Coronavirus update #1

Wilderness Volunteers is following the changes in the expanding, unprecedented COVID-19 global health issue. As of now, with input from our land agencies, we are operating our service trips as planned.  We understand that you must make your own decisions in light of the evolving health situation. Because of these very rapidly-changing and unpredictable circumstances, we will stay alert, flexible, and make changes as needed to comply with government and agency policies while respecting your individual decisions. We have included other information resources that can help you make your decisions.
In order to help ease participants concerns, the Wilderness Volunteers Board of Directors has decided to temporarily modify the existing cancellation policy for upcoming trips, in the hopes that it will alleviate potential financial burdens caused by this ever-changing health situation.
Temporary Cancellation Policy Modifications:
Effective March 13, 2020, for projects scheduled through May 2020. This date may be extended as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold.
1 – If you decide to cancel from a project, there are two options:
A – you can transfer to another project of your choice through one full calendar year from
your projects start date with no change in fees. You may let us know your project choice at a
later time.
            B – you can donate your trip fee (or a portion of it) as a donation to WV for the year 2020 to
            help support us through this challenge.
2 – The WV office must be informed of cancellations directly via phone (928-255-1128), or email( The sooner you inform us of your need to cancel, the more opportunity we will have to fill the trip.
If Wilderness Volunteers or the Land Agency cancels your project, we will contact you as soon as possible to see if you would like A) a refund of your full trip fee, B) a voucher good for another project of your choice, or C) if you would like to make it a 2020 donation to help support us through this challenge.
Wilderness Volunteers is not responsible for airline tickets, other tickets or payments, or any similar fees or penalties that you may incur as a result of any project cancellations or changes.
As a small nonprofit on a tight budget, Wilderness Volunteers cannot make exceptions to this (modified) refund policy for any reason, including personal emergencies or weather. We make every effort to run each project as advertised but sometimes project details (leaders, campsites, work project, etc.) must be changed in order to run the project.
Resources on Coronavirus:
If anyone has any questions please feel free to contact us at the office by phone at (928) 255-1128 or via email at
We wish you safe days and strength to meet these new challenges. We hope to see you in the wilderness, too.
Ashely Northcutt,          Cheryl Walzcak,
            Executive Director        President of the Board
Past volunteers know that Wilderness Volunteers leaders follow longstanding and specific hygiene, sanitation, dishwashing, and food preparation procedures on each service project to keep our volunteers healthy and they will continue to do so. Project leaders will be looking out for the safety of the group on multiple fronts and will be emphasizing relavant CDC recommendations such as handwashing even more than usual.
Screening Policy:
Per current WV policy leaders will turn away anyone who shows up to a service project with any cold or flu-like symptoms. (This includes leaders and agency personnel.) If anyone on a service project begins to feel any cold or flu-like symptoms they will be distanced from the group and will be removed from the project as soon as possible.
While being exposed to germs while traveling to and from a project is always a concern you can use some common sense tips to mitigate that hazard:
  • drive to a project when possible instead of flying
  • wash your hands often and especially before you eat or drink
  • maintain distance between yourself and other folks when possible (at least 6 feet)
  • wash your hands often and especially before you eat or drink
  • bring your own pillow
  • avoid touching your face, especially with unwashed hands
  • avoid touching restroom surfaces where possible
  • clean high use areas/items (like airplane tray tables, hotel remote controls, or rental car steering wheels) before using them
Hand sanitizer and wipes are in short supply in some locations but remember that handwashing with ordinary soap and water is more effective than using hand sanitizer and you can also use a bleach solution (1/2c of bleach per gallon of water) to effectively disinfect hard, non-porous surfaces around the house.
We do want to reminded everyone that they should stay home if:
·         They have had any cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 2 weeks before a project.
·         They have been in close contact with a person who has had any cold or flu-like symptoms within the last 2 weeks before a project.
·         They have travelled internationally within the 2 week period before a project begins.
While everyone is looking forward to a week in the woods/desert, a service project isn’t the place to be if you have a cold/the flu/coronavirus/etc.
If you do show up not feeling well it will likely a) put you at more risk as we don’t have immediate access to medical facilities, b) delay your recuperation, and c) put fellow volunteers at risk of getting sick too.
Keeping everyone healthy is a group endeavor and we ask that volunteers do their part by keeping leaders apprised of their health status. We appreciate your honesty and cooperation.