Vermont Adaptive’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response

Vermont Adaptive’s Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response

To Our Vermont Adaptive Community:
With the current public health crisis because of Coronavirus/COVID-19, our first priority is to protect our Vermont Adaptive community, which includes many older folks as well as those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and community at large here at Vermont Adaptive is the only aspect that is important right now.

We will continue to provide updates (most recent at the top of the page below this note) as often as we can and as our global situation continues to change. To stay in touch, be sure to receive our emails by signing up here. Please be well, take care of yourself and your neighbors, friends and family.

Kind Regards,
Erin Fernandez, Executive Director

 

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Dec. 28, 2020

Entering Phase 3 Program Update 

We are excited to announce that based on the Vermont Governor’s relaxing of some restrictions and in consultation with officials from the State of Vermont, we are able to enter Phase 3 of our Return to Play plan for Winter 2020-2021.

What this means:

  • Lessons can include 2 or more instructors with an athlete and required companions/assists from the same household.
  • Physical distancing of 10 feet or more, along with other PPE and precautions, must be maintained between instructor and athlete/companions.
  • Athletes and instructors may not ride lifts together at this time. Only households may ride lifts together.
  • No more than 6 people total may be on any lesson.
  • Athlete/participant must meet all of the Phase 2-3 Essential Eligibility Criteria as well. Those EEC can be found HERE.

Please note:

  • If you will need assistance on a lesson, companions from the same household must be able, willing and approved to do ALL close contact work including fitting equipment and clothing, riding lifts, tethering, equipment assistance, any other physical assistance and assistance after a fall.
  • Close contact (between households within 10 feet) skiing/riding is prohibited. This includes bamboo, ski pole assists, horse and buggy, tethering, assistance after falls, and all other close contact assistance adaptations.

Read the Entire Phase 2-3 Requirements HERE.

The safety and health of EVERYONE is our first priority. We don’t want to keep people from skiing, snowboarding and enjoying adventures on the mountains, but we have to play safe.

Vermont State Travel Guidelines/Restrictions – You must meet these requirements in order to participate. Learn more here.

***Please Note: Effective 2/23/2021, anyone who has received BOTH doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and has been inoculated for MORE THAN TWO WEEKS, is exempt from the Vermont State travel restrictions and quarantine rules-  essentially, if you are fully vaccinated (plus two weeks), you do not have to quarantine before or after traveling to or from Vermont, and you do not need to quarantine after exposure to someone potentially positive. 

ALL OTHER PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS REMAIN IN EFFECT. Anyone exhibiting symptoms, regardless of immunization status, is excluded from programs and must go home, quarantine, and should be re-tested.  Anyone using the vaccination/travel exemption MUST have a Federal COVID-19 Vaccination Card ON THEIR PERSON and be prepared to show it.

 

Phase 3 Ski & Ride Essential Eligibility Criteriaread here

Phase 3 Off-Site Programs Essential Eligibility Criteriaread here

 

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Dec. 22, 2020

Program Update – As we prepare to offer modified programs on or after Jan. 2, 2021, we are putting together the details to share with you as to what those programs will look and feel like. We will be rolling out winter programs in multiple phases, which will be determined based on state and CDC regulations and guidelines.

As of this writing, we will start programs in Phase 1 with private lessons only on or after Jan. 2. These lessons will be one on one – ONE staff, intern or volunteer with ONE fully self-sufficient athlete/participant. Guidelines from the State of Vermont narrowed the field of who we can serve at this time, because we can’t mix multiple people/households in one lesson. Other modifications include 10 feet of distance between Vermont Adaptive staff/intern/volunteer and participant. The two people in the lesson will not be allowed to ride the lift together. Athlete/participant must meet all of the Phase 0/Phase 1 Essential Eligibility Criteria as well. Those EEC can be found here. During Phase 1, we are unable to provide lessons to anyone needing assistance on lifts, tethering, or any other physical assistance.

As we ease back into program, we are doing our best to accommodate skiers and snowboarders that fit into the guidelines we must follow. As always, the safety and health of EVERYONE is our first priority. We don’t want to keep people from skiing, snowboarding and enjoying adventures on the mountains, but we have to play safe. We are hopeful that state guidance on multiple household gatherings will ease in the coming month and we can then move on to Phase 2 of programs, which will include one staff, intern or volunteer with 1 household of athlete plus companions who can assist with lifts and equipment.

Check back often for updates.

Phase 1 Ski & Ride Essential Eligibility Criteriaread here

Phase 1 Off-Site Programs Essential Eligibility Criteriaread here

 

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Dec. 7, 2020

Winter Programs & Volunteer Update:

Current State of Vermont restrictions on gatherings (including those from different households) and activities include a prohibition of organized sports due to the pandemic. According to the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, effective at 10 p.m., Nov. 14, 2020, these businesses and organizations shall not serve public or private social, recreational or entertainment gatherings until further notice. A household may still patronize the business, but not for special events or events that encourage socializing between households. Unfortunately, this applies to Vermont Adaptive’s winter programs at the current time.

We are hopeful that we will have winter programs begin at some point on or after Jan. 2, 2020, but as of this writing, we just don’t know if that will happen. The decision to have winter programs will be made based on State and CDC guidelines. In addition, due to the pandemic, we are subject to our Resorts’, State and Federal changes, which will impact our programs (i.e., ticketing, rental and pass processes that our volunteers have been used to in the past, plus travel guidelines and restrictions, etc.). While this is disappointing to all of us here at Vermont Adaptive, we remain committed to our number one priority – keeping everyone: our staff, interns, participants, volunteers, caregivers and other members of our crew, safe and healthy, and to returning to play as soon as it’s safely possible to do so.

VOLUNTEERS – When we do get the green light, we want to be able to return to programs as seamlessly as possible. Without your help now, we will be scrambling when orders are lifted.

PLEASE take care of your volunteer requirements as soon as possible. We anticipate online volunteer orientation being available in about two weeks. BUT ONLY volunteers who have COMPLETED the requirements will have access to this training.

This applies to all new and RETURNING volunteers:

1. Go to https://www.vermontadaptive.org/users/volunteer_create_account

2. Log In using your username and password OR create a new account if you have not done this form before. If you do not remember or have a password, please email Tom at [email protected]

3. Edit/Confirm/Enter your current information.

4. Follow Additional Prompts

Once you have submitted your application, you will receive additional information regarding the background check, SafeSport Training and COVID requirements. You will also be invited to online training once the courses are activated.

In addition, we will have a mask requirement this winter, so please take note of that: Vermont Adaptive Mask Requirement as of 11/10/2020 – When at Vermont Adaptive programs and locations, a mask or fabric face covering of two or more layers, and specifically designed to prevent the spread of infection, is required to be worn at all times indoors and when outside when within 10 feet of each other. A neck warmer or neck tube must meet this standard otherwise it does not qualify as a mask or face covering. This requirement has been developed based on CDC and state guidelines.

 

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Nov. 13, 2020

Reservations & Program Update:

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has issued new restrictions on gatherings and has extended his State of Emergency through Dec. 15, 2020. As a result of his announcements today, Vermont Adaptive has suspended all programs and in-person activity for the remainder of the Fall 2020 season. We are hopeful to resume with Winter Programs on or around Jan. 2, 2021. These decisions will be made based on State and CDC guidelines. While this is disappointing to all of us here at Vermont Adaptive, we remain committed to our number one priority – keeping everyone: our staff, interns, participants, volunteers, caregivers and other members of our crew, safe and healthy and to return to play as soon as its safely possible to do so. Stay tuned to this page, and our social media channels for updates for winter operations and programming. Be well. We are still taking winter reservations at this point, but there is no guarantee that we will be offering them or when so please keep that in mind as you make your plans. Thank you. Make Winter Reservations Here.

 

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Nov. 10, 2020

Vermont Adaptive Mask Requirement as of 11/10/2020

When at Vermont Adaptive programs and locations, a mask or fabric face covering of two or more layers, and specifically designed to prevent the spread of infection, is required to be worn at all times indoors and when outside when within 10 feet of each other. A neck warmer or neck tube must meet this standard otherwise it does not qualify as a mask or face covering. This requirement has been developed based on CDC and state guidelines.

 

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Sept. 16, 2020:

Winter is Coming and We’re Getting Ready! 

With the continued public health crisis because of Coronavirus/COVID-19, our first priority continues to be to protect our entire Vermont Adaptive community. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and community at large here at Vermont Adaptive is the only aspect that is important right now.

We are adjusting our winter plans to ensure the wellbeing of this community. Winter will look and feel different this year, there’s no question about that. Thankfully, our snow sports take place in outdoor space naturally, which helps with physical distancing plus the need to wear masks, gloves and more during the colder months. We are working closely with our resort partners (Killington/Pico Mountain, Sugarbush, Bolton Valley, Suicide Six, etc.) to work within their plans, while creating a Return to Winter Play plan of our own, which will include maximizing outside spaces, getting ready in cars when possible, limiting close contact (and when there is a need to be within 6 feet following all Vermont State and CDC guidelines), a new way to make reservations, volunteer involvement and training, and much more.

Please stay tuned in the coming months as we begin to announce our thoughtful plans and guidelines for Winter Programs 2020-2021. All of our Return to Play Guidelines are online, and once our winter plans are finalized, they will be included here as well. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe and enjoy the cooler fall months – winter will be here before you know it!

 

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July 7, 2020:

Welcome Back – We are Returning to Play!

We are excited to begin Phase I of our Return to Play plan. The health and safety of all participants, volunteers, interns, and staff is our number one priority. We developed our phased plan based on guidance from local and national authorities, Vermont State guidelines and governor recommendations, and the CDC, as well as collaborating with adaptive and recreation programs around the world.

Our programs will look and feel different than in the past as we return to play. To start, we will operate only in outdoor locations where we know we have room to spread out and stay physically distant.

Anyone, including participants, staff, interns, family, caregivers, friends, and volunteers, who have high-risk considerations because of underlying health issues or their age should consider not participating in Vermont Adaptive programs.  Choosing to participate is solely at the risk of the individual and not Vermont Adaptive.  If in doubt, we encourage you to stay home and stay safe.

To learn more and make reservations, visit our Return to Play page for more information.

 

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June 25, 2020:

Program Update

Thank you to all the participants, donors, and fundraisers who helped us make the Virtual Vermont Adaptive Charity Ride a success this year, especially during these crazy times. To date we have raised $211,000 of our $300,000 goal and we’ll keep fundraising until the end of June through this event. If you are able, please consider making a donation online at our website. Not long after our last update, the Governor of Vermont extended the State of Emergency and the “Be Smart, Stay Safe” plan until July 15.  The entire Vermont Adaptive staff is working hard to get programs ready, open, and safe while being in compliance with the Governor’s orders. We are deep into our own phased “Return to Play” plan and will have more information on trainings and programs out as soon as we can. When we do return to play, the “how we play” will be critical so we can keep everyone – participants, families, volunteers and staff – safe and healthy. We are on track and hope for some in-person connections to start happening in July, but everything still remains tentative as we wait for the latest recommendations from the State. We have been working hard to modify our procedures and develop different ways to play with everyone’s health and safety in mind. We adapt, right? That’s what we do. Some might argue we’re really being put to that test right now! We can’t wait to see you soon so stay tuned to your emails, Facebook, Instagram, and our website as we continue to roll out a plan to Return to Play. Thanks.

 

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May 28, 2020:
Program Update

Our programming team Tom, Felicia, Carrie, Misha, and Norm continue to plan ahead for summer adventures. We are watching and listening closely to Vermont Governor Scott’s “Be Smart, Stay Safe” plan with the Vermont Department of Health and the CDC guidelines as Vermont continues to gradually re-open. The Be Smart, Stay Safe order is in place through June 15, although the Governor continues to slowly add exceptions to this plan. Right now, we are tentatively working toward having small clinics of volunteer trainings beginning in early July, and then some plan for opening programs later that month. However, based on state and CDC guidelines, and the plans of our partners, we still don’t know what programming will look like, but we can say it probably won’t look like it has in the past, at least for this summer. Nothing is set in stone and these benchmarks for dates are only tentative. Please stay tuned to our emails and website as we continue to get more information from state officials as to what we can and cannot do, and what types of modifications must be made. All of our planning involves, most importantly, the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff. Thank you all for your patience; please be well and stay safe – we will play again!

How You Can Help Now. Get involved with online training opportunities, webinars and certifications now so you’ll be ready to volunteer when we can set dates for training. Check out the Volunteer Resources we have online.

Also, we anticipate an increase in programming demand due to the fact that we all have limited access to sports and recreation  – and we’ll need that access more than ever in the coming months. Your help today will in turn help a vulnerable population that is stuck inside right now. If you can, please consider making a donation to Vermont Adaptive to help our staff continue to plan for re-opening. Donations now will allow us to be ready when we get the green light to start up programming again. This is a new world, but what is not new is you and our community with you in it! Thanks for all you do. Click through to donate.

 

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May 6, 2020:
Program Update: What We Know, What We Don’t & How You Can Help

What do we know? We want to play! What we don’t know – exactly when that will happen. Our programming team of Norm, Tom, Felicia, Carrie and Misha have been hard at work building various plans for different scenarios of what programming might look like when we re-open. Just like the state of Vermont is “gradually” re-opening some things, we may do the same. Our hope is to have some variation of programming starting soon, but that is still tentative and much to be determined. Please stay tuned to our emails and website as we continue to get more information from state officials as to what we can and cannot do, and what types of modifications must be made. All of our planning involves, most importantly, the health and safety of our participants, volunteers and staff. Thank you all for your patience; please be well and stay safe – we will play again!

How You Can Help Now. We anticipate an increase in programming demand due to the fact that we all have limited access to sports and recreation  – and we’ll need that access more than ever in the coming months. Your help today will in turn help a vulnerable population that is stuck inside right now.

If you can, please consider making a donation to Vermont Adaptive to help our staff continue to plan for re-opening. Donations now will allow us to be ready when we get the green light to start up programming again. This is a new world, but what is not new is you and our community with you in it! Thanks for all you do. Click through to donate.

 

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March 23, 2020:
A Monday Message from Our Executive Director

Dear Vermont Adaptive Friends,

We miss you! This is not how we usually have fun, celebrate together, welcoming spring and say goodbye to winter. But one thing I know for sure, we WILL play again soon!

What we know is that the upcoming weeks will feel uncertain, and our hope is we can provide you with some resources, fun content, video, stories and more that will help you get through this “new normal.” Our first concern is the safety and well-being of our community – THAT’S YOU – so please take care of yourself and let us know how you’re doing. We’re here for you!

Our program staff is working remotely, planning for a great summer of mountain biking, hiking, cycling, rock climbing, paddling, CORE Connections, and more.

Beginning this week, we’ll send out emails on Wednesdays, keeping you in the loop about what’s up here at Vermont Adaptive, sharing stories, and offering up some suggestions on how you can incorporate health, wellness and recreation into your day, all while following CDC guidelines in order to “flatten the curve.” Be sure to follow us on our social channels too!

What do you want to hear about from us?? Let me know! It’s important that we help you find the resources YOU need about health and wellness – our #sportsforeverybody motto continues, even if it is virtual for awhile.

With the information and recommendations we have today, we’re all working toward a usual June 1 summer program kickoff. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for updates.

Kind Regards,
Erin Fernandez Executive Director

 

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March 13, 2020:
Programs Suspended for the Remainder of the 2019-2020 Winter Season

Dear Vermont Adaptive Friends,

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that all Vermont Adaptive programs are suspended for the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter season, effective at the end of the day today, Friday, March 13. If you have reservations anytime from Saturday, March 14 through the rest of the winter season, program coordinators will be in touch if they haven’t reached you already. No new reservations for future programs will be accepted at this time. Program spaces will be closed for the winter season and all programs from Saturday, March 14 and on are suspended.

As you know, we have been monitoring the ongoing health situation related to Coronavirus/COVID-19. With the World Health Organization declaring a Pandemic, the Vermont Adaptive Board of Directors, along with myself, the staff, and many leaders in our community know suspending programs for the remainder of the winter season is the prudent, safe and only decision to make at this time.

Our first priority is to protect our Vermont Adaptive community, which includes many older folks as well as those with chronic medical conditions or compromised immune systems. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and community at large here at Vermont Adaptive is the only aspect that is important right now.

Thank you for your understanding and patience as information has been unfolding rapidly. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you all as necessary when information is available from the CDC and the state of Vermont.

Please remember – YOU are the reason we do what we do here at Vermont Adaptive on a year-round basis.

All of us at Vermont Adaptive sincerely wish our community the best in health. Program coordinators, directors, and I are all available by phone or email to answer any questions you may have regarding reservations, future programs or special events. Be on the lookout for emails and social media posts with updates plus other stories and information to keep you in the spirit of sport until programming can resume.

Kind Regards,
Erin Fernandez, Executive Director

Specific Information for Participants:
• All lessons and programs are suspended for the remainder of the season, beginning March 14.
• Program space at each location will be open until 4 p.m. Sunday for participants to collect any personal items or to return Vermont Adaptive items like borrowed equipment, etc. Again, there will be NO lessons or programs beginning tomorrow, March 14.
• For the remainder of the season, if you visit our mountain resort partners, you will be doing so at your own risk and will need to use each resort’s public spaces, lodges and facilities. Program space will not be available for any individuals to use as a “homebase” if they choose to visit the resort. Participants should not schedule lessons directly with volunteers.
• Vermont Adaptive equipment will not be available for participant use under any circumstances.

Specific Information for Volunteers:
• All lessons and programs are suspended for the remainder of the season, beginning March 14.
• Program space at each location will be open until 4 p.m. Sunday for volunteers to collect any personal items or to return Vermont Adaptive items like borrowed equipment, etc. Again, there will be NO lessons or programs beginning tomorrow, March 14. Beginning Monday, March 16, program staff will be working remotely and the program spaces will be closed for the remainder of the winter season.
• If you choose to visit our mountain resort partners any time during the remainder of the season, you will be doing so at your own risk and will need to use each resort’s public spaces, lodges and facilities. • Program space will not be available for any individuals to use as a “homebase” if they choose to visit the resort. • Volunteers should not schedule lessons directly with participants. Failure to follow this may result in suspension or termination from participating in the future.
• Vermont Adaptive equipment will not be available for participant or volunteer use under any circumstances.
• We are working through details with our resort partners regarding tickets for the remainder of the season and will follow up with you when we have specific details about that. Sugarbush volunteers can pick up their RFID cards from Felicia this weekend.

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March 11, 2020:
Vermont Adaptive’s Response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 as of March 11, 2020

Dear Vermont Adaptive Friends,

We have been monitoring the ongoing health situation related to Coronavirus/COVID-19. The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and community at large here at Vermont Adaptive is our top priority. In our ongoing efforts to protect our community, Vermont Adaptive strongly advises anyone in high risk groups based on the CDC’s information (including older people and those with chronic medical conditions) to not attend Vermont Adaptive programs until revised guidance is issued.

You can learn more about the ongoing health situation at the CDC’s website here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

All of us at Vermont Adaptive sincerely wish our community the best in health. We love providing the programs that we do and know you love getting out and enjoying the Green Mountains of Vermont. But, we also have many people counting on us who are aging, have underlying health concerns or suppressed immune systems.

If you do not feel well, please stay home and rebook your lesson or volunteer shift.  We also cannot guarantee the availability of volunteer-instructors for existing or newly booked lessons. Anyone canceling regular reservations for lessons, with reasonable notice, will not be assessed any cancellation charges.

We will continue to monitor the situation and follow and update as necessary with new guidelines and information as they evolve from the CDC and the state of Vermont. Thank you for understanding.

Be well,
Erin Fernandez, Executive Director

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