Posted March 8, 2021
CDC Update: Vaccinated People Can Gather Indoors Without Masks
People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely gather unmasked and inside with non-vulnerable people who are not yet immunized, according to long-awaited guidance released today by the CDC.
"Today's action represents an important first step. It is not our final destination," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said at the White House briefing Monday. "As more people get vaccinated levels of COVID-19 infection decline in communities, and as our understanding of COVID immunity improves, we look forward to updating these recommendations to the public."
According to the new guidance, people who are at least 2 weeks out from their last dose can:
Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing.
Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing
Avoid quarantine and testing following exposure to someone if they remain asymptomatic.
However, there are still restrictions that will remain until further data is collected. Those who are fully vaccinated must still:
Wear masks and physically distance in public settings and around people at high risk for severe disease.
Wear masks and physically distance when visiting unvaccinated people from more than one household.
Avoid medium- and large-sized gatherings.
People considered at high risk for severe disease include those with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down syndrome, heart disease, heart failure, a weakened immune system, obesity, sickle cell disease, and type 2 diabetes. It also includes pregnant women and smokers.
"In public spaces, fully vaccinated people should continue to follow guidance to protect themselves and others, including wearing a well-fitted mask, physical distancing (at least 6 feet), avoiding crowds, avoiding poorly ventilated spaces, covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands often, and following any applicable workplace or school guidance," the guidance says. "Fully vaccinated people should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19, especially following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19."
Respecting travel restrictions is still crucial, Walensky said, given past surges and variants that have emerged after periods of increased travel.
We would like to give the opportunity for vaccinated grandparents to visit children and grandchildren who are healthy and local," Walensky said.
But, she said, "It's important to realize as we're working through this that over 90% of the population is not yet vaccinated."
For now, there is not enough data on transmission rates from those who are vaccinated to the rest of the public. However, Fauci said at a briefing last month that preliminary data are "pointing in a very favorable direction."
Studies from Spain and Israel published last month showed the amount of viral load -- or the amount of the COVID-19 virus in someone's body -- is significantly lower if someone gets infected after they've been vaccinated, compared with people who get infected and didn't have the vaccine. Lower viral load means much lower chances of passing the virus to someone else, Fauci said.
"The science of COVID-19 is complex," Walensky said, "and our understanding of it continues to evolve."
Posted January 13, 2021
Vaccines for CT Region Patrollers
CT patrollers have been approved to receive COVID-19 vaccines through Hartford Healthcare. Please contact your Patrol Director or your patrol's Vaccine Coordinator for details.
Lakeridge Vaccine Coordinator: TBD
Mohawk Mountain Vaccine Coordinator: Kelly Carr
Mount Southington Vaccine Coordinator: Liz Fenner
Nutmeg Nordic Vaccine Coordinator: Michael Lapierre
Powder Ridge Vaccine Coordinator: John Giamatteo
Pahquioque Vaccine Coordinator: Eric Talbot
Ski Sundown Vaccine Coordinator: Tony Philpin
We suggest you bring some form of Ski Patrol identification. If you need to get a copy of your NSP membership card, or OEC card, click here.
Posted December 2, 2020
CT DPH Return to Work Guidance
The State of CT Department of Public Health released "Return-to-Work Guidance for Healthcare Workers and First Responders during the COVID-19 Pandemic (Updated 11-24-2020)". Click here to see the document.
CDC and Facial Hair
The CDC has published a guide to facial hair as it relates to filtering facepiece respirators such as the N-95. Did you know there were so many different different ways to configure one's facial hair? Click here to learn more.
Posted October 13, 2020
VT Travel Restrictions
The State of Vermont is restricting travel based upon county of origin and the number of COVID-19 cases per million residents. Click here to learn more and see the map which is updated every Tuesday.
Posted October 2, 2020
CT Ski Area Association COVID-19 Operational Guidelines
The four Connecticut alpine ski resorts has released their 2020-21 season operating guidelines. Click here to see the document.
Posted September 27, 2020
NSAA-NSP Webinar: Ski Patrol Challenges in the Age of COVID recording is available
NSP Executive Director Meegan Moszynski helped lead an NSAA panel to address challenges related to ski patrol operations this winter—both guest safety and patroller safety. The panel discussed NSP's response to COVID, and guidelines for areas as they contemplate issues around training, in-clinic treatments, on-mountain injury response, locker rooms and indoor patrol first aid rooms, face coverings and PPE, lift evacuation training challenges, and quarantine requirements. The panel heard from ski patrol directors, and addressed experiences from areas who re-opened late spring, and the successes and challenges of this summer’s operations. You can hear a recording of the session here.
Posted September 7, 2020
National Ski Areas Association: Ski Well, Be Well
The NSAA developed Ski Well, Be Well a document that outlines ski area operating best practices for ski areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find it here.
Posted August 26, 2020
Updated NSP Guidelines--PPE and Program Guidelines
PPE & Mask Recommendations (8/25/20)
"In accordance with CDC guidelines, NSP patrollers, while on duty, should wear an appropriate, comfortable, and well-fitting mask covering the mouth and nose at all times when interacting with the public or treating a patient.
Note: A bandana or thick neck warmer or balaclava is not felt to be adequate protection for patrollers while on duty.
Examples of specific situations and the appropriate mask would be:
A three-layer cloth or surgical style mask should be worn in lift lines, the lodge or any situation where social distancing cannot be maintained.
A surgical style mask or a N95 respirator mask should be worn when providing first aid to an individual.
A N95 respirator mask and eye protection should be worn when involved in aerosolizing procedures.
Additionally, all patrollers while providing first aid to an individual should use PPE, including gloves, eye shields, and gowns as appropriate for the situation and location."
Program-Specific Guidelines: (8/25/20)
OEC and MTR Program leadership have created guidelines specifically for their programs. Please review, as much of this can be translated into other programs we administer in our region.
Posted August 14, 2020
Disinfecting Public and Patient Treatment Areas
Here are a couple interesting articles worth a few minutes of your time regarding some issues that warrant consideration when thinking about ways to disinfect our patrol rooms as well as other areas at our ski areas.
Potential health issues regarding the use of disinfectants from the Insurance Journal. Courtesy of Kathy Fitzpatrick, our CT Region Safety Advisor.
Discussion of the pros and cons of the use of UV sanitizing from Discover. Courtesy of Melinda Mingus, MD, our Eastern Division Safety Advisor and CT Region Medical Advisor
Posted June 1, 2020
Task Force for Continuity of Operations-Eastern Division
by Cal Goldsmith, Division Director
We are all experiencing stressful times. I thought it worthwhile to let you know some of what we are doing to help address the Covid-19 pandemic from the perspective of ski patrol, be it refreshers, training or patrolling.
The Eastern Division is actively working to develop and provide guidance to our members, and to be as prepared as we can be for this coming challenging season. I have convened a group of 16 experienced, diverse patrollers/leaders from the Eastern Division in a Continuity of Operations Task Force-Eastern Division (Under Pressure). Fondly known as the COOPED UP Task Force (thank you Ed McNamara for that), we are functioning as a think tank to understand first, and then address policies and procedures and protocols for our season while patrolling and while training. We are also looking at financial impacts and issues we may face, and administrative decisions we will face, including how our meetings will occur, what events will be held, and if held what will they look like. Much of our work may just be coordinating the dissemination of information coming from our National's own extensive efforts to provide guidance, which is fine. We don't need to be inventing wheels. Our goal is not to do everything ourselves, but rather to make sure we are considering everything we can and not to be faced with difficult-to-deal-with surprises in the fall and winter. What we develop will be passed on to National as well, so they don't have to invent wheels necessarily either. As we get information on how to operate, then we will turn to our Program Supervisors and Advisors under the guidance of our Region Directors to implement those measures bringing all the information to our patrollers.
We are paying special attention, as you might wish, to our Medical Advisors led by Dr. Eric Silva, our Eastern Division Medical Advisor. Dr. Silva has also convened a group made up of our Region Medical Advisors to share information, discuss and debate the protocols and precautions we should heed during the coming season. Dr. Silva is on our Task Force and will be key to many of the decisions we make. The role of ski patrol medical advisor has rapidly developed to now be in the forefront of what we are doing, and we are very appreciative of their efforts and willingness to take on this role during obviously stressful times for them.
Eastern Division has a wealth of knowledge and talent to draw on in this crisis. We will get through it and will ski and patrol next season. We will issue our guidance documents and decisions as they become available from us and/or the National office, and we are aware that time is of the essence.
Posted May 21, 2020
Click here for information regarding CPR Training, from the American Heart Association.
COVID-19 Resource List
Some valuable resources for timely and reliable information on the coronavirus and COVID-19 are:
Don & Doff PPE
For a video demonstration of how to don and doff your PPE, click below
For printable instructions on don/doff procedures produced by the CDC that you could put in a manual, hang on the wall, etc. click below
Read this excellent article on how viruses are spread -- New, May 27, 2020
The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them, by Dr. Erin S. Bromage
State of CT Reopening Guidelines for the June 17, 2020 "reopening"
CDC's Coronavirus website:
Get the Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
How to Protect Yourself and Others: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
The NNT (Number Needed to Treat) talks about interpretation of statistical efficacy of drug interventions.
And a Doctor/Patroller Recommends
Ninja Nerd Medicine: