CRESTED BUTTE BUS COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
FROM DR. ROB
As you know, the plan for this trip is to take a bus to the resort, as opposed to driving 5 hours each way individually or in carpools. In view of COVID, some concerns have been expressed regarding the safety and propriety of traveling in this manner, and I would like to address those concerns herein.
Firstly, the virus primarily is transmitted by airborne/droplet exposure; secondarily by contact with contaminated surfaces.
We can effectively deal with the first point by doing the following:
1-Everyone will be asked to use a mask for the duration of the trip, except for while eating, when it would be impossible. However-
2-We will have everyone use a mouthwash for 30 seconds before boarding the bus. While this is of unproven efficacy for COVID, it's known to be effective for other viruses, and it "can't hurt".
We will stop the bus for a few minutes after breakfast is served, go outside, and do it again, since masks will be off while eating.
3-Everyone will be asked to use hand sanitizer prior to boarding the bus.
4-The roof vents will be kept open for the entire trip, to maximize airflow through the bus, thus decreasing the "viral load". It may be necessary to wear jackets if it gets too cold inside, but of course the heat will be on.
5-We are trying to make sure that the bus will have AC power outlets between the seats, and the plan is to use them for small AIR IONIZING plug-in units. These are sold by various companies, including Sharper Image, Air Police, Bell and Howell, Holmes, and I'm sure many more. Some will be available on Amazon or eBay, and some of you may already have them. You will need to purchase them on your own, they will belong to you, and of course you can use them in your rooms as well.
According to a scientific article I read, these are 97% effective in killing any viral particles that land on the electrostatic plates within these units. I've been using them in my house since the start of the pandemic, and only wish more places of business were doing the same.
The bus likely has its own filtration system, but this is more for dust, pollen and smoke. IONIZING air purifiers work by an entirely different method and are vastly superior to regular filtration under these circumstances.
As for surface disinfecting, the bus company will spray the interior of the bus before we board, and we will spray again after breakfast, while everyone is off the bus using the mouthwash!
If everyone does their part, there is no reason why our trip cannot be completed in a safe and uneventful manner!
The last thing has to do with testing and avoidance. Namely, it is strongly suggested that everyone AVOID crowded places (such as bars, restaurants, concerts, lectures and the like) beginning 8-10 days PRIOR to the trip. That includes the UTC Happy Hour, if it is held the Friday prior! These are the very places from which spread of infection is most likely, and which also are the LEAST likely to take significant preventative measures.
Regarding testing, we ask that everyone (unless already recuperated from the infection) submit to testing approximately 7 days PRIOR to the trip. There are plenty of places that offer drive-up service. Reservations for this can be made, and if you go early enough in the day, you won't have to wait very long. In most cases, insurance pays for it as well, and the results come back in 1-3 days by email. We ask that you forward the results of your testing to the trip leaders and keep the email on your phone as well.
You do this for your own benefit, as well as the benefit of everyone else on the trip.
Should someone come down with symptoms while ON the trip, we must take them home on the bus. However, we will quarantine and isolate them as best we can, and I have some ideas about how to do this in a reasonably effective way.
As a physician, I personally have no qualms whatsoever about traveling by bus, provided we can get everyone's cooperation with these common-sense methods of prevention and control.
Feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or comments.
Rob Schwager 303-915-7773 or firstname.lastname@example.org