Ride the Edge

COVID-19

Blizzard takes COVID-19 seriously. We have policies in place to run events safely while enjoying our great Midwest winters! We continue working with the Minnesota Ski Areas Association (MNSAA) and our transportation company to develop operating plans based on guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Minnesota and National Ski Areas Associations (NSAA).

Because of our close interaction with children, Blizzard staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Expand the sections below for more information. [Updated January 12, 2022]

CLOSE CONTACT or POSITIVE TEST?

You must email the Blizzard office if any participant tests positive or was exposed to someone with COVID-19. Thank you!

Close Contact

Per MDH guidelines, Blizzard defines a “Close Contact” (exposure) as being within six feet of someone with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes, regardless of masking. The K-12 exception does not apply because Blizzard does not operate in an indoor classroom setting.

We understand our protocols may differ from other organizations (schools, shops, employers, etc.), but they are based on the specific nature of Blizzard’s operations and must be followed to participate in our programs. We really appreciate your support!

If a participant has Close Contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, here are our protocols depending on vaccination status.

Unvaccinated: May not attend Blizzard for five days after exposure (must quarantine). Testing recommended immediately and 5-7 days after exposure.

Fully Vaccinated: May attend Blizzard (do not need to quarantine). Must watch for symptoms. Testing recommended 5-7 days after exposure.

Previously had COVID-19: May attend Blizzard (do not need to quarantine or get tested) IF illness was laboratory confirmed AND within past three months AND fully recovered AND no current symptoms.

Positive Test

A participant who tests positive for COVID-19 may not attend Blizzard for five days after symptom onset (or, if asymptomatic, their positive test) AND until symptom free (must quarantine).

Confidentiality

In some cases, we may be required by law to provide the MDH with your personal information. We may also be required to notify others who were potentially exposed. Your personal information will be kept confidential throughout this process.

PREVENTION GUIDELINES

Blizzard follows prevention guidelines from MDH. Here’s an overview of our safety measures.

Physical Distancing

Skiing and snowboarding are great activities for maintaining physical distancing! See below for details about how we’re physically distancing indoors and outside.

Indoor Spaces

Blizzard requires face coverings in indoor spaces, including buses and chalets, except when eating. We follow all guidelines from the CDC, snowsports areas, and Metro Area school districts.

Per CDC guidelines, masks are currently required for all persons riding a bus. Face coverings must be snug-fitting and cover the nose and mouth completely. Fabric covers must have at least two layers. For more information, check CDC recommendations and MDH guidelines.

Outdoor Spaces

NSAA’s Ski Well, Be Well program offered a lot of info about staying safe on the slopes last season, and much of it still applies.

  • The natural outdoor mountain environment is a great place to enjoy your own space!
  • The Responsibility Code helps us keep separate on the hill.
  • Chairlift chairs are ~50′ apart and keep us moving, creating lots of space and fresh air.
  • Wearing skis and snowboards naturally help us separate in lift lines.
  • Blizzard Lesson Cones are spaced to keep groups apart.

Sanitation

Hand sanitizer, spare masks and gloves are available at the Blizzard Table in the chalet and on every bus.

Self-Assessment

You must complete a symptom check when making a reservation for a Blizzard event. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been exposed to COVID-19, please notify the office so we can meet our obligations for contact tracing.

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you feel sick in general, PLEASE STAY HOME and do not attend a Blizzard event! You will never be charged for missing a trip if you’re sick!

BUSES

Bus Capacity

We follow our transportation provider’s safety measures, including limits on bus capacity and seating arrangements. Per CDC guidelines, masks are required for all persons riding a bus.

Spare masks, hand sanitizer and gloves are available on every bus.

Driving

Parents should escort their child(ren) to the Blizzard Table upon arrival to get a lift ticket and drop off your lunch. Areas do not permit bags in the chalet, so only a lunch box/bag is permitted and must be kept in Blizzard’s reserved space.

If you drive, plan to arrive at the area by 9:15 AM to gear up, get your lift ticket, and be ready to join your group between 9:30-9:45 AM.

Please pick up your child(ren) between 3:15-3:30 PM.

DIRECT TO SNOW

Blizzard participants should come dressed for a day on the slopes! Older members and adults can bring boots in a bag, but everyone should exit the bus wearing their ski or snowboard boots. Younger members should have their boots on when they board the bus.

At the area, we will unload, get our skis/snowboards off the trailer (bags stay in the trailer), and go into the chalet to drop off lunches. Mites, SuperMites and SuperKyds (grades K-5) will be escorted by Blizzard staff throughout this process.

PROGRAMS

All programs have returned to a more typical grouping and scheduling strategy. See our program overview page with links to details for each program.

Our cancellation policy remains unchanged. We understand that many families have experienced very challenging circumstances during the pandemic, so please reach out to the office to discuss special situations.

CHALET

Blizzard Table

The Blizzard Table will be staffed all day by our wonderful Blizzard Chaperones. Members and staff will check in and check out as usual. Spare masks, hand sanitizer and gloves are available at the Blizzard Table throughout the day.

Dedicated Space

Blizzard will have dedicated space inside the chalet to keep us separated from the general public. All Blizzard members must be in our dedicated space whenever using the chalet. Members and staff should wear their Blizzard membership card or staff ID at all times in the chalet.

Food & Beverage

We strongly recommend bringing a lunch from home. This is required for K-5 programs as usual; older members and staff can purchase food at the areas.

We offer a nut-free table for those with nut allergies.

All Blizzard members and staff will be assigned to a lunch period to reduce crowding in the chalet. All Blizzard members must eat in our designated area, regardless of where food is purchased.

11:30-12:15  Classic, Team Blizzard, Apprentice Instructors, Mites
12:15-1:00    SuperMites, SyperKyds, SuperKyds Race

Ski Patrol

All areas have implemented COVID-related protocols at Ski Patrol. If a person is determined to have COVID-19 symptoms, they will be isolated and must be picked up. Under no circumstances will anyone with COVID-19 symptoms be permitted to ride home on a Blizzard bus.

Lost & Found

Blizzard will not lend out gear this season. If something is forgotten, Blizzard can assist with an emergency purchase from the area.

At the end of the day, all lost & found will be collected in a plastic bag and returned to the Blizzard office. After two weeks, all unclaimed items will be disposed. If you lose something on a Blizzard trip, please email the office.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

These sites have great information about COVID-19 in relation to Blizzard. If you have other resources to recommend, please let us know and we’ll add them here!

Thank You!

We truly appreciate your support as we refine our programs, events, lessons, transportation, and many other aspects of our winter operations. Together we can keep our communities healthy and have a fantastic ski and snowboard season!

We understand every family has different concerns about COVID-19. If you don’t find what you’re looking for here, please email the office.