  1. Physical Distancing: 
    1. Please do your best to always maintain an appropriate physical distance of 2 meters whenever possible during all courses, trips, and interactions. 
    2. We do our best to have all of our products take place outside. However, exceptions are made for our lodge-based trips or courses that need indoor sessions, such as our traditional navigation courses.  
    3. Courses that take place indoors will be harder to maintain the two-meter physical distance. As such, they carry additional risk. 
  2. Masks: 
    1. We will be following all public health orders in regards to mask-wearing. 
    2. Anytime a two-meter physical is not possible, masks will be worn. This may change if masks mandates are removed. 
  3. Car Pooling: 
    1. We are happy to recommend carpooling as an option to travel to our courses. 
    2. Carpooling is considered an indoor setting. Therefore, all public health orders must be followed while inside them.
    3. If you have chosen to be unvaccinated, you must travel alone, unless it is with members of your household. 

Environmental Hygiene:

  1. Hand Sanitizer: 
    1. We recommend that all guides, instructors, clients, and students provide their own “Spray Pump Style” hand sanitizer, and keep it on their person throughout the course and guided days. 

  2. Sharing Equipment/Gear:
    1. To help reduce the spread of diseases, we ask that guests/participants spray their hands with hand sanitizer when passing off gear.  

Personal Hygiene:

  1. Conscious Self Health Monitoring: 
    1. We will also collect detailed contact information for each guest used for contact tracing purposes if necessary. 
    2. All guides/instructors and clients/students must complete a COVID-19 Pre-Screening Questionnaire before their course or private guided trip. 
    3. If any guides, instructors, clients, or students at any time during the duration of courses and guided days, feel ill, they will report this to their Guide/Instructor/office (1-833-KBGUIDE (524-8433) 
    4. Any students/guests on a lodge trip who happen to become ill will be required to take a COVID-19 rapid test. If this person tests positive while on a helicopter access trip, they will be required to isolate themselves in a room at the lodge. If the person tests positive while on a trip that is accessed by foot. They will be requested to leave the lodge and return home to self-isolate. 
    5. All other guests and students will be offered rapid tests to assess if the virus has spread. 

Rapid Testing 

Rapid testing is evolving at the moment. As of now, we do not require that students or guests will have to take a rapid test to go on a lodge trip. The reason for this is the tests are not accurate enough to catch asymptomatic COVID. The tests currently available are great at catching COVID if the person is showing symptoms.

  1. All staff and students will be offered a rapid test COVID-19 test any time they feel the need to assess themselves. 
  2. Anyone who happens to get sick while one of our lodge trips will be offered a rapid test. 

Individual Lodge Policies. 

  1. Kootenay Backcountry Guides rents lodges from private businesses. We are subject to and will follow their policies regarding their infectious disease control. 

Kootenay Backcountry Guides COVID-19 2021/2022 Booking & Cancellation Policy:

11 COVID-19 Cancellations 

The following refund policy will apply if Kootenay Backcountry Guides cancels your booking because of COVID-19, or if you are prevented from completing your booking because of a reason related to COVID-19 that are outside of your control, including travel issues, closed borders, and local outbreaks. In such case:

  1. If Kootenay Backcountry Guides must cancel, we will notify you as soon as possible via the email address you provided at the time of booking;
  2. If you must cancel, you will inform us as soon as possible via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
  3. Kootenay Backcountry Guides will hold your deposit or final bill credited to a booking at Kootenay Backcountry Guides for a later date. 
  4. If you wish to have a refund instead of a credit towards a future trip, we will provide a refund minus an administration fee of 25%. 

This refund policy, if enacted, will supersede any other refund and cancellation policy in these terms and conditions. Review the full policies here. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Travel and Tourism - Information on travelling in Canada or Abroad

​BC CDC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool

Province of British Columbia Restart Plan

BC Office of the Provincial Health Officer

BC Centre for Disease Control Travel Recommendations

BC Centre for Disease Control Self-Isolation

WorkSafe BC: Accommodation: Protocols for returning to operation

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