With the spread of the Delta Variant we are seeing a significant spike in Covid cases in our area, as well as around the country. Many hospitals in the East Tennessee area are seeing numbers of cases higher and more serious than during the height of the pandemic in 2020. The more recent spike seems to be hitting the unvaccinated the hardest but many vaccinated individuals are also being impacted.
In light of this news, I have decided to reinstate the separate vehicle policy that was in place in 2020. We will still meet at a convenient location but guide clients will need to drive separately to the destination. This policy will remain in place until at least the end of the year. In my view, time spent close together in an enclosed vehicle is the highest risk of exposure on a guide trip. The remainder of the day is spent outside and maintaining reasonable distance is pretty easy.
Beyond that, I am not requiring that you wear a mask but you are certainly welcome to do so. I do not typically wear a mask on the stream but always have one. I will gladly wear it if it makes you more comfortable.
I’m sorry for any inconvenience and please let me know if there is anything else I can do to make you feel more safe and comfortable on your guided trip.