COVID-19 and to develop a response plan

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March 18, 2020

Dear Members,

I am writing to convey important information from your Board of Directors relating to the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC response to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The SKGABC Board met for an emergency meeting on March 16, 2020 to review current information on strategies to help to flatten the curve of the spread of the virus COVID-19 and to develop a response plan in relation to SKGABC operations.

Both the Directors and myself regret to inform you that all Level 2 and Level 3 guide exams are cancelled for the time being. The Directors will reassess this decision on or before May 1, 2020. On behalf of the Board, we want to deeply thank all of our training partners and examiners for their dedication and collaboration in providing outstanding training.

In addition, we would like to inform you that the up-coming April 17-18th 2020 Spring Guide Exchange in Lund, BC will be cancelled. This decision was made in consultation with the SKGABC Board and the host organizations of the Exchange and in relation to current advice and directives from the BC Ministry of Health and the BC Center for Disease Control.

Our Directors want to acknowledge that Lund, BC is more remote and considered a low risk area at the moment, however some participants may have to travel from places across Canada and the Exchange will involve a concentrated group which puts everyone at risk. With this knowledge the Directors and host coordinators main desire is to support safety. Therefore the Directors feel that the best decision is to cancel the event -- so that participants needing to change their travel plans have ample time to do so.

We would also like to thank Christine Hollman and John Hermsen and their teams at Terracentric Coastal Adventures and Footprint Kayak & Hike Explorations for all the work they have done in planning for this spring Guide Exchange and we hope to make it out there for an Exchange very soon!

Our hope is that our Fall Guides  Exchange will be outstanding,  stay tuned for more information in regards to upcoming events. Additionally we will refund or credit your deposit or payment for the Guides Exchange and exams.

On Going Training requirements

The Directors understand that for many of you, this Exchange would fulfill your requirement for ongoing training for the next 3 years. For this reason, they have decided to extend the deadline for fulfillment by one year for all ongoing training submissions. 

First Aid Recertification

All active members are expected to hold valid first aid certificates. Under the current policy they may remain active for 90 days after their certificate expiry. For the foreseeable future, members may remain active if the effects of the pandemic have prevented them from safely re-certifying. It is expected that members re-certify as soon as possible after life returns to normal.

Courses

Please contact your course provider to see if they currently offering courses.

What else do you need to know?

There is a great deal of information available on how to minimize your risk of exposure to COVID-19 and what to do if you think you have it. The Public Health Agency of Canada is a solid place to start. Their information is data-based and measured.

 https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Another excellent resource targeted at adventure tourism operations can be found here:

https://www.adventuretravelnews.com/covid-19-guide-for-the-adventure-travel-industry

Below is another website containing information specifically targeted toward businesses.

COVID-19, Guide for Businesses and Organizations

I will be sending out additional information as the situation relating to the virus and SKGABC operations unfolds and I will endeavour to keep you up-dated on our Boards decisions in this regard.

If you have any suggestions for how the SKGABC board can further support our membership and community, please feel free to get in contact with myself or the Directors.

All the best,

Kevin Bradshaw

Executive Director,

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC