Skydive West Plains Announcements Regarding COVID-19

Thank you for your patience, flexibility, and understanding during the recent circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Skydive West Plains has the opportunity to begin skydiving again in the near future, however, we want to continue our history of thorough, conscientious, and safety-focused operating procedures. This requires us to implement additional safety measures according to the CDC and WHO recommendations regarding COVID-19. Please read the following notice regarding changes in our policies and procedures, and thank you in advance for upholding these safety procedures.

Skydive West Plains has always been an incredibly diverse community that thrives together as a self-policing, safety-conscious group. We are asking that the safety of this community as a whole be respected and that the recommended procedures be followed regardless of personal opinion or belief. If you feel that these procedures are a hindrance to you, we ask that you remain off of the Skydive West Plains property until these procedures are lifted. We hope that we will be skydiving without masks, gloves, and massive amounts of hand sanitizer in the near future, but some of these safety procedures will be kept in place for the foreseeable future. Shaming, or arguing about these policies during business hours, or arguments outside of direct email to Skydivewestplains@gmail.com will not be tolerated.

Skydive West Plains - Safety Starts before you arrive at the DZ

The first step in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is minimizing the contact of anyone who has it with anyone else. Before you come to Skydive West Plains, please ask yourself:

1) Have you been in contact with someone who has COVID-19?

2) Have you tested positive for COVID-19?

3) Do you now, or have you in the last 14 days, had any of the following symptoms: Fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache, or loss of taste or smell?

4) Have you traveled out of the country in the last 14 days?

5) While at home, work or leisure, are you in frequent, direct contact with other individuals whose health is at high risk if they are exposed to COVID-19?

6) Have you been disregarding basic social distancing practices recommended by the State of Washington? (e.g. not wearing a mask in public, not staying at least 6′ away from individuals outside your family unit or any other activity that makes you more likely to have been exposed regardless of any current symptoms you or others are presenting).

If you answered ‘YES’ to any of these questions, please do not come to Skydive West Plains at this time. (Unless you are a medical professional who works with COVID-19 patients following strict PPE protocol and are able to answer ‘NO’ to all questions besides question 1).

Skydive West Plains - Arrival Protocol

Upon arrival, everyone coming to Skydive West Plains will meet with our grounds crew before entering the hangar. Each person will confirm their answers to the questions mentioned earlier and will have their temperature taken. If the answer to any of the questions is ‘Yes’ or a temperature of 100 degrees or greater is taken, the person and group from the same vehicle will not be allowed entry. If each person in the vehicle has answered ‘No’ to all entry questions and has a temperature of under 100 degrees, each person will receive a wristband allowing them entry for that day only.

Licensed jumpers, solo students and instructors will fill out the COVID-19 questionnaire up to the temperature reading on the BurbleMe app on their individual phones before entering the hangar. Once they enter the hangar, we will take their temperature, give them a wrist band for the day and make sure they are checked in on Burble.

Skydive West Plains - Social Distancing/ Personal Sanitizing Measures

Masks (or approved facial covering) will be required at all times in the hangar or while on Skydive West Plains’ property when six feet social-distancing from anyone (not of your family unit) is not possible. The only exceptions from social distancing are when instruction, harnessing, or loading/flying in the plane is required. In addition please follow these common sense restrictions while on the premises.

  • You should be prepared to provide your own supply of protective equipment and sanitation items including but not limited to: a mask that covers your nose and mouth simultaneously, hand sanitizer, sanitizing spray, disinfectant wipes, drinking water and any food (kept in a cooler) you may need for your visit. This is the only way you can be guaranteed you will have exactly what you need, when you need it.
  • IF you need to cough or sneeze, do so tightly into your shirt/elbow and immediately wash your hands/affected area. If you are frequently coughing or sneezing, you will be asked to leave the property.
  • Maintain a minimum of at least six feet from individuals whenever possible.
  • Use no-touch practice counts, dirt dives, pre-jump rituals and after jump congratulations.
  • Refrain from hugs, high-fives, and all other physical shows of affection to anyone outside your family unit. (We can’t wait to get back to our normal sky-family greetings of hugs, and landing high-fives so please have patience with us until we get back there)!
  • Respect the Skydive West Plains’ team areas and only remain inside the hangar when checking in, receiving training, using the restroom, packing, or checking out.
  • If you need ANYTHING from the manifest office, please ask someone to get it for you or wait until someone is in the office to get it for you. Please remain outside the office unless you are one of the two manifest team members for the day.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after coming into contact with commonly used surfaces, anyone outside your family unit, before/after jumps, prior to making transactions at manifest, and frequently throughout the day.
  • All hands, gloved or bare, will be sprayed with an alcohol-based spray before boarding the airplane.
  • Please use a barrier such as a clean paper towel to prevent direct contact with shared surfaces including door knobs, faucet handles, toilet handles, etc.

Skydive West Plains - Aircraft Protocol and Procedures

Although we can maintain social distancing on the ground and in our facilities, the aircraft is where the biggest risk of spreading the virus remains due to the tight quarters. Maintaining facial coverings and paying extra attention to how we conduct ourselves while in the aircraft will help but not completely eliminate the risk.

  • Make sure hand sanitizer has dried before giving thorough gear checks.
  • All jumpers must be completely geared up and ready to board the aircraft at the 5-minute call.
  • Gear must include a face covering that is required to be worn in the plane and loading areas at all times regardless of wearing a full-face helmet with the visor down (which is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED). Make sure you choose a face-covering that is not at risk of migrating in freefall and obstructing your vision.
  • If your face covering will not fit under your full-face helmet, it is ok to secure your helmet to your seatbelt for taxi and take off and the full flight up. You can remove your face covering on jump run and immediately put on your full-face helmet with the visor completely closed.
  • If you are not wearing a full-face helmet, you must keep your face covering on until the one-minute call is made by the pilot.
  • Speaking in the airplane can increase the transmission of COVID-19 particles. Please keep speaking to necessary instruction at a minimum volume.
  • Handshakes, high-fives and fist bumps are not to be completed in the plane.

Skydive West Plains - Sanitizing Protocol and Procedures

Personal safety measures and aircraft protocol will be enforced at all times during operations at Skydive West Plains. In addition, the following increased sanitation procedures will be completed throughout the facilities.

  • Each aircraft will be sprayed with FAA and EPA approved disinfectant at the beginning of each day and during shutdowns.
  • Facilities including manifest, student areas, video rooms and other areas will be cleaned and sanitized at the start of each day.
  • Commonly touched surfaces throughout the facilities will be cleaned each morning and frequently throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the DZ.
  • Jump equipment will be used by only one person per day as able and disinfected between use as recommended by the manufacturer. Solo students will be required to purchase or provide their own appropriate skydiving goggles and gloves. Tandem students will have the opportunity to purchase their own goggles and will be required to arrive with appropriate clothing needed to make the skydive (minimum of t-shirt and shorts, and including gloves or layers for warmth if needed).

CONTACT TRACING

If you discover that you have contracted COVID-19 and have been to Skydive West Plains in the prior 14 days please contact us immediately at skydivewestplains@gmail.com , or 509-838-JUMP. We will follow up with contact tracing efforts by notifying other jumpers you were on the plane with that day. Your name will not be released by Skydive West Plains to the public.

COVID-19 AND SKYDIVING

Skydiving is a contact sport. Please understand that even with all the precautions and safety measures we have taken, it is not possible for us to guarantee you that you won’t be exposed to COVID-19. By participating in skydiving, you accept the risk and assume all responsibility for the exposure and risk of contracting COVID-19.

Skydive West Plains and all associated entities and individuals cannot guarantee your protection. If you cannot accept the risk despite all the safety measures we have taken, then you should not participate in skydiving activities.

We understand that some of these new policies are a big change that will take extra patience, respect, and adjustment for us all, but we know we can be successful by being a team, using our ever-present humor, along with a joint love of the sport and each other!!! We are each responsible for continuing to individually maintain our highest level of safety culture. Thank you in advance for helping us responsibly reopen by taking the necessary measures! We appreciate your support and cannot wait to return to the skies!