CORONAVIRUS UPDATES

Dear Chesapeake Bay Outward Bound School community, 

As we continue to learn about confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the globe, as well as in Maryland and Washington D.C., we want to share updates on actions we are taking at CBOBS. We are actively following the recommendations set forth by the Maryland Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). See below for updates and statements from our team as well as those shared from Outward Bound USA. We will continue to add to this page as more information is made available. 

To Our Students, Families, Program Partners and the Outward Bound Community,

Outward Bound USA shares your concern over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and its impact on our students, families and communities. Our priority continues to be the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Outward Bound USA is working in coordination with all 11 Outward Bound Schools across the U.S. as well as industry peers and state and national health authorities. Together, we continue to monitor and assess the evolving situation and take appropriate action regarding Outward Bound programs in and originating from the United States.

Course/Program Information for Parents, Students, Partners and Clients:

All international and domestic programs offered by Outward Bound in the United States will be suspended through May 31st. Outward Bound USA is committed to reducing the rate of ‘community spread’ and its emerging systemic impact on public health. While the landscape is changing daily, we remain hopeful that some, if not many summer courses will run. Check back periodically for updates as we continue to re-evaluate.

If you are concerned about the possibility of future cancellations due to potential COVID-19 related travel restrictions or a COVID-19 illness personally impacting your family, please know that we have updated our cancellation policy. We’ll be happy to explain it; please contact us at 866-467-7651.

Information for Staff and Supporters:

Outward Bound is a community, and our community gatherings and events are also impacted. On March 12th, Outward Bound USA recommended to our Schools and supporters that gatherings and events of over 50 people should be cancelled or postponed for at least a month. This recommendation includes all Staff, Alumni and Fundraising events, and is in alignment with CDC guidance.

In our workplaces, we seek to limit the potential of transmission by re-emphasizing hygiene practices, following CDC guidance, and encouraging social distancing. We are scaling down or eliminating in-person meetings and non-essential travel in favor of online or teleconference meetings. We are asking employees showing flu-like symptoms to work from home. And, in several regions, we are taking the lead from local governments and school districts and proactively encouraging all employees to work from home.

COVID-19 is an emerging issue and unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We will continue to monitor the situation and take proactive steps in support of the national effort to slow the spread of this disease and to reduce the risk of significant impacts to our students, our staff and our communities.

For reliable information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the resources below:
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

The Outward Bound Community is resilient. We will continue to tap into our values, our strengths and lean on one another, with compassion, in the coming weeks and months. We will face this challenge, like those we equip our students to face in life, with an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion. We are incredibly grateful for your understanding and support.

Please check this page for updates.

Sincerely,
Josh Brankman
Executive Director
Outward Bound USA

March 24, 2020

To Our Students, Families, Program Partners and the Outward Bound Community,

Outward Bound USA shares your concern over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and its impact on our students, families and communities. Our priority continues to be the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Outward Bound USA is working in coordination with all 11 Outward Bound Schools across the U.S. as well as industry peers and state and national health authorities. Together, we continue to monitor and assess the evolving situation and take appropriate action regarding Outward Bound programs in and originating from the United States.

Course/Program Information for Parents, Students, Partners and Clients:

All international and domestic programs offered by Outward Bound in the United States will be suspended through April 15. Outward Bound USA is committed to reducing the rate of ‘community spread’ and its emerging systemic impact on public health, and for this reason has decided to suspend all Outward Bound programming in and originating from the United States over the next 30 days.

If you are concerned about the possibility of future cancellations due to potential COVID-19 related travel restrictions or a COVID-19 illness personally impacting your family, please know that we have updated our cancellation policy. We’ll be happy to explain it; please contact us at 866-467-7651.

Information for Staff and Supporters:

Outward Bound is a community, and our community gatherings and events are also impacted. On March 12th, Outward Bound USA recommended to our Schools and supporters that gatherings and events of over 50 people should be cancelled or postponed for at least a month. This recommendation includes all Staff, Alumni and Fundraising events, and is in alignment with CDC guidance.

In our workplaces, we seek to limit the potential of transmission by re-emphasizing hygiene practices, following CDC guidance, and encouraging social distancing. We are scaling down or eliminating in-person meetings and non-essential travel in favor of online or teleconference meetings, when possible. We are asking employees showing flu-like symptoms to work from home. And, in several regions, we are taking the lead from local governments and school districts and proactively encouraging all employees to work from home.

COVID-19 is an emerging issue and unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We will continue to monitor the situation and take proactive steps in support of the national effort to slow the spread of this disease and to reduce the risk of significant impacts to our students, our staff and our communities.

For reliable information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the resources below:

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

The Outward Bound Community is resilient. We will continue to tap into our values, our strengths and lean on one another, with compassion, in the coming weeks and months. We will face this challenge, like those we equip our students to face in life, with an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion. We are incredibly grateful for your understanding and support.

Please check this page for updates.

Sincerely,

Josh Brankman
Executive Director
Outward Bound USA

March 17, 2020

To Our Students, Families, Program Partners and the Outward Bound Community,

Outward Bound USA shares your concern over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and its impact on our students, families and communities. Our priority continues to be the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Outward Bound USA is working in coordination with all 11 Outward Bound Schools across the U.S. as well as industry peers and state and national health authorities. Together, we continue to monitor and assess the evolving situation and take appropriate action regarding Outward Bound programs in and originating from the United States.

Course/Program Information for Parents, Students, Partners and Clients:

All international and domestic programs offered by Outward Bound in the United States will be suspended through April 15. Outward Bound USA is committed to reducing the rate of ‘community spread’ and its emerging systemic impact on public health, and for this reason has decided to suspend all Outward Bound programming in and originating from the United States over the next 30 days.

At this time, we plan to continue most domestic programs that are currently underway and in the field. Our decision to continue these courses is based on several factors: the wilderness settings and the small group size provide for natural ‘social distancing’ of these crews from the greater community; all students in the field are healthy and their courses commenced prior to the community spread of COVID-19 being reported and while the risk of exposure in most parts of the country was extremely low; and the implementation of updated field protocols for responding to signs of respiratory illness make completing the wilderness courses already underway the most reasonable course of action.

If you are concerned about the possibility of future cancellations due to potential COVID-19 related travel restrictions or a COVID-19 illness personally impacting your family, please know that we have updated our cancellation policy. We’ll be happy to explain it; please contact us at 866-467-7651.

Information for Staff and Supporters:

Outward Bound is a community, and our community gatherings and events are also impacted. On March 12th, Outward Bound USA recommended to our Schools and supporters that gatherings and events of over 50 people should be cancelled or postponed for at least a month. This recommendation includes all Staff, Alumni and Fundraising events, and is in alignment with CDC guidance.

In our workplaces, we seek to limit the potential of transmission by re-emphasizing hygiene practices, following CDC guidance, and encouraging social distancing. We are scaling down or eliminating in-person meetings and non-essential travel in favor of online or teleconference meetings, when possible. We are asking employees showing flu-like symptoms to work from home. And, in several regions, we are taking the lead from local governments and school districts and proactively encouraging all employees to work from home.

COVID-19 is an emerging issue and unlike anything most of us have seen in our lifetimes. We will continue to monitor the situation and take proactive steps in support of the national effort to slow the spread of this disease and to reduce the risk of significant impacts to our students, our staff and our communities.

For reliable information on the COVID-19 pandemic, please refer to the resources below:

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

World Health Organization (WHO)

The Outward Bound Community is resilient. We will continue to tap into our values, our strengths and lean on one another, with compassion, in the coming weeks and months. We will face this challenge, like those we equip our students to face in life, with an undefeatable spirit, tenacity in pursuit, readiness for sensible self-denial, and above all, compassion. We are incredibly grateful for your understanding and support.

Please check this page for updates.

Sincerely,

Josh Brankman
Executive Director
Outward Bound USA

March 17, 2020

As of today, our course areas and staff are not affected.  Nonetheless, for the health and safety of our staff and students, CBOBS is monitoring the situation daily and communicating with local health officials to ensure effective precaution against the spread of infectious disease. We have strengthened the sanitation standard in our office, encouraged social distancing measures, told staff to stay home if they become sick, and updated our training and program-delivery practices to enhance hygiene measures in the field. 

While teenagers and young adults are not considered to be at high risk from the effects of COVID-19, we are recommending that everyone be diligent with respect to their self-care to keep our communities and families healthy. In order to do this, the CDC recommends the following actions: 

  • Get a flu shot if you haven’t already done so this year. Flu season is still active and there are currently many more cases of the flu in the United States than COVID-19. Although the flu shot will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19, it will help health care providers diagnose you if you are sick and will reduce the overall impact on the healthcare system. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.  
  • Stay home when you are sick and keep your children home when they are sick.  

We are looking forward to a rewarding season and we will continue to ensure that we are following best practices to keep our staff, students, and community healthy. As we have more information to provide we will post it on our website here

With compassion,
The Crew at CBOBS

 

To Our Students, Families, Program Partners and the Outward Bound Community,

Outward Bound shares your concern over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, and its impact on our students, families and community. Our priority continues to be the health and well-being of our students and staff.

Currently, there are no travel restrictions to or from any of our 2020 course locations, and we plan to run all scheduled programs. If travel and health advisories change, we will update and advise families promptly.

COVID-19 is an emerging issue right now. We will continue to monitor the situation and are taking proactive steps to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and influenza.

Outward Bound USA is working in coordination with all Outward Bound Schools across the U.S. as well as industry peers and local and national health authorities to continually assess the developing situation.

For reliable information on the COVID-19 outbreak, please refer to the resources below:

If you have questions about specific international locations, please also see:

Please check back to this page for updates.

Sincerely,

Josh Brankman
Executive Director
Outward Bound USA

March 6, 2020

Additional updates and information may be found on Outward Bound USA's website here


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Our team, along with leadership from across the Outward Bound network, is working to provide answers to your frequently asked questions surrounding COVID-19. The FAQs below will help you understand what we're doing on course from a safety perspective. Other questions regarding cancellation can be found on Outward Bound USA's website here.

What are you doing on course to keep students safe?
Staff continue to teach and supervise hygiene behaviors on course, including:
  • Handwashing or, if soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizing
  • Sanitary food preparation and dish sanitizing
  • Not touching one’s face with unwashed hands
  • Covering sneezes and coughs in the crook of an arm or, if available, a disposable tissue
  • Not sharing utensils or personal care products.
  • Given how closely students and staff on most courses live and work together, effective social distancing within the group is not practical. However, groups may be effectively isolated from each other and from the public.
What is Outward Bound doing to reduce the likelihood of someone bringing COVID-19 to course?
During screening, and in the communications from Admissions and Student Services leading up to course, OE applicants are asked to disclose any travel or contact history that would put them in a higher risk category for contracting or transmitting COVID-19. Travel history includes any travel from/through high- or medium-risk areas as defined by the CDC at the time of the conversation, and contact history includes close contact with anyone with a confirmed or presumed case of COVID-19 or anyone with an acute respiratory disease AND a relevant travel history. The National Admissions Office (NAO) and the Schools’ admissions offices have updated their Cancellation Refund Policy to include a course credit for specific COVID-19-related circumstances that will make it easy for students and families to disclose such histories, defer to later courses if they’re not feeling well, and sign up for Outward Bound courses in this time of uncertainty. This makes it easier for people to disclose risk factors. OB Schools are working with Group course clients and partners to reduce the risk of an infectious student arriving on course. Because of the course length and/or the size of the group, it may not be practical to get travel and contact histories for everyone prior to course start. On courses that include a course start health check, staff will ask students about signs and symptoms of respiratory illness, and their travel and contact histories. Students who have symptoms or high- or medium-risk factors will be assessed, and staff will consult with local health authorities before including the student on course.
What will you do if a student or Instructor exhibits signs of COVID-19?
Any student with an illness that affects their ability to participate safety on course will be evacuated and parents will be notified, as always. If the symptoms are consistent with COVID-19 or there are other risk factors, Outward Bound will isolate the student and consult with local health authorities. If the student lives local to the course location, parents will be asked to arrange to pick their child up and isolate them at home If the student traveled to course, Outward Bound will isolate and care for the student on-site until a parent can travel to the basecamp and assume care of the student off site. Outward Bound will seek medical care based on the student’s signs and symptoms and local medical advice, involving parents in the conversation as practical. Any student with a respiratory illness that is not acute (does not affect their ability to participate safely) will follow the same hygiene practices as the rest of the group, plus some additional precautions while they have symptoms. [Examples might be that they are excused from preparing food for others, cleaning up after meals, given a separate shelter to sleep in, etc.]
My family is of Asian descent and has been subject to harassment at home. What are Outward Bound’s policies on this behavior?
Outward Bound prohibits harassment of any type. Staff will immediately intervene if harassment is observed or reported. Outward Bound's Core Values include Inclusion & Diversity.
Translate »