Confluences River Expeditions is confident in its ability to provide world-class river experiences for our guests during the COVID-19 pandemic, by utilizing important precautions to mitigate risk. Our team is well-versed in operating trips throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons that allowed for wonderful river trips, while following best practices developed in conjunction with our risk management team. While the situation is currently evolving and our plan will adapt with new information, our precautions currently include:
Expectations: We expect all guides, staff, and guests to be familiar with and follow the guidance provided by state and local authorities for mitigating the spread of COVID-19. And, while we are strongly encouraging guides and guests to get vaccinated for COVID-19, we know not everyone has that option currently.
Enhanced Screening: We ask guests to exercise extra caution leading up to their trip and closely monitor themselves for symptoms.
COVID Protocols: If a guest or guide exhibits COVID symptoms while on a trip, we will consult with local agencies on availability and justification for evacuation as soon as possible (evacuations will be at the expense of the evacuated individuals). These individuals will also be isolated from others and we will follow our treatment and evacuation protocols to provide appropriate medical treatment. Testing for COVID-19 will be performed at the earliest opportunity and CRE will notify the appropriate agencies along with all trip participants of the results. Additionally:
- Inform us of any COVID-19 symptoms you/your family experience before, during, or after your trip or if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days prior to your trip or within 5 days after the final day of your CRE trip
- Whenever possible, maintain a physical distance of at least six feet from CRE staff and other people who are not part of your household or with whom you did not travel to the meeting place for your trip (your travel unit)
- Generally, when at least six feet of distance isn’t possible, a properly-worn face covering will be required for all unvaccinated guests, including at the pre-trip meeting, in vehicles & aircraft, and in food lines (if applicable). Vaccinated guests and guides are not required to wear masks unless recently exposed.
- Personal gear will be assigned for the whole trip, clearly marked and distinguishable from others (PFD, helmet, dry bags, tent, sleep kit, sleeping pad, etc.)
- Frequent & thorough hygiene practices like hand washing and reducing or eliminating shared items
- Parents are responsible for ensuring their children adhere to all mitigation procedures while on the trip
- When traveling with our charter transportation companies (Gem Air Aviation, Harlows Transportation, Caldwell Transportation) guests are required to follow their COVID-19 protocols.
Face Coverings: Guests who are unvaccinated will be expected to utilize face coverings in many situations: when indoors and/or 6′ separation cannot be maintained. Times include at the pre-trip meeting, when entering any building, while traveling in a vehicle or aircraft and when waiting in line for meals. Generally, however, for guests who are fully vaccinated, face coverings are not required unless recently exposed.
Sanitation and Hygiene: CRE has always prioritized a high standard of sanitation and hygiene, but we have refocused on certain protocols when it comes to transportation, equipment, hand washing, and food service.
- As for our equipment, we have reduced or eliminated shared items, by assigning personal gear (including helmets, PFDs, tents, sleep kits, and dry bags) for the whole trip. These are clearly marked and distinguishable from others. Communal items are sanitized frequently. Following every trip, all equipment is properly sanitized or laundered.
- CRE additionally emphasizes hand washing by bringing two to three foot pump-operated hand wash stations to every camp as well as a supply of hand sanitizer (each boat is equipped with soap and/or hand sanitizer). We also ask guests to bring their own supply of hand sanitizer for more convenient personal use when other options are not available.
- When packing, preparing, or otherwise handling food, CRE staff wear disposable gloves.
Traveling Responsibly: We ask all guests to please be aware of their potential impacts on the small communities they may travel through on their trip. Important considerations include: Physical distancing, avoiding crowded places like restaurants and bars, and not traveling at all if you have symptoms. We also recommend driving instead of flying if at all possible. An outbreak in a small community could end your river trip and work for our employees—but more importantly it could be devastating for that community.