(Updated May 27th, 2020)
I wish I could give you some definitive answers on how the EOTB and our schedule of events will be affected, but at the moment, we simply don’t know. All we can do is assure you that we are monitoring the situation and making adjustments in accordance with the Public Health Authority’s recommendations. We don’t want to put anyone at risk.
Ontario’s emergency orders have been extended until June 9th. Therefore, all EOTB events have been canceled through to that date. Should the order be extended again, we will follow suit and cancel events in adherence with those orders.
Up until now, the guidance has been to remain off the trails. Last week, however the Ontario government relaxed some restrictions, and to the best of our interpretation, people are now permitted to use trails on crown land. As a result of these changes, our guidance is changing as well.
While the province has loosened restrictions on trail use, they have extended the restrictions on social gatherins of more than five people (while they have approved an exemption for drive-in religious gatherings, this exception doesn’t apply to us). It would be impractical for the EOTB to run formal club events and adhere to this regulation, therefore we will wait for this order to be lifted.
The current emergency order is in effect until May 29th, therefore we have canceled all events through to that date including:
- May 3, 2020 – Season opener
- May 9, 2020 – Crag Lake Adopt-a-Trail
- May 18, 2020 – First Open Run of 2020
- May 24, 2020 – Member Run, Sullivan Lake
- May 30, 2020 – Member Run, Lavant Lookout
- June 6, 2020 – Member Run, Calabojee Line
We will be canceling all events up to the end date of the emergency order if it is extended and in accordance with any OF4WD recommendations. We plan to provide a minimum of 3-4 days notice before an event cancellation. I think we all need to be prepared for the likelihood that changes to our standard procedures will have to be made if and when we can hit the trails.
Our interpretation of the current provincial guidance is that people are permitted to use the trails, in alignment with this, members are free to organize buddy runs. It is our recommendation, however that you adhere to these guidelines when you do venture out on the trail:
- If you are showing any symptoms of COVID-19, or have reason to believe you have been exposed, stay home.
- If you have traveled outside the country in the last 14 days, stay home.
- During the event, maintain social distancing from those not in your household (stay 2m away)
- Bring all equipment you require (tire gauge, air compressor, wrenches for swaybar, etc)
- Only bring passengers that live in your home with you
- Avoid shaking hands or direct contact with others. A Jeep wave will suffice (even if you don’t drive a Jeep)
- If you must conduct an extraction, only one person should handle extraction gear. Self-extraction is recommended whenever possible.
- It is highly recommended that all members have a CB to maintain communications with the group.
- Dogs are permitted, but must be kept on leash or in vehicles at all times.
The following wing nights have formally been canceled and a virtual wing night scheduled instead:
- April 13, 2020
- May 11, 2020
- June 9, 2020 – Click here for event details
As overland events require additional preparation by the organizers and participants, we plan to provide a minimum of 8-10 days notice before an event cancellation. For the moment, the following event has been canceled:
- May 8, 2020 – Overland Exploration
- June 12, 2020 – Member Overland
For the moment, Camp EOTB remains on the calendar. We are all hoping that the emergency orders are lifted well before Camp EOTB, however, we do have to plan for all possibilities. At this time, we can tell you that registration for Camp EOTB will not open until June 1st. Should the emergency orders extend beyond that, we will push out the open of registration until the orders have been lifted. The cutoff date for Camp EOTB is July 10th. If the emergency order extends beyond July 10th, we will have to cancel Camp EOTB this season.
We ask for your patience and your continued adherence to the guidance presented above.
President, Eastern Ontario Trail Blazers