IAG COVID-19 Best Practices

Posted on May 30, 2020
Island Alpine Guides Covid-19 Risk Management Practices (Updated May 26, 2021) 

The following outlines a series of risk management practices which Island Alpine Guides (IAG) and its clients must follow when participating in trips and courses while the risk of transmission of COVID-19 is present. The contents of this document are derived predominantly from the advice of the BC Provincial Health Officer and industry best practices as outlined in the following two documents:

  • Association of Canadian Mountain Guides - Suggested COVID-19-related Best Practices for Phased Return to Work for ACMG Members - May 13, 2020.
  • BC Adventure Programs - COVID-19 Best Practices - Created by members of the Adventure Articulation Committee British Columbia Council of Articulation and Transfer (BCCAT) - April 2020 These practices are subject to change as public health advice and industry best practices evolve. All participants will be required to complete a screening, as well as read and sign an updated agreement document prior to their trip/course.
Co-Management of COVID-19 Risk

The responsibility for managing the spread of COVID-19 will be shared with all course/trip participants and IAG staff. Participants and staff alike must understand their personal roles and responsibilities in reducing the potential spread of the virus. Continued delivery of IAG courses and trips is contingent on following all protocols underlined herein. Participants will be excluded from activities if protocols go unfollowed. All directives in this document are designed to manage the risk of COVID-19 but will not eliminate that risk.

Classroom Settings

At time of the latest update of these practices (26 May 2021), all courses that normally require indoor classroom time has been moved to a virtual format. This format will be in place until Public Health Orders (PHO) allow groups to gather indoors.

Group Hygiene

  • Everyone on the trip/course must endeavour to stay 2 metres apart at all times
  • If there is a chance of coming within 2 metres, participants must wear a mask
  • All participants are required to bring an ample personal supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, to have it on hand at all times, and to use it after any contact with any surface touched by another participant or IAG staff
  • Participants must not pass food or beverages to one another unless they are members of a cohabiting group
  • If entering an indoor/enclosed space, higher traffic areas, masks must be worn at all times (i.e helicopters)
  • In the event of increased restrictions, IAG maintains the right to request that participants wear masks from the start of the day until the finish

  • At time of writing (26 May 2021), we will accept any participants travelling from within the Vancouver Island Health Authority region
Pre-trip Communication with Participants

  • Specific precautions will be determined and described based on the state of pandemic at the time of participation, as well as the attendant public health and industry advice
  • Participants must agree to sign, understand and acknowledge the changes made to our waiver which reflect COVID-19 risk
  • Participants must read and agree to these COVID-19 protocols by signing an agreement. They must also sign a declaration of health and exposiure which includes acknowledging that they have completed an approved [COVID-19 screening] https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en.
  • Participation will be limited to those who can attest to being well, to not having been exposed to anyone who is sick, and to not having travelled outside the country within 14 days of the commencement of the trip
  • Participants in higher risk demographics (age >64 years, pre-disposing conditions) are asked not to participate at this time unless they have been vaccinated.
  • IAG cancellation policy has been adjusted to allow for unforeseen changes - if IAG is forced to reschedule or cancel trips or courses because of more restrictive measures coming into place, everyone booked will be given the choice of rescheduling or receiving a full credit for anytime in the future
  • If booked participants feel unwell leading up to a trip or have had a COVID-19 exposure, IAG will insist that they do not participate and will offer a full credit
  • If participants are booking front-country accommodation, they must vet the viral mitigation procedures of the accommodation provider before booking
Food and Accommodation

  • On overnight trips, participants and guides/instructors must stay in their own tent (or roofed accommodation of their own booking when applicable), unless they have been cohabiting prior to the trip
  • All participants and guides/instructors must supply and cook their own meals
  • Only those who have been cohabiting may share meals and cooking supplies
Rental Equipment Sanitation Procedures

  • All company owned soft goods (ropes, harnesses, slings, etc.) will either be isolated for a minimum of three days or be washed in warm, soapy water before each trip
  • All company owned hard goods (i.e. carabiners, ice axes, crampons, rock protection, avalanche safety gear, skis, ski poles, hiking poles etc.) will be either isolated for a minimum of three days or be washed in warm, soapy water prior to each trip
  • All hard goods without soft material or plastic may also be sprayed with a dilute solution of bleach and water or a hospital grade bactericide/anti-virus followed by adequate drying prior to each trip as an acceptable alternative
Post-trip Communication

  • Participants must agree to contact IAG immediately if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of their trip/course. Should you have any questions about the contents of this document, please do not hesitate to reach out to IAG at (250) 400-2870 or [email protected].