April 27, 2021 Update to March 10 Post (see below)
We’re glad to report that recent developments allow us to modify our previously communicated requirements. These changes are based on newer information from the CDC and the high rate of vaccination among our staff members (95% by our opening day).
Here are updated pre-arrival steps for guests:
- If you have been fully vaccinated you do NOT need to provide a negative COVID test prior to arrival (unless you have COVID symptoms during the week before your visit).
- If you have proof of recovery from COVID within the three months prior to your ranch stay, you do NOT need to provide a negative COVID test prior to arrival.
- Pre-arrival COVID tests (for those not vaccinated, including children 3 years old and older) must be administered within 3 days before your arrival at the ranch (i.e., if you arrive on Sunday the testing window begins Thursday). Tests must be FDA-authorized viral tests; rapid tests are acceptable. Please see below for a link to a preferred testing option if you choose to use a home test kit.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to welcoming our first guests of the summer in June!
COVID-19: FAQ and Important Information for A Bar A Guests in 2021
March 10, 2021 UPDATE
Our COVID protocols are informed by local, state, and national guidelines, as well as the hospitality industry’s best practices models. They are adaptable and modifiable in real time as circumstances change. We are continually monitoring scientific progress, including CDC guidance. We are hopeful for more positive news and progress in the coming months and will continue to keep you updated on changes at the Ranch. These FAQ are just a few important highlights of our current plans.
Q: Is there anything new that we need to do before our arrival at A Bar A?
A: Yes! The Ranch will require pre-arrival PCR COVID testing and a signed waiver/release acknowledging our protocols.
In April – May, Clarkie Duke will email a link to our COVID Protocols and Waiver/Release.
One to two weeks prior to your arrival, A Bar A will send an email update and call the primary reservation contact to share information about updates and specific details about what to expect while you are here.
Within 5 days of arrival: All guests 3 years of age and older must be tested for COVID-19 using a PCR test (due to accuracy concerns). A negative test result must be provided to the A Bar A.
- For example, if you arrive on Sunday afternoon, the PCR COVID-19 test can be taken any time beginning on Wednesday morning.
- If you are unable to obtain a negative test prior to arrival, please contact Lissa Howe to discuss your individual circumstances.
- Guests who cannot travel due to COVID will have their deposits returned.
In keeping with current CDC recommendations, proof of having received a vaccine will not be accepted in lieu of a negative test. If the CDC changes its recommendation, proof of a completed vaccine regimen may be acceptable.
Q: Will guests be required to wear masks while at A Bar A?
A: Yes, at certain times and depending on current conditions. Based on current conditions (subject to change), staff and guests must wear face coverings while indoors in public areas when not dining, in vehicles if with non-family group members, and when safe distancing is not possible.
Q: What is the Ranch doing related to sanitizing shared equipment and public spaces?
A: As recommended, our staff frequently sanitizes high-touch surfaces and shared equipment in workplaces, public spaces, staff housing, and guest accommodations. In addition, hand sanitizing stations are provided throughout public areas.
Q: Does A Bar A require guests to be vaccinated for COVID-19 before arrival?
A: No, but we strongly encourage it. According to the CDC’s current guidelines, vaccinated individuals exposed to COVID do not need to quarantine. Additional recommendations related to safe activities for vaccinated individuals are expected in the coming months.
Q: Does A Bar A require staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19?
A: Yes, staff who are able to get a vaccine are required to do so as soon as possible.
Q: Will guests and staff be screened for COVID while at the Ranch?
A: Self-screening for symptoms is expected. The ranch provides thermometers and symptoms lists in guest and staff cabins. By participating in ranch activities and dining, you certify that you and your children are symptom-free. Temperature checks may be used in the Gopher Hole (Children’s Program), if necessary.
Staff members self-check for symptoms before reporting for work, in addition to symptom screening upon arrival at work and periodic testing.
Q: What happens if I develop symptoms of COVID while at the Ranch?
A: You will be asked to take the following steps:
- Immediately isolate from others;
- Report your symptoms to Justin or Lissa Howe or another Ranch employee;
- Visit a local clinic as soon as possible to get a rapid COVID-19 test.
Q: What happens if I test positive for COVID while at the Ranch?
A: You and your family members who have been in close contact will be asked to re-locate off-site. The A Bar A will assist you with transition travel arrangements and you will be fully refunded for the time/days remaining in your A Bar A reservation.
Q: What happens if I am exposed to COVID while at the Ranch?
A: You will be informed if you are exposed to COVID at the Ranch. “Exposure” is defined by the CDC with specific criteria. If you have been vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine after exposure unless you develop symptoms. If you have not been vaccinated, you may be asked to quarantine according to public health guidelines.
Please contact us for any clarifications or additional questions and stay tuned for updates!
The A Bar A is all about personal connections and taking care of our guests and staff like family. Our top priority remains preserving the A Bar A experience and ensuring health and safety of our guests and staff. We have worked through this past year to make plans that address the challenges of COVID, while also improving the Ranch experience as a whole.
Our protocols for responding to the COVID environment are adaptable to meet changing circumstances and are informed by CDC guidelines and hospitality best practices. They include facilities adjustments like outdoor dining expansion and indoor airflow improvements. We’ve also made program changes to reduce crowding and waiting in lines, and dining adjustments to eliminate breakfast and lunch self-service buffets. Our cleaning protocols have been enhanced, taking advantage of new tools and technologies.
As always, we are here to connect with you personally and meet your family’s needs. Our cancellation policy will remain flexible, and we encourage you to contact us any time with questions: email@example.com or 307-327-5454.
While there are some aspects of the A Bar A experience that will be different in 2021, we are fortunate that our beautiful outdoor setting remains at the heart of Ranch activities. Our core mission remains the same: to create opportunities for people to make deep connections with themselves, with others, and with the land in an authentic western setting.
Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging time; we look forward to welcoming you again soon on the banks of the North Platte River!
Yours from Wyoming,
Lissa and Justin Howe and the entire A Bar A team
More specific updates—these are examples of changes to be implemented, but this is not a comprehensive list, and protocols will be adjusted to meet needs as circumstances change.
Enhanced cleaning procedures:
- Focused training and updated cleaning protocols
- Public areas cleaned hourly with extra attention to high traffic areas
- Use of tools/technology including electrostatic spraying and UV sanitation
- Use of PPE by cleaning staff
- Earlier check-out and later check-in times to allow time for new protocols
Dining and bar changes:
- Dining areas set up with physical distancing between groups
- Outdoor dining and gathering spaces added and enhanced
- Airflow improvements
- Elimination of self-service buffets
Children’s program changes:
- Smaller activity groups
- Improved air flow in Gopher Hole
- Multiple “home base” locations for activity groups (e.g., Gopher Hole, Tree House, Tipi)
- Health screening for staff and children
- More outdoor activities and dining