Response to Covid-19/ Nuestra Respuesta a Covid-19

Category: Blog, Community Resilience, Covid-19

By LandPaths Staff

December 11, 2020


For 25 years LandPaths has actively worked for land and community in Sonoma County. Our commitment is further strengthened during the immense mental, physical, and financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

We believe our local open places, parks, and preserves are essential places of healing, recovery, and connection for everyone. We appreciate the county, city, and other partners that have worked tirelessly to keep these much-needed places open for physically distanced walks, freshly harvested produce, expansive views, and quiet moments. This access to nature aids us collectively to keep going through these challenging times. 

At LandPaths we will continue to offer connections with the land and each other in creative ways, while rigorously following local Covid-19 safety protocols and policies. Our goal is to support our entire community to get outdoors safely. 

LandPaths’ Covid-19 Safety Policies: Updated December 2, 2020

LandPaths created these Covid-19 policies first and foremost to keep all LandPaths staff safe, with limited risk of exposure due to behavior or activities in the work environment. Additionally, we hold a concern for the community—volunteers and participants in LandPaths programs.  

We created these polices from new OSHA requirements as well as research in best practices that includes input from the Center for Disease Control and State and Sonoma County Health, and LandPaths legal advisor.  We also commit to periodic updating as we get new information, or the legal requirements under the pandemic change.

Sonoma County Health Orders

  • Wear a mask when out in public
  • Maintain physical distancing when out in public
  • Limit gatherings to 3 households or less
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching nose, eyes, mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you are feeling sick
  • Limit non-essential activities
  • Curfew from 10 PM to 5 AM

LandPaths’ Program guidelines

  1. Participants are required to watch safety videos prior to attending a LandPaths’ activity.
  2. All activities will be conducted outside in small groups of no more than 12 (total inclusive of staff) from no more than 3 households and limited to 2 hours with the exception of:
    • Camps, are limited to 12 participants and are exempt from household restrictions
    • Fire Fuel reduction and recovery stewardship is limited to 12 total attendees (including staff) and is exempt from the household restrictions
    • If an Outing is organized by household, then the 2-hour limit does not apply
  3. All staff, volunteer and participants will conduct day-of health check list, including temperature checks. 
  4. For multiple day programs (i.e. camps) participants (including volunteers) are required to complete a pre-health check list in addition to the day-of health check list.  
  5. All properties and programs include the poster from Sonoma County of Health describing current health policies and protocols for Covid-19 safety.  
  6. Mandatory mask and physical distancing requirements at all programs: 
    • Maintain physical distance of 6 feet or more
    • When physical distance not possible limit contact to under 15 minutes
    • For the Fall/Winter (November 2020 through March 2021) masks are mandatory for everyone 2 years of age and older, when working with others (staff, participants or volunteers) with the exception for medical reasons or due to their disability 
    • If you are working with power tools, the person working with the power tool, for safety reasons, may take the mask off.  Anyone else present must wear a mask and maintain six-feet of physical distance.  
    • When eating (specifically eating, not walking around), you may remove your mask, and must maintain physical distance of minimum 6’ 
    • If a participant is out of breath or experiencing difficulty breathing they may separate themselves from the group, remove their mask, recover, replace mask and re-join group.
  7. Implement disinfecting protocols, including the frequent use and availability of spray bottles and hand sanitizer for hands and tools.
  8. Field staff participate in a regular testing regime of once every two weeks.
  9. Use touchless handwashing stations to support frequent handwashing during programs as appropriate.
  10. Limit shared items: tools, pens, food, etc.  and if they need to be shared, disinfect properly between uses.
  11. Staggering arrival times/locations to allow for appropriate participant spaces, and required if activity is for more than 12 participants.
  12.  For camps, if youth arrive in a carpool they will be considered part of a household group.  
  13. Encourage carpooling within family/household groups, we will not be providing transportation nor encouraging any carpooling outside household groups.  If you do carpool with those not in your household group, wear a mask. 
  14. The exception to this is youth programs.  LandPaths will only be providing transportation for youth programs.
    • For the Highlander capacity is limited to 4 participants plus one driver (staggered seating)
    • Windows must be at least half way open
    • All people in the vehicle must wear a mask 
  15. Overnight programs will be considered only on a case-by-case basis but will not be held during the 10pm to 5am curfew mandate.

Travel or Event Participation

LandPaths requests staff adhere to the County and State recommendations to limit any and all non-essential travel as well as large group gatherings.  Should any staff decide to travel overnight outside the County, or participate in a gathering of more than 3 households during the pandemic, LandPaths requires the following:

  • Continue to follow all Covid-safety protocols
  • Coordinate your schedule to allow for travel and self-isolation upon return/post-event
  • Self-isolate for 14 days after travel, or until you have received a negative test conducted 4 to 7 days after you return
  • During this self-isolation you may work from home 

Office Guidelines

The office is closed to all staff for daily work activities except for essential office positions, and occasional pick up and drop off of materials, signatures and other essential duties.

How LandPaths has adapted to the pandemic since March 2020

  • Developed outings as interactive Zoom webinars. 
  • Piloted in-person Outings based on self-guided activities, limiting any contact or shared items and attendance consistent with County Health through reservations, and organized by households.
  • Developed IOOBY and IF Zoom or other video platform programming.
  • Created Covid-safety protocols to host in-person youth programming such as camps, adhering to all County Health Orders.
  • Implemented tele-work work plans for all staff.
  • Cultivate a culture of following County and State Covid Safety Guidelines at all times.
  • Actively Cultivating a Healthy Digital Community among our staff as we work remotely from home and in the field.  

We take the safety challenges of the ongoing pandemic very seriously. It is important to make choices that promote the health and safety of everyone in our community, from the youngest to oldest. We are monitoring the rate of increase of virus cases in our County, and all health orders and policies.  

At the same time, countless news stories have run recently about the value of getting outside, in whatever nature is available to you. The pandemic has shown us yet again that nature is essential and fostering a love of the land has an impact on multiple levels. 

How can we be a resource for you?

As we continue to assess the situation and brainstorm ways to support our community, we encourage you to stay connected with the outdoors with LandPaths. How can we be a resource for you? Please let us know. Call us at (707) 544-7284 and leave a message or email us at outings@landpaths.org.  

Let’s continue to cultivate a love of the land, and support each other, however we can, though this current crisis. We cannot do this alone (even as we remain six feet apart). We are grateful for your part in this vibrant LandPaths community.

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