PRIOR TO COURSE START
COVID-19 Vaccination & Booster Requirement - For Courses starting Before April 15, 2023
Applicants enrolled on Classic Courses starting before April 15, 2023 are required to be up to date on their vaccination against COVID-19 per CDC guidelines. Up to date means you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible.
Participants are required to submit their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card with booster documentation included if eligible within 30 days of date of eligibility, or by 3 days prior to course start, whichever date comes first.
- Participants eligible for a booster 7 days or less prior to course start or those who become eligible for a booster during course may submit their COVID-19 Vaccination Record card confirming fully vaccinated status by 3 days prior to course start. Pre-course PCR test not required.
- Participants eligible for a booster but who have recently had COVID should wait until they have met CDC guidelines for ending isolation before getting a booster and have up to 90 days from the date of COVID symptoms or a positive test (whichever is earliest) before NCOBS up to date vaccination requirements will apply.
When to get boosted?
Reference the CDC guidelines on staying up to date with your vaccines.
- Those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are eligible to receive a booster of Pfizer or Moderna* 5 months after their final shot was administered. *For 12–17-year-olds, only the Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized.
- Those who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for a Pfizer or Moderna booster 2 months after their final shot was administered.
- If you are located in the United States, we will accept all the vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of today, the three approved vaccines are Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson.
- If you are located outside of the United States, we will accept vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) with an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). As of today, the five approved vaccines are Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, and Sinopharm.
NCOBS strongly recommends participants take a viral COVID-19 test prior to traveling to course to avoid traveling while infectious and to avoid being turned away at course start (all participants will be given an antigen quick test at course start and those who test positive will not be allowed on course**). NCOBS recommends testing within 5 days of course if using a lab-processed molecular test or 24 hours or less prior to course for an antigen or PCR quick-test.
For courses starting after April 15, 2023:
Applicants enrolled on Classic Courses starting after April 15, 2023 are NOT required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
You MUST take a COVID-19 Antigen Test 24-Hours Prior to Course Start
- Why? To reduce the likelihood of testing positive upon arrival to Outward Bound (refer to the "Curse Start" section below).
- If you test positive, call us immediately and do not travel.
- Participants who test positive will not be accepted onto course.
COVID-19 and Other Illness Symptoms
Participants must be symptom-free of COVID-19 and other significant illness such as the flu 72-hours prior to course start.
Recent COVID-19 Diagnoses
Participants who have tested positive for COVID-19:
- 90 days - 11 days prior to course start:
- Must be fully recovered (symptoms resolved) and test negative on an at-home rapid antigen test (confirming you are no longer infectious) to attend course.
- Please notify us of the date of the positive test – having diagnosis dates on record is vital to any on-course PCR testing we may conduct.
- If you continue to test positive on antigen tests, we are unable to accept you onto course.
- 10 days or less prior to course start: we are unable to accept you onto course.
COVID-19 Statement of Understanding
Participants (and parents of minor students) will sign a COVID-19 Statement of Understanding.
Calling Course a "GO"
We will make every effort to confirm the course at 30-days before course start. Participant status and/or course status may change at any time due to COVID-19.
Travel & Backup Travel Plan
Participants on Open Enrollment courses may travel to/from course by personal vehicle or commercial transportation; however, personal vehicle travel is strongly encouraged.
To reduce the likelihood of participants testing positive upon arrival to Outward Bound, we highly encourage participants to take a rapid COVID-19 antigen test 24-hours or less prior to traveling to Outward Bound. Participants who test positive should not travel and will not be accepted onto course.
Participants will take an NCOBS-administered rapid antigen COVID-19 test on course start day upon arrival. Participants testing positive, as well as any close contacts, will not be accepted on course.
If you intend to travel by commercial transportation, you must submit a back-up travel plan should you need to travel home under quarantine or isolation protocols. Plan must NOT include commercial travel.
Back-Up Travel Plan Options
YOUTH (Course Age Ranges 14-18) must depart from the airport at course start or from the Outward Bound program location during course by private vehicle, providing name and contact information of pick-up person. Once course is in progress, if you must depart course early due to COVID-19, your plan must allow for departure within 48 hours.
ADULT (Course age ranges 18+, 18-25, 30+) must either:
- Preferred - Arrange your own transportation home such as your personal vehicle, car rental, or by providing name and contact information of pick-up person
- Outward Bound will provide transportation to a hotel near the airport, provided the participant meets the hotel’s age requirement for check-in.
Hotel options include:
Once course is in progress, if you must depart course early due to COVID-19, your plan must allow for departure within 48 hours.
Please reference the CDC recommendations for Protecting Yourself When Using Transportation and Considerations for Travelers.
- Participants will be screened upon arrival for COVID-19 and other illness symptoms. If any signs or symptoms of illness exist, participants will not be allowed to start the course.
- Participants will take an antigen COVID-19 test on course start day.
- On courses 9 days or longer, participants will take an additional COVID-19 test on day 6 of course.
- North Carolina Outward Bound School Staff will administer these tests.
Protect Yourself and Others from COVID-19
Please refer to CDC Guidelines on physical distancing best practices.
Mask Wearing Protocol
The North Carolina Outward Bound School remains vigilant regarding the emergence of future COVID-19 variants and may adjust masking protocol if conditions warrant.
Masks will only be required:
- While traveling in Outward Bound vehicles
- If you have been identified as a close contact of person testing positive for COVID-19.
For courses longer than 5 days: Following a second antigen test, masking will be relaxed once all group members have received negative test results.
Mask Wearing Protocol For Close Contacts
Close contacts to COVID-19 positive cases at course start and/or during course:
- may remain on course provided they are symptom free.
- will mask anytime indoors regardless of distancing, and mask outdoors when six feet distance cannot be maintained.
- will sleep in an individual shelter until 10 days have passed.
- should self-monitor for COVID symptoms and take a COVID test immediately if any develop.
Masks must be a medical mask (surgical style, KN95, or N95). Close contact protocol may be lifted after 10 days have passed and the close contact tests COVID negative.
- Enhanced personal hygiene will be practiced on every course.
- Participants will learn and practice increased cleaning and sanitization protocols.
- All staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- All NCOBS employees will be tested for COVID-19 and cleared to work.