We know you just want to cut straight to the “what’s the Covid policy” but we ask that you read this.
Aerial operates on privately-owned property called the Hay Canyon Ranch. The owners permit Aerial to operate on their land – and also provide 12 miles of public hiking trails – without charging Aerial or its customers anything. Indeed the owners actually financially subsidize paragliding at the Ranch – the building used for training and the roads to launch for example – while exposing itself to significant liability risk. They do so not just because they love paragliding and hiking, but out of a commitment to communitarian values and societal good. What they ask of Aerial Paragliding in return is to comply with the policies that derive from those values.
In the case of Covid, the owners require that Aerial and its costumers follow science-based public health Covid recommendations (just as Washington schools require vaccinations for diphtheria, pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chicken pox, etc.). Covid is still one of the top 3 causes of death in the US and is a highly mutable virus, with every infection being another opportunity for mutation into a more virulent strain. In light of this, the Ranch policy is simply…
Aerial instructors, customers and guests must be “up to date” on recommended Covid vaccinations.
While “up to date” isn’t well-defined, the current CDC recommendation is that anyone who hasn’t been verifiably infected within the last 3 months have completed an updated (bivalent) initial vaccination series or receive the updated (bilvalent) booster. The Ranch definition is slightly more flexible, considering you “up to date” if…
* …you have completed an initial vaccination series (1 shot of an approved 1-shot vaccine or 2 shots of a 2-shot vaccine) at some point, and at least one of the following applies…
* …either you have been infected with Covid within 6 months of your arrival at Aerial, and you have a verified positive test – either proctored or reported to the state,
* …or you have received the last shot of your initial vaccination series or received your most recent booster within 8 months of your arrival at Aerial,
* …or your initial vaccination series or most recent booster was with an updated (bivalent) vaccine, even if it was longer ago than 8 months. Your vaccination card, paper or on-line, will show whether the vaccine was bivalent or not.
The Ranch is open to exceptions for documented medical contraindications against the Covid vaccine. Please note that vaccines, including the updated (bivalent) vaccine, are ready available and generally free and also that reporting infections is very easy to do and remains critical to having good data for public health policy.
We understand that not everyone will share the values of the owners of the Ranch nor the reasoning behind the policies but we wanted you to at least know what they are as you make your decision about where and from whom you learn paragliding.
Let us know if you have any questions about our Covid-19 requirements. Thank you for your support!
It's time to get outside, and get some air!