Ironwood Tree Experience Covid-19 Safety Guidelines

ITE is committed to providing the safest possible environment for youth to participate in our programs during these pandemic times. Below is some information about vaccination & testing policies as well as a summary of our Covid-19 Safety Guidelines. 

Please read the following information to inform your participation in our programs.

Vaccination Requirements

If you are over 18 years old: 

All ITE participants 18 years or older must be fully vaccinated to participate in ITE programs, unless medically exempt. ITE already requires all staff to be fully vaccinated.

If you are under 18 years old: 

ITE is strongly recommending that all ITE participants under the age of 18 years old be fully vaccinated to participate in ITE programs. Those youth under the age of 18 years old who are unable to become vaccinated due to medical exceptions or family constraints may still participate in ITE programs, but depending on the type of program, will be required to take a Covid-19 Rapid Antigen test prior to participation.

Testing Requirements

If you are vaccinated

Testing is not required for program participation. 

If you are unvaccinated*: 

Testing is required prior to participation for any program that involves riding in a vehicle with other participants or includes camping. The participant must arrive 30 minutes early to a program to take a rapid covid antigen test, which will be supervised by an ITE staff person. The participant must provide the test. A negative test result is required for participation.

If the program does not require riding in a vehicle, the participant does not need to take a rapid test upon arrival, but will be highly encouraged to take a PCR test 48 hours prior to the program so they have time to receive the results.

*Only available to participants under the age of 18 years old.

Mask Requirements

Regardless of vaccination status, everyone must wear a mask when inside or in a vehicle and must have a mask on their person and be accessible at all times during a program or activity. Individuals are always welcome to wear masks even if ITE’s Guidelines do not require it.

If you are vaccinated:

Vaccinated individuals do not need to wear a mask when outdoors except when doing activities with prolonged periods of time within 6 feet of another individual. 

If you are unvaccinated*: 

Unvaccinated individuals must wear a mask at all times during a program, including when outdoors, except when doing solo activities that are socially distanced such as eating, journaling or presenting to a group.

*Only available to participants under the age of 18 years old.

Do NOT attend if you have been exposed or have symptoms!

Individuals should not attend programs if they have any reason to believe they may have Covid-19, or have been exposed to Covid-19. This includes:

  1. Close contact with someone who has Covid-19, as defined by the CDC 
  2. Having signs & symptoms of Covid-19, as defined by the CDC
  3. Having received a positive covid test result within the last 10 days

ITE Covid-19 Response Statement

To provide an environment that allows ITE to operate during the pandemic, we have made a number of updates to our normal operations to allow in-person programming. All in-person programs and activities will follow ITE’s Covid-19 Safety Guidelines (as listed above). These enhanced health and safety measures are designed with the entire community in mind and by following them, we are confident that ITE can provide impactful, hands-on educational experiences and a positive environment for inspiration.

At any time, ITE may suspend all in person programs and activities if the state of the pandemic worsens. ITE will make decisions based on guidance from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pima County Health Department, other government agencies, local schools and other outdoor youth programs. 

ITE Covid-19 Vaccination Statement

We believe that requiring, and strongly recommending, vaccinations is the safest path forward for both our ITE community as well as the many family and community members that are linked to our staff and youth. We understand that the history of vaccinations and medical care in this country has a complicated past, consisting of trauma and inequity for many groups of people. We also acknowledge that many of these communities are the same groups of people who have been disproportionately affected by the widespread negative impacts of Covid-19, including sickness, death, job loss and destruction of communities and family systems. We believe the best path forward in this pandemic, while also demonstrating our sense of equity for these groups, is to maximize the number of vaccinated people engaging with our organization. We know this is not a black and white issue, however we are doing our best to make decisions that we feel will best protect our ITE community and beyond. 

We hope the pandemic will pass in the near future so that all peoples can safely participate in our programs without facing these constant questions so imminently impacting the health and well-being of ourselves and our communities. For those individuals who do not feel supported, heard or included in this decision, we hope you will accept our humble apologies and we hope that you will be able to join us soon.