Meeting the moment
When the world turned upside down back in early March 2020, we at the School of Lost Borders (SOLB) - like so many organizations - found ourselves staring at a wave of questions and considerations that were well outside of anything we'd faced before. In response, SOLB created the Coronavirus Response Council ("the CRC") to attempt some sense-making out of the rapidly changing information.
Covid Protocol Evolution
The CRC developed the first version of our Covid Backcountry Protocol in the summer of 2020. Since then, it has been through several updates and we anticipate it will continue to evolve as we lean into the changing landscape of living with Covid-19
A Word of Gratitude
In spite of all the challenges, we are immensely grateful to be able to once again offer many of our programs and it is validating to see that the protocols put in place only seem to have strengthened a container of care amongst participants. It is also reassuring, that the ceremony and the land seem undaunted by the changes…perhaps expanding to hold us closer… even as we have to sometimes physically move further away from one another.
August 2021 Update
In most of our groups, we find that over half of the participants are fully vaccinated, sometimes more. At the same time, Covid variants with greater transmission rates have been on the rise, and various countries and regions have seen increases in cases. The school continues to follow federal, state, and county regulations closely as well as CDC requirements and recommendations.
Our protocol intents to serve participants who are fully vaccinated as well as those who are not vaccinated, for medical, ethical or any other reason. Following are the most current highlights of the School's policy on distancing requirements and quarantines after air travel.
Follow this link to view the full, updated Covid Backcountry Protocol.
Highlights from the Protocol
Expectations upon arrival in the wilderness:
Upon arrival, you will be asked to share with the group your personal space needs and distancing preferences. Your guides will communicate the following school protocol distancing requirements:
Non-vaccinated: To keep with CDC recommendations, and minimize any risk of infections in the backcountry, the School requires a minimum of 6 feet distance between unvaccinated participants, and mask use for occasions where distance is less than 6 feet.
Vaccinated: Vaccinated group members are not required to distance but expected to respect other group members space needs and distancing preferences.
We are fortunate to work exclusively outdoors, and are grateful for the respect and care we are seeing among group members. In our experience with groups over the last few months, supporting one another’s individual needs has only strengthened the natural sense of community that comes from being in ceremony together.
Once personal and group safety boundaries are created we are able to sink into ceremonial space together and focus on the program.
Domestic Travel within the US:
Vaccinated: No quarantine or Covid testing is required for vaccinated people after domestic travel within the US. We ask however that you stay vigilant and talk to your guides if you experience any unwellness post flight.
Non vaccinated: Quarantine is required as follows:
- 7 days of quarantine with a viral test during days 3 -5 that turns out negative (total quarantine is 7 days).
- 10-day quarantine for those who do not get tested.
Feel free to contact your guides to help identify local testing centers and best places to quarantine.
Before you travel:
The CDC requires a negative test in order to enter the US. Make sure you understand and follow all airline and destination requirements related to travel, testing, or quarantine, which may differ from U.S. requirements. If you do not follow your destination’s requirements, you may be denied entry and required to return to the United States.
After you arrive (vaccinated):
- Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel.
- Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; isolate and get tested if you develop symptoms.
After you arrive (non-vaccinated):
Arrive 7-10 days before program begin. Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
- Even if you test negative, self-quarantine for the remainder of the 7 days after arrival.
- If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
- If you don’t get tested, self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
We are aware that the quarantine protocol makes it hard for people to attend who rely on flying from other countries, and we hope that these general guidelines will relax more as cases come down. There are many great Rites of Passage organizations in the US and around the world, please contact us for more information if you are from abroad and would like to consider a program with another ROP organization.
Extra Precautions for Non-Vaccinated Participants
- Please lower your exposure level starting 10 days prior to the program.
- We encourage you to travel alone by car, if possible. If you rely on the option to carpool, please contact your guide for more information.
- Due to sensitive communities in many of our program locations, we encourage you to come prepared and avoid local business to minimize potential local spread.
We will continue to keep an eye on state and federal policy changes, rapid testing and vaccination considerations as well as ongoing safety including staying abreast of local emergency resources where programs are offered.
Feel free to reach out with any questions and please stay tuned to our website for the latest information about programs to come!
Our commitment to the safety vow has long been the container that allows everything we do to flourish and thrive. We remain in solidarity with all of humanity in expanding this call to care for the safety, health, and well-being of the collective. With this in mind, the School will cancel programs if a COVID surge occurs in the area where the program was scheduled to take place (according to State and local mandates and local ICU capacity).