Moondance Covid-19 Response
Moondance Kayak Response to COVID-19
While some of our policies will stay the same as last year, a few things will be changing as well. CDC and Washington State now allow more households to gather at a time, so you can expect to be in a group tour with folks that may be outside of your household. We generally will stick to 8 people on a tour, however there may be times where you will be in a group up to 12 or if you book a private trip you would be allowed to have more people in your group. We are following the Governors Outdoor Recreation requirements based on the phase we are in for the county where we are operating. Most of our in-house requirements are stricter than the governors to ensure safety to our small team of guides and staff, for example we still are not providing transportation at this time. All of our guides as of (05/01/21) are fully vaccinated. As always, if you have any specific questions about our protocols please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. Whatcom County is currently in Phase 3 in the Governors Safe Start Re-Opening Program.
*Below Updated 6/25/2020
As a past, present, or prospective guest with Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures, you are part of our family and you should know the health and safety of our guests and staff is our top priority.
We will officially be re-opened to our full 2020 operations by July 3rd, with limited opportunities starting June 19th, 2020. Due to the impacts we faced as a small business, we will be forced to operate in a limited capacity, with adjusted policies during the 2020 summer season based on Washington Safe Start Business Requirements. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding in advance. Please read on to find out more.
Cancellation of Moondance Kayak Overnight Kayak Tours
In the primary interest of protecting the health and safety of our guests and employees, and to abide by federal, state and local directives regarding social distancing and staying close to home we are considering cancellations of upcoming trips approximately 3 weeks prior to departure. In some cases, as the current situation continues to evolve, we may delay making a determination until 14 days prior to departure. At this point in time we are cleared to run overnight kayak tours per Phase 2 recommendations in Washington State.
Cancellation of Moondance Kayak Day/Evening Tours
Here in Washington State we are operating on a phased approach to re-open businesses. We have now been cleared to open our doors, however there is still work to be done to ensure safety and health of all of our stakeholders prior to running our day trips. We will consider cancellations of day/evening tours for upcoming trips approximately 1 week prior to departure. Any trips that are cancelled by Moondance will be fully refundable.
Like many in the tourism industry, our small family-owned business and employees are being hit hard by this. We know this is likely a difficult time for you, as well, and our hope is to also do right by our valued guests. Please contact us directly if you have a concern regarding your pre-booked kayak multi-day kayak tour.
When we are allowed to get back to work (Re-opening June 19th, 2020)
When we do return to running trips later this season, per our enhanced screening protocols, we may (at our discretion) decline service to a guest and/or remove a staff member from the schedule under the following circumstance:
- If a guest or guide has been in close contact with someone (within approximately 6 feet for any sustained period of time) of a person known to have COVID-19 within the 14 days prior to the scheduled trip.
- If a guest or staff member develops flu-like symptoms (a fever, cough, and shortness of breath) during the 14 days prior to a scheduled trip.
- Group sizes will strictly adhere to a 1:8 guest to guide ratio per trip. We will follow the Governors Safe Start Re-Opening plans as they pertain to outfitters and guides for group sizes.
- All guests must adhere to Social Distancing with 6ft between other people and are required to bring a face mask for themselves to be used on land during tutorials.
- Employee’s will no longer greet guests with a hand-shake or hugs at the end of the trip (as many of us feel like family by the end) but please know we still appreciate you and are excited to meet you!
- We will have an enhanced protocol and procedure manual for all staff and guides that includes up-to-date operational information and any changes recommended by CDC or State health officials.
Of course, most of these measures require self-identification so we may ask all guests and staff to sign and/or verbally state a declaration of health until further notice. We will continue to update our protocols as the situation evolves and more information becomes available.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
What will Moondance do to ensure social distancing?
Group sizes will strictly adhere to WA State Recommended group sizes based on what phase the state and county are operating in. As always, we will never go over a 1:8 guest to guide ratio.
Added Private trip options so that “family units” or “quarantine buddies” can go on their own trip without anyone outside their unit, besides their guide.
Groups will stay spread out (6 ft or more between each person) during land orientation and safety instruction. Guides and Guests are required to wear face masks when on land giving tutorials on public launch sites until further notice. Masks will not be required when in our kayaks unless physical distance of 6 or more feet can not be met. We recommend keeping your face mask in your PFD pocket for easy access while paddling.
Due to the nature of sea kayaking our paddles help us social distance as we will have at least 7 feet side to side between boats when paddling.
Guests will meet staff at kayak launch locations, transportation will temporarily be unavailable on Lummi Island until further notice.
What sanitary measures does Moondance Kayak have in place?
As always, we will have plenty of hand sanitizer on each trip and keep it more available than ever to our guests.
Disinfectant spray on all kayak touch points & paddle touch points after every trip. For any equipment that bleach mix is not recommended to use (ie pfds) a gear aid shampoo solution will be used and gear will be hung to dry prior to re-use.
Each person will be assigned specific gear for their use during the trip and asked to have them keep in the cockpit of their kayak when not being used (on beach).
Guests will also be encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and required to bring a face mask (for land use only) on any Moondance trip. We will also provide extra sanitizer.
In some instances we may not be able to operate everyday to ensure gear can be disinfected properly prior to the next tour.
Announcement from Washington Government:
All Washingtonians are required to wear cloth face coverings in public.
There are currently three face covering orders in place for Washington State: updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2:42 p.m
- As of revised guidance from the CDC and Washington State, fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks, unless they’re in a healthcare setting, correctional facility, homeless shelter, school, or business that requires them to. Fully vaccinated individuals are also still required to wear masks on public transportation.
- Starting July 25, 2020, all individuals are required to use face coverings in any shared spaces, public or private. This includes condo and apartment buildings, fraternities/sororities, hotels/motels, nursing homes, assisted living, and adult family homes.
- Starting July 7, 2020, businesses are required and enforce the use of face coverings by all customers, clients, and visitors.
- Starting June 26, 2020, all individuals must wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and in outdoor public settings when you can’t stay six feet apart from others.
- Starting June 8, 2020, employers are required to provide face coverings that must be worn by all employees who don’t work alone at no cost to the employee.
For more information, see this overview of COVID-19 statewide face covering requirements and the Masks and Face Covering Guidance from Washington State Department of Health.
Why Wear a Face Covering
Face coverings are an additional tool we can use to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. They protect others by blocking droplets that contain the virus from spreading to others when someone with the infection coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
Face coverings do not replace the need for frequent handwashing or social distancing measures.
Where You Need To Wear A Face Covering
Washington State residents and visitors who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings in most public settings. Wear a face covering when you are at any indoor or outdoor public space where you may be within six feet of someone who does not live with you.
Public spaces include:
- Stores that sell food and beverages, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, and farmer’s markets.
- Retail stores, such as auto supply stores, hardware stores, and garden stores.
- Restaurant take-out businesses. Employees who prepare, carry out, and deliver food must wear masks.
- Buses, rideshares, and other forms of public transportation.
- Workplaces for manufacturing, agriculture, construction, and other trades.
- Outdoor public settings when you cannot maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others.
Will I need to wear a mask on your trips?
CDC recommends wearing a face covering in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores, pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community based transmission.
Moondance trips meet at public and private launch locations. On our public launch locations (such as state parks or public land) we highly recommend wearing a face mask during our land orientation and keep them with you to wear again while loading gear at the end of the trip. Wearing a mask is a simple way for you to help us keep our guides protected, as they will be doing the same for you. We are not requiring proof of vaccine status, thus we are still asking for masks to be used at certain times, even though we now know outdoor spread is much less likely to occur.
**Please continue to check our policies on mask use as they are likely to change.**
When masks are worn and required:
– Employees will be provided with a CDC approved mask that is kept clean.
– Guests will provide their own mask for all tours.
– Disposable masks and gloves will NOT be available to guests. We due our best to be a sustainable kayak outfitter and although your health and safety is the a high priority, the environmental impact we make is also important to us as well. We know there is a time and place for disposable masks and you are welcome to bring one yourself. As our trips do take place outside, on a salt water ecosystem, we encourage re-usable masks as they tend to withstand outdoor elements such as rain and/or water. If you do not have access to a re-useable mask please let us know ahead of time and we will suggest trusted brands made by local companies here in Washington State.
What information are you basing your policies on and where are you finding it?
WA State Recommendations – A phased approach to recovery
As an industry, we are following recommendations and information on a national level from American Outdoors Association and on a local level we have partnered with other professional outfitters, with the support of Washington Outdoor Business Alliance, to provide a united front on procedures, working together to find the best path forward.
We hope you’ll rest assured knowing that our standard procedures have long featured strict adherence to best practices for sanitation, disinfection of communal surfaces, and availability of hand washing/sanitizing stations. Take confidence in knowing our team is working extra hard to ensure we meet or exceed CDC and State guidelines on our trips as well as at our warehouse and office.
As always, the safety of our guests and our staff is our primary concern. Please take necessary precautions to protect yourself before your trip and when traveling, and if you meet any of the criteria for our enhanced screening for COVID-19, please contact us immediately. If you are 60 or older, or if you have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, please feel free to give us a call and know that we advise you to contact your medical team for a recommendation of your participation on our trip. To provide for some additional flexibility during these uncertain times, we’ve modified our cancel/transfer policies for many of our trips, which will allow you, under certain criteria, to transfer your trip payments to a future departure with no added fees.
All things considered, we remain optimistic about the 2020 season, which will be our 28th year as a female owned kayak outfitter here in Washington State. We thrive on serving our guests high quality outdoor experiences and we hope to continue to do so for many more years to come. We believe being out on the water, away from the crowds, represents a welcome refuge from the hectic nature of our day-to-day lives.
From all of us at Moondance Kayak (both past and present) thank you for your support and love always, and especially now while we all adapt to a new operational standards. We look forward to welcoming you on a trip with us and spending time benefiting from nature’s healing qualities. It’s what we live for and it’s also our livelihood. Paddle high fives to you all and we hope to see you this summer! Until then, stay healthy. Thank you in advance for your sympathy, patience and support.
All the best to you and yours,
Kristi Kucera – Owner/Operator, Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures