Current COVID-19 Precautions - Updated September 2021
Earth Native has been offering in-person classes throughout the pandemic (since June 2020). Since June 2020 we have had thousands of students attend our classes, interacting with each other and our staff for 100,000 hours of cumulative time. In those 100,000 hours of interaction, to date, we have had ZERO cases of COVID transmission at any of our programs. We are committed to continuing to implement responsible COVID safety policies (based on scientific data about the risks associated with COVID-19 spread outdoors) that allow us to keep all of our students and staff safe from COVID while still offering rich programming for our students.
Steps we are taking to greatly reduce the likelihood that illness will be spread at our programs:
All outdoors - Earth Native is 100% outdoors! Recent science has confirmed that the risk of COVID-19 spread outdoors is minimal and that outdoor activities are MUCH safer overall than indoor activities.
Spacing out at class - Luckily the outdoors provides us plenty of space to spread out! As long as COVID transmission remains high in our area we will be utilizing social distancing during periods of sustained idle contact with others to help prevent the spread of illness. For youth programs we utilize "double arm's length" as a social distancing tool during times of idle contact with others. For adult classes we recommend maintaining 6' of distance from others during sustained idle periods.
No sick students at class - Students experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 are not permitted to attend youth or adult classes. If you are sick, please let us know in advance so we can try and reschedule you.
Student Health Screenings - Earth Native staff will ask adult class participants and children's parents to certify prior to class that no one in the participant's household is experiencing symptoms of, or tested positive for, COVID-19 nor has anyone in the household been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to class.
Mask Wearing at Adult programs - Since the risk of outdoor spread of COVID-19 remains very low, we are currently not requiring mask use for students at any of our adult programs.
Mask Wearing at Youth Programs - Social distancing during periods of sustained idle close contact is our primary tool for combating the spread of COVID-19. Youth participants will not be required to wear a mask while outdoors when moving, playing, or when distanced double arm's length from one another during sustained idle periods. Masks are required for all youth students while in restrooms at McKinney Falls (for programs that take place there), if a group needs to seek shelter indoors to escape inclement weather, or if children would prefer to wear a mask instead of spacing out a bit during times of sustained idle close contact. Masks are a required item in backpacks for all youth programs.
Earth Native will continue to monitor the situation and seek counsel from our advising physician as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. We reserve the right to adjust our policies as needed at ANY TIME in order to keep our staff and program participants safe from the spread of COVID-19. If a parent would like their child to wear a mask at our programs more often than our policy requires, we will support that request.
Vaccine Note - Currently the vast majority of our staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated staff members are regularly tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis. All our staff, regardless of vaccination status and are monitored daily for symptoms of COVID-19.