Covid-19 Practices

Covid-19 Practices

Updated December 2020 - Additional updates to come as the CDC, national, state and county guidelines evolve.

Please know that while Outward Bound California (OBCA) is making every effort to implement protocols that minimize the risk of transmission, we cannot guarantee that COVID-19 will not be present on course. For detailed information regarding the protocols for your upcoming OBCA program, see below. Please determine which course type fits the description of your course. “Multi-day Expedition” refers to overnight programs only. “One-day programs” refers to challenge/ropes course programs, teambuilding or other one-day events. Items without a designation apply to all program types.

Reach out to your Course Advisor or Program Manager if you have additional questions.

Prior to Course Start

  • Participants (and parents of minor students) will sign a COVID-19 Statement Of Understanding.
  • Participants should follow strict physical distancing from everyone not in their household for 14 days prior to course.
  • Within 72 hours of course start, participants must remain COVID-19 symptom-free.

Multi-Day Expeditions:

  • Travel policies will be updated in the spring to determine what modes of transportation to course are acceptable (eg. personal vehicle, or commercial transportation such as airlines, trains, or busses). Decisions will be made using the CDC, national, state, and county guidelines at that time. Please connect with a Course Advisor with any questions about this.

One-Day Programs:

  • Participants are advised to prioritize private transportation or walking whenever possible. If public transportation is necessary, we ask students to follow local transportation authority guidelines in the weeks leading up to their program and while traveling to the course.


Course Start

  • Participants will be screened upon arrival, including taking temperature. If any signs or symptoms of illness exist participants will not be allowed to start the course.
  • Multi-Day Expeditions: If OBCA has not received proof of a negative COVID-19 test result prior to course start, the participant will not be allowed to start the course. Please see your COVID-19 Statement of Understanding for specific testing details.

During Course

  • Enhanced personal hygiene will be practiced on every course.
  • Group size is limited to 10 participants. Participants will maintain physical distancing of 6 feet during insight programs, with the exception of emergencies. Distancing on multi-day expeditions will be determined closer to course start using the CDC, national, state and county guidelines at that time.
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization of gear and cooking equipment. This includes quarantining of equipment between programs for at least 72hrs, and no sharing of gear while on course.
  • Instructors will conduct daily health checks including taking temperature. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will be taken off course to be evaluated and tested.

Multi-day Expeditions:

  • Sleeping arrangements will be configured to allow for physical distancing.
  • Participants will wear approved facial coverings and non-latex gloves when requested to do so.

One-day Programs: 

  • Participants will wear approved facial coverings at all times, and non-latex gloves as instructed.

Our Staff & Instructors

  • Staff will have followed strict physical distancing from everyone not in their household or workplace for 14 days prior to the course.
  • Symptom checks, including taking temperatures, will be conducted on a regular basis.

Multi-day ExpeditionsAll OBCA employees instructing or supporting multi-day expeditions will be cleared to work based on the current CDC, national, state and county guidelines at the time of the expedition. This may include being tested for COVID-19 to be cleared to work.

One-day Programs: Field staff are tested 72 hours prior to the start of the season and within 7 days before a shift.

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