Dear ANSA members,
As we enter the busiest part of our season, I wanted to review our COVID compliance policy, and make additions based on the most recent state guidance.
In December, Governor Mills and the Maine CDC gave new guidance specific to skiing that supports our approach that "when skiing on your own in a non-public setting a face covering is not required." However they clarify that "when participating as part of an organized event or competition that masks are required." The guidance explains that “the nature of Nordic skiing with unexpected trail events and differences between athletes often results in bunched up groups.” Other groups around the state are successfully following this guidance, including racers sporting masks for high level competitions.
These guidance documents carry the force of law. Their application to our situation at ANSA results in the following:
1. Follow our original requirement: masks must be worn in the parking area.
2. Follow our original permission: you may remove your mask when skiing if you are on your own or with people in your own household.
3. If you ski with a group of one or more people not in your household, you must wear masks even while skiing.
4. All participants of any organized group activity must wear a mask during the entire event. This includes Bill Koch, Outdoor Afro, Senior College, and school team practices.
The goal of all of this is to avoid virus transmission among asymptomatic people gathering in one place. The unusual nature of this virus is that although many people have no symptoms, over 400,000 others have died. If we all do our part, we can decrease transmission to keep others safe.
The young athletes in my house have taught me a few things about exercising with masks, including using an athletic mask, and wearing a plastic spacer (they call it a muzzle) which keeps the mask away from your mouth so you can get adequate breath. It works!
Mission masks are a favorite:
There are countless silicone mask supports like this on amazon - buy a 5 pack, in case yours goes missing, or so you can share one with a friend.
Thank you for being part of ANSA, and helping us enjoy our favorite winter activities safely.