In recent days it was as if we were in the 19th Century, sailing nicely after weeks in the doldrums, navigating with compass, sextant, watch and sketchy charts, and looking ahead with a spyglass. Far off in the distance there are faint flashes of light. Is a storm coming our way? There were no radar or weather apps in the 19th Century. The absence of reliable information would make it difficult to decide whether to stay on course or to bear off and seek shelter in the lee of an island not far away.
For us, the flash of light came on Saturday, August 1. It was neither distant nor faint. We received word that a young person who had attended the second session of our “Young Salts Adventure Camp” tested positive for Covid 19. We were told that this young person showed no symptoms and that he was being tested along with his family as part of a precautionary protocol. Other family members tested negative.
What did we do with this lightning bolt of information? Although public health officials advise that these tests are not 100% accurate, a positive Covid test requires us to act: quarantine and test people who may have had contact with the person with a positive test. We notified those persons and did more. We suspended all of our sailing and camping activities until we could confirm the safety of our staff, facilities, and participants in our programs. Even though it will cost time and money, we believe that it is prudent to stay tied to the pier and get back on course only when we have reliable information that it is safe to do so.
Then on Monday, we were pleased to learn that the young camper who had tested positive on Saturday was retested twice and both came back negative. He continues to have no Covid symptoms. His family also retested negative. There have been no additional positive test results for any participants. And more good news: All of our crew members have tested negative this week, along with several of the other campers.
Given that a negative test is also not a guarantee, out of an abundance of caution, we will stay in our safe harbor until 14 days have run and no one has symptoms of the virus. After this pause in our operations, we will resume camps and sailing soon–and in a manner that is even more protective than before.
We were as disappointed as the campers and their families to suspend our activities. But we believe it was best for all. Safety of participants and crew has always been our top priority.
Call of the Sea