COVID - Ropes Course Protocols
Outlined below are the protocols and strategies that Four Arrows has established as we start to return to normal business operation. Four Arrows will remain up to date on the latest regulations and advisories as it relates to Covid-19 and how it affects Four Arrows staff and participants in accordance with University, state, and federal regulations and recommendations. Four Arrows will abide by any additional challenge course specific guidelines put into place by the Association for Challenge Course Technology and lean on the expertise of our accredited Professional Vendor Member (PVM).
Requirements of Groups/Participants
Sharing of your Covid-19 Protocols
Please share any specific COVID-19 protocols in place that your group is adhering to in order to review and better understand your group’s status coming to our site.
PPE / Face Covering
We ask that your group has the basic knowledge of wearing PPE/face covering prior to arrival, if needed we can provide digital resources. We will require all participants and guests to have and wear proper face coverings while on site. Our staff will reinforce appropriate use of PPE/face covering and Covid-19 protocols at our site but will not conduct any in-depth training. Facial coverings with ties are not recommended as they pose an additional risk of strangulation. The face coverings that secure behind the ears offer the least risk.
Covid-19 Showing Symptoms
Participants coming to Four Arrows must ensure that they are not showing any COVID-19 symptoms. Any individual who may be sick, or may have had contact with anyone who is sick, is to refrain from coming to our site. Four Arrows staff reserve the right to ask any individual to leave the site if exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms or not able/not willing to follow Four Arrows protocols.
Group Size Reduction
Group size will be generally reduced and align with the current standards set by the state of Connecticut that allow for us to safely manage program risks and remain in compliance with health standards set for in person gatherings.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Our site has access to three bathrooms with signage to indicate this information. You may also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Hand sanitizer will be available on site but it is recommended each individual bring a personal bottle for themselves at all times.
- You may be asked to wash or sanitize your hands before and after doing certain adventure activities.
- Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash or sanitize hands, if no tissue is available then cough into your elbow crease. Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands. Clean and disinfect shared objects after each use.
- Be responsible for any personal belongings to avoid sharing germs. No one else should expect others to clean up after them.
- Maintain 6 feet of distance between others. No handshaking or physical greetings. Please maintain physical distancing at all times even during breaks.
- It is recommended to not utilize gloves but instead be vigilant in cleaning and sanitizing hands between activities.
Four Arrows Staff Responsibilities
- Will follow all designated requirements already outlined in accordance to Covid-19 protocols.
- Staff will be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) specific to Covid-19 mitigation.
- At very distinct instances, staff may take off facial coverings while maintaining safe physical distancing such as when a participant reads lips to communicate due to a hearing impairment.
- Staff will be trained on all necessary mandatory health and safety requirements updated by regulatory agencies.
- Daily health screening – staff will be required to fill out a questionnaire prior to reporting into work each day to verify there are no symptoms as outlined by the CDC. We will require a daily personal temperature check.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting process of facility spaces and equipment or following quarantining timeline of personal tools, practice ropes, props, etc. prior to working with another group.
Programming Strategies and Adaptations
- Adapting Typical Program Methods: Our experiences will avoid the typical hands on practice of elements and activities requiring contact, increase the use of other media and visual aids, and remain outdoors as much as possible. The programs will look and feel very different than previous Four Arrows programs but the core foundations will still be a piece of the experience.
- Facilitator Ratios and Group Size Maximums: Management of group sizes will be essential and therefore we may request reduced participants numbers, work in smaller pockets of people, stagger arrival and departure times, and use station-based work. We will eliminate multiple program groups in a single program day.
- Physical Distancing: We will rely more on visual and verbal confirmations as opposed to physical checks, will replace people if possible with weighted bags or other heavy objects to accomplish tasks, and require that skills be performed on one’s own body instead of someone else. There may be moments where distancing cannot occur (e.g. doing harness checks, clipping participants to belay ropes, etc.), therefore the cleaning procedures and more importantly wearing a face covering will be essential.
- Low Elements: Due to physical distancing requirements many low challenge course elements may be unsuitable for normal use and therefore the few we can modify appropriately we will utilize. We are still continuously assessing other modifications.
- High Elements: A couple of our high challenge course elements are unsuitable due to physical distancing. All other high elements are able to be modified and utilized while still remaining in compliance of physical distancing requirements. We are still continuously assessing additional modifications.
- Belaying: We will not conduct any Australian or TEAM belay that requires close physical proximity of people. We will solely rely on staff/facilitator belays to ensure we remain in compliance of physical distancing requirements.
- Helmets: If we have enough helmets available for each participant during a program, we will issue them one, have them label it, and use only that helmet during the program. However, if not possible for the size of a group, we may eliminate the use of helmets if possible. With the difficulty in cleaning helmets and therefore needing the share them (for larger groups), wearing a helmet may endanger the participant more than not wearing one.
- Harnesses: During program sessions each participant will be assigned a specific harness in which they will tag and only they will utilize during a program. We will follow the general manufacturer recommended cleaning guidelines as any additional process may damage or require excessive time commitments or unreasonable costs.
- Props: There will be a complete elimination of any shared props in our programming to reduce the possibility of transmission and difficulty of cleaning/sanitizing equipment.
- Cleaning and Sanitizing Strategy: We will abide by standards set by the University of Connecticut, the state of Connecticut, and CDC on best mechanisms for cleaning and sanitizing practices. We have identified possible high touch areas and will disinfect those areas as appropriate. We will follow the general manufacturer recommending cleaning of rope course specific equipment.
- Quarantining Equipment: We will be quarantining equipment when not in use and minimally a week between participant groups.