March 26, 2020
Much has transpired in the last 24 hours forcing me to take a hard look at what lies ahead. Given our current trajectory and the fact that our wilderness medicine instructors are on the frontlines and will be for the foreseeable future we will be unable to run our May courses safely. As such, I have made the difficult decision to cancel all May courses. All those that have paid have been issued refunds and should have received confirmation emails from PayPal. I understand that this may impact summer job plans for some of you. My colleague is keeping her June WFR and Open Recert (located in Bishop, CA) on the schedule for the time being. If this date range works for you, I recommend reaching out to her and getting on the enrollment list. Depending on how things pan out and if we can run a course safely, we may schedule a course last minute for June. I will continue to update the BLE website with our current course status on the COVID-19 Notice page.
WFR Certification Extension Options
Various organizations (i.e. WMA, NOLS, SOLO) are working on extension options for their graduates. The Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) extension program is expected to launch in a couple weeks. This will be an online class only available to WMA grads. Details will be provided once I have more information. If you do not hold a WMA WFR or WEMT please contact the organization you certified through to ask about their extension options.
Wishing you all an abundance of health both mentally and physically during these difficult times. Stay strong!
BLE Owner/Program Director
March 25, 2020 Update
BLE continues to closely monitor the pandemic closely both on a national level and locally. As of this morning, Mammoth Lakes, CA, has 4 confirmed cases. For a town that is only 4 square miles, this is significant. We have one rural hospital in Mono County with 17 beds and 2 ventilators that serves an area that is over 3,000 square miles.
At this point, we discourage all those enrolled in our May and June courses from making travel arrangements. We will be making a final decision on cancellation of May courses by April 3rd the latest. A determination about June courses will be made at a later date.
Our refund policy will not apply to our May and June courses. If we cancel, students will automatically be refunded. We will not be giving the option to transfer to another course. Students registered in a May or June course will be issued refunds regardless of when they cancel.
We are no longer accepting payment for May and June courses. Those that wish to sign up must email us at office”at“beyondlimitsedu.com (replace “at” with @) to be added to the list. Once we have a more definitive idea if a course will run, we will reach out and give those on the list an opportunity to send payment and lock in a spot.
We hope that everyone is finding ways to stay mentally and physically healthy during these challenging times.
March 19, 2020 Update
BLE continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely. At this time we are not making any decisions to cancel May or June wilderness medicine courses.
We are offering free education consulting and tutoring services to teachers and students enrolled in school districts in the Eastern Sierra. For more information please visit the Free Services to Teachers and Parents During COVID-19 School Closure page.
March 13, 2020 Update
BLE has been monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic in close consultation with local public health experts and our affiliates. Our mission is to “pay it forward” and be of service to our community. Our programs provide a valuable service in teaching people to recognize and respond appropriately in an emergency and thus, is a huge benefit to society. Our students, our instructors, their families, and the community’s well being is our top priority. Evaluating the risk vs benefit of running a course weighs heavily on the conscience. Due to the nature of our courses, it is not possible to maintain the social distancing recommendation. We must do what is best for the greater good of the human population and do our part in encouraging tactics that will slow the pandemic and save lives.
Among the many sources of information, our primary resources include:
- Mono County Public Health
- California Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Our Affiliates
Although at the time of this notice there are currently no confirmed coronavirus cases in both Mono and Inyo counties, on the morning of March 13, 2020, we made the decision to suspend our courses for several weeks for the following reasons:
- Our wilderness medicine courses draw students from all over the country. Running a course increases the likelihood that the coronavirus will spread into the Eastern Sierra, a rural community with limited resources. Introduction of a new virus can have drastic negative impacts.
- Limit the human to human interaction and reduce the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus as well as other contagions. While various infectious diseases such as the common cold, the flu, and the coronavirus have proven to be mild in most cases those that are immune compromised and/or the elderly are at high risk. For this population, these diseases can be fatal. In addition, a significant increase in cases will result in the overtaxing of the healthcare system and lives can be lost due to insufficient resources, especially in our rural area.
- Our instructors are EMTs and paramedics. Suspending our courses frees up these employees to take care of their families as many schools and organizations temporarily suspend their operations as well as allows them to be available to respond to the needs of the healthcare system.
At this juncture, we are merging our April and May Wilderness First Responder courses into one 8 Day course April 30th-May 7th, 2020. All other course dates in May and June continue to remain on the schedule as planned until further notice. BLE will continue to work with local health experts and our affiliates to monitor the pandemic closely and do our best to minimize the impact on our learners. We understand that these dates may not work for some of you and will offer a full refund. If you are registered in the original April 18-25, 2020 WFR or May 2-6, 2020 Hybrid WFR, please confirm that you can or cannot attend by March 31st.
We are living in a time of significant adversity and uncertainty. One of the things that I have had the pleasure to bear witness and be a part of on numerous occasions is the amazing flexibility and resilience the outdoor community exhibits during challenging times. Thank you for your understanding. Stay strong and healthy. I hope to see you this spring.
BLE Owner/Program Director
March 11, 2020 Update
With the recent news that the coronavirus outbreak has been reclassified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization we wanted to provide an update as to what this means for our spring course offerings. Mono County Public Health is at a Level 1 alert status, which is defined as “Watching: A transition point and a departure from normal operations. An incident that initiates a change in operations, in anticipation of a possible health threat that is not yet assessed as credible or imminent” (Source: Mono County Supervisor Stacy Corless). Given that our next course does not begin until April 18th, we are not making any decisions to cancel courses at this time. In addition to the precautions listed below, learners will be required to complete a health questionnaire within five days of their arrival (no sooner). This will be posted on our learning management system. Learners will also be expected to complete an online lesson module and quiz specific to hygiene practices and prevention measures for various infectious diseases prior to their arrival to class.
The health and safety of our students and the community is our highest priority. We will continue to reevaluate the risk associated with running a particular course and use this post to disseminate up to date information for our courses.
March 4, 2020
There has been much concern regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) resulting in cancellation of various events worldwide. Our courses continue to remain on the schedule and are enrolling. We have no plans to cancel courses at this time. We will continue to provide updates as things change.
Mono Inyo Public Health Briefing COVID-19 (February 28, 2020)mono_inyo_public_health_briefing_coronavirus_final_2.28.20
Beyond Limits Education Prevention Practices
Our course policies include practices that are in line with the recommendations made by the CDC and Mono County Public Health.
- Training equipment is sanitized after each single use with a bleach and water solution or alcohol solution.
- Soap and hand sanitizer is made available to students in bathrooms and kitchen facilities.
- Facilities are cleaned and sanitized daily. We will make an extra effort to wipe down commonly used surfaces multiple times a day.
- Beverage dispensers are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized daily.
- Self care practices are highly encouraged and coached daily.
- If students are sick, they may transfer to another course (charges for tuition difference may apply for courses run in partnership with another organization).
- Additionally, we will screen students prior to and upon their arrival each day for signs/symptoms and send those that screen presumptive positive for COVID-19 home.
Informational Documents (Retrieved March 4, 2020)2019-ncov-factsheet
For more up to date information please visit the following sources: