COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

INTRODUCTION

This plan has been developed in accordance with the CDC, state of Vermont Department of Health, National Ski Areas Association Ski Well Be Well, Vermont Ski Areas Association, and Middlebury College protocols. The plan is built to be able to respond readily as the protocols and guidelines are subject to change quickly and without notice. 

Enjoy the winter,

Michael Hussey, General Manager, Middlebury Snow Bowl and Rikert Nordic Center

HOURS OF OPERATION:

With a planned opening day of December 1, 2020, the operating schedule of both ski areas will be as follows:

Snow Bowl:

The Snow Bowl will be open between 8:30 and 4:00 Wednesday through Sunday and closed Monday and Tuesday.

Rikert:

Rikert Nordic Center will be open 8:30 to 4:30 every day.

EVENTS:

  • If events occur, they will be governed by the guidelines from Middlebury College, NCAA, U.S. Skiing, EISA, NENSA, and VARA. 
  • Face coverings will be required at all times.
  • The lodge will not be available for athletes except for the restrooms.
  • Quarantine restrictions will be adhered to as per state guidelines.
  • Health screening will be performed at the beginning of each event.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE:

  • Signs will be prominently posted at all entrances stating that no one with a fever, respiratory illness, or symptoms of COVID-19 (see VDH guidance for the current symptom list) is allowed on premise.
  • Food service will be “grab and go” style service.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings when not eating.
  • All front-of-house surfaces will be disinfected regularly, including door handles, screens, phones, pens, and keyboards, as well as tables, chairs, and other areas of high hand contact frequently. 

GROOMING:

  • Snow grooming will proceed as normal and necessary. 
  • Grooming machines controls will be wiped down with appropriate cleaning solutions at the conclusion of all shifts.

LIFTS:

  • Lift line queuing will be managed in accordance with recommended guidelines for physical distancing and mask mandates.
  • Guests will be asked to self-group and load the chair with their traveling party. Lift attendants will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know.
  • Baileys Falls will not operate this season.

LODGE:

  • Please come to the mountain prepared to use your vehicle as your “tiny lodge.” Booting up, taking breaks, and eating will need to be done either in your vehicle or in the outdoor spaces provided on the decks. Bags will need to be stored in your vehicle.
  • Signs will be posted at all entrances clearly indicating that no one may enter the lodge if they have symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Due to the constraints of the lodge size, customer use of the lodge will be limited to restroom use, grab and go food service, and ski/snowboard rental department use. 
  • Non-skiing or riding people will not be permitted to wait in the lodge for their skiing and riding friends and family.
  • Access to handwashing and/or hand sanitizer for vendors and customers will be provided.

For those who are in the lodge, the following protocols will need to be followed:

  • Face coverings must be worn at all times.
  • Hand sanitizing is a necessity.
  • Physical distancing is required—six-foot minimum between folks.
  • All common spaces (when open) and equipment, including bathrooms, frequently touched surfaces and doors, tools and equipment, and vehicles will be cleaned regularly and, when possible, prior to transfer from one person to another, in accordance with CDC guidance.

PARKING:

  • Parking will be limited to ticketed customers only.
  • You may be asked for proof of purchase by the parking attendant. 
  • No trailers or recreational vehicles will be allowed in the parking lot.

RENTALS:

  • Day rentals will be available, although season leases may be more economical, and provide a more efficient experience.
  • Contactless reservation process will be used.
  • Due to space constraints, customer numbers will be limited to two people or one family unit at a time.
  • Equipment pickup and drop-off will be designed to allow for recommended physical distancing.
  • Contact surfaces will be disinfected regularly.
  • Equipment rented to guests will be cleaned and disinfected prior to use by the next guest.

SKI SHOPS:

  • Customer numbers will be limited for entering the retail shop based on space guidelines.
  • All contact surfaces will be regularly disinfected.
  • Touch-less transactions will be used whenever possible.

SKI PATROL:

  • Patients with signs/symptoms consistent with COVID-19 will not be treated or tended to by patrol unless patient has emergent trauma or respiratory distress. If only signs/symptoms of COVID-19 are present, patient will be instructed to return home immediately and contact primary provider. If patient must be treated for trauma or respiratory distress, elevated Personal Protective Equipment consistent with COVID-19 protocol must be worn.
  • Process will be established for admission to clinic, and access will be limited to patient and one family member or friend to accompany patient.

Personal Protective Equipment:

  • Patrollers must wear three-layer face covering at all times while inside or responding to patients.
  • Patrollers must also wear medical grade protective gloves and eye protections (goggles, face shield, wrap glasses) while assisting all patients.
  • When assisting patient with signs/symptoms of COVID-19, N95 respirator, face shield, Gore-Tex jacket, and medical gloves must be worn. 
  • All patients will be provided a three-layer face covering. This must be worn by patient for duration of care. Exceptions include patients being treated with oxygen therapy.

Patrol huts/clinics: Including Snow Bowl top hut, Snow Bowl bottom hut, Rikert clinic.

  • Facilities will be cleaned, sterilized, and aired out daily and as needed. Bathrooms will be sterilized more often as needed.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be appropriately available.
  • Patrol staff will be kept to a minimum inside with face coverings mandatory inside always.

SNOW SCHOOL:

  • All Snow School lessons (private and designated group) require a reservation by phone.  Lesson charges will be made by credit card at the time of reservation. There will no longer be Snow School Series programs.
  • Contact tracing information will be collected.
  • Lessons will occur at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. Snow School customers will meet at the Ski School bell in front of the lodge at the designated six-feet-apart areas. Lessons will be grouped by the customer’s private pod. All students must wear a face covering  and ride the chairlift independently or have a designated lift rider available. Instructors will not be riding with students on the chairlifts. 
  • There will be no school groups this season.
  • Wednesday adult program could continue but may be drop-in classes, not the prepaid 10-week program.
  • There will be no J-term classes for PE credit.
  • All Snow School instructors must adhere to Middlebury College COVID policies.

SNOWMAKING:

  • Snowmaking will operate as normal.
  • Where necessary, equipment (radios, hand tools, vehicle interiors) will be wiped down with the appropriate disinfectants.
  • Employees will follow face-covering and hand-cleaning protocols.

TICKETING:

Season Passes:

Day Tickets:

  • In order to follow guidelines on lift capacities, it will be necessary to limit ticket purchases.  All ticketing will be purchased online through our websites:

www.middleburysnowbowl.com and www.rikertnordic.com.

  • Day tickets will be sold in limited numbers.

Uphill Day Tickets:

  • Uphill day tickets will be sold online and totaled separately from day lift tickets.

EMPLOYEES

All staff and faculty are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined in the Middlebury College Return to Campus Guide  and the Middlebury College Return to Work Guide.

Noncompliance with COVID-19 campus health and safety guidelines could result in loss of access to Middlebury facilities, as well as corrective and/or disciplinary actions.

  • All employees, including those already working (except healthcare workers, first responders, and others already trained in infection control, personal protection/universal precautions), must complete, and employers must document, the training on mandatory health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard  by May 4, 2020, or before returning to operations. Employers who need translations of the training materials have one week from the time the materials are made available.
  • Employees must complete the safety and return to work requirements. www.middlebury.edu/office/midd2021/working-safely-middlebury
  • Employees shall not report to, or be allowed to remain at, work or job site if sick or symptomatic (with fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath). No symptomatic or COVID-19 positive workers are allowed on-site and any worker(s) who have contact with a worker or any other person who is diagnosed with COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • An on-site health officer will be assigned at every shift and is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Executive Order and the Addenda thereto and with applicable ACCD guidance. This person shall have the authority to stop or modify activities to ensure work conforms with the mandatory health and safety requirements.
  • Prior to the commencement of each work shift, all employees shall complete a health survey either in person at the work site or prior to arriving at the work site. This screening survey shall require an employee to verify that he or she has no symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, congestion or runny nose, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea) before they enter the workplace.
  • Accommodations for employees at higher risk from COVID-19 infection (as currently defined by the CDC) to work remotely or have job tasks that minimize public interaction will be considered.
  • Employees must wear face coverings over their nose and mouth when in the presence of others.
  • Employees must observe strict physical distancing of six feet while on the job. Customers shall observe strict physical distancing of six feet while on location, to the extent possible.
  • Occupants of designated common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, will maintain strict physical distancing of no less than six feet per individual. The occupancy limit will be enforced, and employees will be required to wipe down their area after use or shall ensure cleaning of the common areas at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • When working inside, open doors and windows to promote air flow to the greatest extent possible as weather permits and limit the number of people occupying a single indoor space.
  • No more than two people shall occupy one vehicle when conducting work.
  • Employees will have easy and frequent access to soap and water or hand sanitizer during duration of work, and handwashing or hand sanitization is required frequently, including before entering and leaving job sites.
  • Employees with the capacity to telework remotely when practical without impeding productivity will be encouraged to do so. The needs of high-risk individuals, those workers who may have childcare needs that cannot be met due to the closure of schools or childcare facilities for reasons relating to COVID-19, and those individuals with concerns about personal health circumstances will be met.
  • Use of shared workspaces, desks, offices, etc., is discouraged to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Face-to-face staff meetings will be limited, and physical distancing must be observed.
  • Staggered work shifts, break times, etc., and expanding hours to reduce number of individuals working together will be implemented to help physical distancing.
  • Limit staff travel between multiple sites.
  • Ensure a safe process to receive supplies and deliveries.

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS and RESOURCE LINKS:

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf   Pages 7–17

ACCD:  https://accd.vermont.gov/content/stay-home-stay-safe-sector-specific-guidance#outdoor-recreationPhased Restart Work Safe Guidance; : https://accd.vermont.gov/content/stay-home-stay-safe-sector-specific-guidance#consumer-retail-establishments; https://accd.vermont.gov/content/stay-home-stay-safe-sector-specific-guidance#bars-restaurants-catering-and-food-service

VDH: VDH Guidance for Communities and Workplaces 

Middlebury College:  Return to Campus Guide (for Vermont employees) and the Middlebury College Return to Work Guide (for all employees); https://www.middlebury.edu/office/midd2021/working-safely-middlebury

National Ski Areas Association: https://nsaa.org/Webdocs/Resources/Coronavirus/Playbook/SkiWellBeWell_2020.pdf

Vermont Ski Areas Association:  Link not yet available