COVID-19 Health & Safety Practices

David Morgan



Your expedition starts now. The moment you decide to go Outward Bound you’re tasked with responsibilities that impact not only yourself, but also your crew. This includes taking the necessary precautions to mitigate risks, including those associated with COVID-19. 

Outward Bound is actively monitoring COVID-19 throughout our program areas, and following the guidance issued from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health authorities. The wellbeing, health and safety of our students and staff is a top priority, and VOBS is working diligently with local public health authorities and medical advisors to maintain recommended mitigation controls and procedures in alignment with current data and science. The risk of contracting COVID-19 prior to or while participating in an Outward Bound program can be reduced but not eliminated. As with all aspects of your Outward Bound course, our staff will teach you what you need to know to be active in mitigating risks.

Below are enhanced health and safety practices we ask of every student prior to arrival and while on course.


For all Voyageur Outward Bound School Open Enrollment Courses from January 1- April 14, 2023, students are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as defined by the CDC. 

Fully Vaccinated = You have received all recommended doses in the primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine (e.g. Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc.)  

Being fully vaccinated, however, is not the same as having the best protection. People are best protected when they stay ‘up to date’ with COVID-19 vaccinations, which includes getting additional boosters as they become available. Outward Bound strongly recommends that all students be 'up to date' prior to arriving to their course start. 


  • Practice physical distancing when outside your household
  • Wash or sanitize your hands frequently
  • Avoid crowded places, especially indoors
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick
  • Follow current recommended guidance and requirements from the CDC
  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms
  • VOBS strongly recommends getting a flu shot prior to your course start date - This is particularly important if your course takes place during cold & flu season


Testing Recommendations & Requirements

Testing for COVID-19 is part of Outward Bound's comprehensive plan for minimizing the risk of spreading the virus.

  • Participants are encouraged to test for COVID19 within 3-5 days prior to the course to ensure that they show up for course healthy & ready to participate!  
  • VOBS will administer a COVID-19 antigen tests on the participants course start day AND between days 4-8 of the course (two tests in total)
  • If a participant tests positive on their course start day, it could affect their participation in the course


Health Reminder

Do not travel to course if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, if you have been or presumed to have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19. In these cases, please contact your Course Advisor immediately to work through your options.



  • Participants will practice masking & social distancing with their group between days 1-5 to mitigate exposure in confined spaces
  • VOBS will administer a second COVID-19 rapid Antigen test between days 4-8 of the course - If all participants test negative, masking & distancing requirements will be lifted
  • Certain circumstances, such as exposure to a symptomatic individual, could lead to an adjustment in masking & social distancing protocols
  • If a participant tests positive on the course, VOBS will follow CDC guidelines & make decisions about continued participation on an individual basis



All VOBS staff are required to have their COVID-19 vaccination. Some exemptions may exist, in accordance with our Staff Vaccination Policy. Possible exemptions will be assessed against course type, staff role, and other relevant safety factors. 

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