COVID 19 Safety Precautions at ECO
Last year we had to re-evaluate everything we do here at East Coast Outfitters to ensure that we are able to conduct tours, lessons and rentals as safely as possible around the new guidelines for businesses operating during a global pandemic.
Outdoor programming operates on the assumption that a degree of acceptable risk is always present for our staff and participants. Within the context of COVID-19, the following guidelines have been put together based on the best available evidence of how to operate outdoor programs with an acceptable level of risk. As best practices and polices change and emerge so too will this document.
East Coast Outfitters has been a leader in the outdoor community and a valued member of the Nova Scotia tourism industry since 2001. We have been training individuals through Paddle Canada programing and have helped to create a group of professional guides and instructors that are dedicating to the safety and enjoyment of paddling while mitigating all risk involved for maximum participant satisfaction. In these times of concern about the spread of COVID-19 we believe that the guidelines highlight our unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our paddlers and that kayak tours, rentals, and courses can operate within the context of provincial guidelines in a way that is safe and fun for everyone.
We are planning and now that we are open we have had to re-evaluate everything we do here at East Coast Outfitters to ensure that we are able to conduct tours, lessons and rentals as safely as possible around the new guidelines for businesses operating during a global pandemic.
We are planning and preparing to be full operational on May 1, 2021.
Group Safety: to promote cleanliness and physical distancing.
RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL TOURS, RENTALS AND LESSONS.
We are only open by appointment only. This is necessary so that we can stagger groups and help promote social distancing and less contact with other groups
Limiting group sizes to 12-18pp, people (plus 2 or 3 guides); private household or “bubble family/friends” group preferable All participants will verbally be screened for COVID-19 before the tour.
Day tours only: 2, 2.5, 4 or 6-hour tours
One tour per person per day
Only households from Nova Scotia and the Atlantic Bubble if it is still in place
Everyone will be in double kayaks as much as possible to limit the risk of capsizes unless participants have previous kayaking experience. This applies to rentals as well.
Numbering or assigning kayaks to specific guides and clients. This will make it easier to quarantine kayaks and contact trace if client or guide present with symptoms
Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty gear and discard after each use. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.
If reusable gloves are worn, gloves should be dedicated to handling dirty gear and should not be used for other purposes. Wash hands immediately after gloves are removed.
Instruct guests to bring their own individual bathroom bags with hand sanitizer, hand soap, toilet paper and gloves
Payment online or by e-transfer only
Regularly clean and disinfect equipment used for handling payments.
No snacks, lunches or any food will be supplied before, during or after the tour. Paddlers will be asked to bring food and drink adequate for the amount of time on the water
Tours will occur only on days with fair weather as per normal operating procedure
Encourage social distancing at all times before, during, and after the tour.
o all instruction will be given at a distance of 2m from all paddlers
o Guides will verbally instruct participants on how to help each other with their gear and boat to get ready for the tour o Kayakers will adjust their own foot pedals (or help from a family member)
o If anyone at any time needs to be within 2m of another person they will wear a face covering
Increased verbal instruction: foot pedals adjustment and spray skirt
Moving kayak: each person will lift the kayaks from the same position to limit contact
Participants will lift and carry their own kayak and equipment. Disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer will be available in every boat so that guest may sanitize at any time. At no time during the tour will the guide touch the client’s boat. If a guide needs to touch a boat, they will wear a mask.
During the tour
Maintaining social distance on the water
No rafting up
Route plan will take paddles only to calm protected areas of the ocean
There will be Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer available in each boat throughout the tour and the guide will carry extra hand sanitizer, masks and gloves.
If a kayaker capsizes their boat the guide will use a Catamaran Rescue (a no contact rescue) when possible: With 2 paddles for stability Guide and double with stirrups can use other double with stirrups to create steps for guests to climb back into cock pit. If client still feels uncomfortable guide can stay connected for stability. o If this rescue is not feasible the guide will wear a mask and gloves and will proceed with a typical assisted re-entry
If first aid is needed, (cuts, injuries) during the tour everyone involved will wear gloves and a mask. If possible, the guide will talk one person through the process allowing only those family members on tour to help each other in close proximity. If the injuries are more serious, EMS will be contacted, and the guide will use all necessary precautions to help the injured person.
After the tour
Extensive cleaning procedures for gear and equipment.
After the tour, the kayaker will be asked to remove all equipment and leave it in the kayak.
The guide will then proceed to wipe down all equipment with products recommended by Health Canada before hanging to dry and/or storing
In light of the new Health and safety guidelines made mandatory for operating in this new climate of cleanliness and social distancing we require that you fill out our registration form before you arrive at ECO.
Also, please review our screening questions below:
Do you have any of these symptoms?
Fever (please take you temperature before the tour. Normal rage of 36.5-37.6 Celsius)
Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
Other symptoms such as muscles aches, fatigue, headaches, sore throat, runny nose, diarrhea?
Have you traveled outside the country in the last 14 days?
Have you traveled outside the Atlantic provinces (NS, NB, PEI, NFLD) in the last 14 days?
Have you had close contact (face-to-face within 2 metres) with someone who is ill with cough and/or fever who has traveled internationally within the last 14 days prior to their illness?
Have you been contact in the last 14 days with someone that is confirmed to be a case of COVID-19?
Have you had laboratory exposure while working directly with specimens known to have COVID-19?
If you have answered yes to any of the above questions you cannot participate in any programming on our site.
For the safety of all, you will not be allowed to be on site or participate in kayak tours, rentals or lessons if you meet any of the following:
You are experiencing fever, cough, sneezing, difficulty breathing or any other signs of illness
If you or an immediate family member has traveled outside the country in the last 14 days
If you are self-isolation for COVID-19
If you are being tested for COVID-19
If you have tested positive for COVID-19