Keystone Science School’s 10 Principles of COVID Safety

In the book Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain, Bruce Tremper writes about managing avalanche risk while traveling in the backcountry. Just as avalanches are a real risk that can seem hidden, the spread of COVID-19 is a real risk that can be hard to identify. Tremper beautifully sums up a key point about safety and risk - ‘Safe travel is more than a technique, it's a ritual. It only works if you do it all the time.”

KSS blog group distanced in fieldListed below are the 10 principles of COVID safety Keystone Science School follows all the time to ensure successful programming. The following points are prioritized by rank and have been tested by hundreds of campers at multiple locations over the course of the 2020 summer camp season in Summit County Colorado. These 10 principles continue to be our best practice rituals to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID. We hope these points help guide your family, group or organization as well.

1. Keep Your Distance
You can’t catch COVID from far away. This is our number one tool for reducing the spread of the virus.
Setup indoor spaces with the intention of providing space between individuals.
Maintain at least six feet between individuals indoors. (Finally, a reason to keep a personal bubble…!)

2. Wear Facial Coverings
Remember - masks are not a substitute for physical distancing.
Spittle is real.

3. Wash Your Hands
Coach the correct technique with your children and family.
For longer outdoor adventures, bring soap and a little water to thoroughly clean hands.
Hand sanitizer is good in a pinch, but it does not clean dirty hands.
Although your hands are sanitized, the debris is still leftover

4. Practice Good Hygiene
Cough and sneeze into your elbow.
Do not touch your face.
Stop. Touching. Your. Face.

5. ‘Spritz & Glitz’
Sanitize everything all the time, but make sure surfaces dry completely between use.
Disinfect anything in contact with body fluids once daily and after use.
Clean anything that is soiled with soap and water.

6. Minimize Contact Points (Finally, a reason not to share!)
Minimize shared materials.
Minimize physical contact between individuals.

7. Meet Curricular Targets with the COVID Lens
Redesign activities to be COVID friendly, rather than seeing what you can get away with.

8. Recognize and Clarify COVID Symptoms
Talk and ask questions. Do not be afraid to have conversations with others about how you or they are feeling.
Prevent participants from developing symptoms when possible by asking those with COVID Symptoms to self-quarantine.

9. Remain Flexible and Lean Into Adversity and Uncertainty
As always, don’t forget to wear your flexi-pants.

10. Refine Your COVID Culture
Create a culture of health rather than a culture of fear.
Be intentional about the COVID framing for your family, group or organization.