UPDATED 3.31.20 – Will try to update every Monday if not more often
As a member of the Orange Torpedo Trips family we wanted to update you on our upcoming summer in regards to the spreading Covid-19 pandemic.
First, as you are well aware, we believe the safety of our guests and staff is a top priority for us. As you are also aware, this situation is evolving quickly with circumstances in flux. With both of these things in mind and the majority of our summer trips well in the future, for now we are simply advising everyone to purchase travel insurance through a legitimate insurance provider and carefully review of the policy you choose to ensure they give you coverage you are comfortable with. We would advise booking your policy immediately after booking your trip and looking into cancel for any reason coverage.
We so strongly believe this is a good idea we are willing to pay the premium for travel insurance purchased before April 30, 2020, if you end up using the insurance for a reason related to Covid-19. So if you book a trip, purchase travel insurance and then due to Covid-19 related reasons, need to cancel your trip and your claim is honored by the insurance company, we will reimburse you the cost of your insurance premium paid when you purchased the policy. Our hope is you do not need this policy, but if you do we hope the policy is there for you. For years we have asked our guests to purchase travel insurance as it has a number of other great benefits depending on the policy you choose. Those benefits can include protection against forest fire cancellations, the cost of medical evacuation from the canyon and a number of their benefits. Finally, whether you choose to purchase travel insurance or not, we ask for everyone to take a look at our regular cancellation policies.
Second, as our river trip season begins we are going to take our normally robust cleanliness practices and expand them further in our efforts to protect both our guests and staff. These practices will evolve as advisories change and best practices are formed but as of today here are some of our plans. We will include more robust cleanings of our facilities, vehicles, camp equipment and river equipment. We will also increase our hand washing and hand sanitizer stations on all trips. We are considering altering boat makeups so only single family units can be in a raft together or two small groups can be separated by the advised 6 feet. We are evaluating different ways to facilitate shuttles to keep people separated. We are looking at serving food at the lodges outside to prevent people from being as confined inside. Additionally, if any staff member shows any CDC stated signs of illness, or risk of illness, in the 72 hours before a launch that staff member will be removed from further trips until they no longer show any signs of illness or have been in isolation for long enough to ensure they are no longer a risk. We also ask that guests honor the health of others and let us know if they are showing any signs/symptoms or risks (which can be found here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html) leading up to their trip. We will not allow anyone, guest or staff, to join a trip if we become aware they are showing any signs or symptoms or risks consistent CDC descriptions of Covid-19 prior to launch. This is just a starting point and these will evolve as we better understand what possibilities are available.
As of today we are talking with everyone in April and May trips to discuss options. Everyone has been incredibly generous in their willingness to demonstrate patience and sympathy for the situation we are all in. At this point our hope is to make the final call on Multi-day trips for late April by April 10th; May 1-15 trips by April 15th, May 16-June 1 trips by May 1st. If you need to make your final call earlier just call and we will work with you.
While we are all going through turbulent and unpredictable times now we are hopeful about this upcoming summer and believe that our 51st season is going to be a wonderful one floating the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, including the Rogue, Salmon and many others. We are looking forward to splashing through waves, soaking in the sun, and escaping to the remote, un-populated places of the Pacific Northwest with you.
FINAL NOTE – The vast majority of outdoor travel businesses, like this one, are small family type businesses of people doing something they love. While this unprecedented event impacts industries across the spectrum it has the potential to uniquely impact travel based businesses. Please help ensure your favorite companies are around to adventure with you in the future by delaying your trips instead of cancelling them. Even consider booking trips for 2021 now to help your favorite small outfitters. Like buying a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant, this will help make sure these businesses are around to serve you when this is all over.