Bold Earth’s Approach to COVID-19
Updated May 23, 2022.
The safety of our students and leaders will continue to be our top priority this upcoming summer. We are once again partnering with our medical advisor Dr. Andy Morris, who consults on our approach to COVID-19 in addition to other medical situations that may arise.
While no one can guarantee an environment free of risk from COVID-19, we are focused on taking reasonable preventative measures to safeguard our students and leaders. It’s essential that students and families help us minimize the risk of infection.
All students who attend Bold Earth’s summer programs are required to be fully vaccinated as defined by the CDC against COVID-19. Bold Earth will require students enrolled on international programs to receive any eligible booster doses. Exemptions to the booster dose requirement for international programs will be considered on a case-by-case basis. For domestic programs, Bold Earth highly encourages students to receive all eligible booster doses but is not currently requiring them.
For U.S. trips only, Bold Earth will also accept students who have had a prior confirmed case of COVID-19 and one dose of an approved vaccine; we will also consider requests for medical exemptions on U.S. trips.
Please understand that this is a living document that may change. If we change our policies and procedures we will notify families via email. We understand and appreciate the trust you have put in us, and we promise to continue to operate with the integrity, transparency, and kindness that our families have come to expect from us. If you have questions regarding our approach to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (828)435-3971.
As always, thank you for your trust and confidence in Bold Earth.
VACCINES AND BOOSTERS
For our 2022 summer programs, Bold Earth is requiring all students and staff to be fully vaccinated for COVID-10. Students on international trips must have received all eligible booster shots at least two weeks prior to the departure of their trip.
In light of rising caseloads, Bold Earth is requiring all students to take a rapid antigen test in the 24-hour period prior to flying to their trip location. Students do NOT have to get a PCR/molecular test from a medical provider; they can take an at-home molecular or antigen test (including rapid tests). Bold Earth will NOT require proof of result; rather, we ask that families honor this requirement and call us immediately if their child tests positive.
For international families flying into the United States: It is your responsibility to stay updated on what the United States’ entry requirements are for travelers coming from your country.
In the 10 days leading up to the trip, all students must minimize exposure to COVID-19 by:
- Wearing a mask in public spaces, avoiding large crowds (especially in indoor spaces), practicing good hygiene like frequent hand-washing, and practicing social distancing.
- Adhering to local guidance and the CDC’s current requirements and recommendations.
MONITORING FOR COVID SYMPTOMS
In the 10 days leading up to the trip, families must monitor for COVID symptoms. (If a student experiences any of the following symptoms or other symptoms not listed that cannot directly be attributed to any other illness or if COVID-19 cannot be ruled out, families must call the Bold Earth office immediately.) COVID symptoms include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
KNOWLEDGE OF POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO COVID
In the 10 days leading up to the trip, families must call the Bold Earth office immediately if their child has a primary exposure* to a COVID-positive person.
*Primary exposure means spending more than 15 minutes within six feet of a COVID-positive person, sharing living quarters (home, dorm room, etc.), or spending less than 15 minutes if the exposure is high-risk (hugging, touching, kissing, riding in the same vehicle, etc.).
RISK MITIGATION DURING TRAVEL
When traveling to Bold Earth, whether flying or driving, students must adhere to current governmental and CDC guidance for traveling, including wearing a mask in the airport and on the plane (even if not currently required by the airline or FDA), washing hands frequently, and maintaining distance from others when possible.
PPE AT BOLD EARTH
Students may be required to wear a mask at Bold Earth, including (but not limited to) the following times/instances:
- When traveling in certain vehicles
- When social distancing is not possible when in contact with the general public
- When required by any third-party outfitter
- When required by local laws
TESTING AT BOLD EARTH
If a student starts exhibiting symptoms, they will be isolated and tested. If a student tests positive:
They will depart early from the trip. Families will be notified as soon as possible, and healthcare providers may be consulted.
Families must make arrangements to pick up their child within 48 hours of testing positive and being notified. The costs associated with testing and additional travel and lodging are the family’s responsibility.
In addition, the entire group may need to quarantine for a period of time as determined by local health authorities or by our medical director. We strongly suggest families purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance that includes COVID-19 coverage.
AFTER BOLD EARTH
All families are responsible for knowing and following any guidelines that apply to their student’s return to their country/state/province. It is the family’s responsibility to provide any testing materials their student may need in order to return to their country/state/province.
In the event a student tests positive within five days of returning home, families are asked to inform Bold Earth so further communication can be made if necessary.