Alaska is Calling...Our COVID-19 Policy
May 30, 2020
It’s early summer here in Alaska, and the pandemic is still raging around the world. But, here, in our little cove along a 9-mile fjord along the Gulf of Alaska, the natural world doesn’t take notice of the human toll that COVID-19 is taking. And, we, who live here, don’t either unless we purposely turn on the television and catch the evening news.
To keep us from falling into the despair of endless news cycles, we’re focused on the microcosm of Tutka Bay Lodge, the incredible numbers of Rufus hummingbirds that swarm around us at the moment (A hummingbird bath is a luxuriously beautiful thing. Stand near one of our feeders very still and wait for the birds to swirl around you, buzzing across your face or zipping down your arm. It’s a moment when you might feel like magical fairies are flying around you and perhaps sending waves of golden bits of good luck as their tiny wings flap by).
Lodge managers Leda and Maggie have been working hard in the garden and the greenhouse, planting potatoes to peonies. We have a giant cherry tree in our greenhouse that is busting out of his baby clothes and growing into a full-blown tree. We need to dig it up and replant it somewhere outside when the ground warms up.
We have seen whales and porpoise, otters, and seals. The dawn chorus of bird sounds is outrageous.
We are happily preparing for summertime guests. Yes, indeed, things have changed, and perhaps forever, and we have had to figure out how to keep staff and guests safe and healthy this summer, but our plan is in place.
As of June 5’th, 2020, we will be able to accept out-of-state travelers to both of our lodges.
Here is our game plan:
Guest arrival into Alaska – Guests who travel from outside of Alaska will be required to take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours from traveling. Our State of Alaska COVID information page is HERE. Graham Jones, in our Anchorage office, can assist you with the details of this process.
Once here, we can arrange private and safe transportation to and from our lodges.
Our air transportation partner, Rust’s Flying Service, has a COVID-19 safety plan in place. We are flying guests in private parties only. The airplanes will be cleaned between each flight. Disposable covers will be placed on headphone mouthpieces. Guests and pilots wear masks while onboard.
At the lodges: Guests are given an arrival packet at the first point of contact we have with you. Included is an Alaska custom-made facemask made from high-tech medical-grade material. Also, hand sanitizer made from Alaska potato vodka that is 80% alcohol level. Also, we offer Alaska water to stay hydrated on your travel from the entry point to the lodges.
Upon arrival at the lodge, rather than go to the main lodge and check-in right away, guests are shown to their private guest cabins, offered to take showers and change clothes, and we will wash their clothing immediately. We serve snacks and drinks in the cabins during the arrival process.
The staff has completed quarantine, and many have been tested, all have been educated on the safety standards of our company.
Housekeeping staff enters into your guest room only once per day. If you request them not to enter, we will leave refresh packages at your door. Housekeepers will wear masks and gloves at any time in a guest room.
All staff and guests will wear masks when they are closer than six-feet in contact with each other. Frequent handwashing, daily temperature checks, and other screening measures are in place.
All public and frequent use surfaces are cleaned and sanitized multiple times in a day with a CDC and EPA-approved COVID-19 sanitizers. We use environmentally safe products. A complete list of our cleaning products is available upon request.
Guests can request to be served meals in their cabins. Guests can request paper product service ware if preferred.
We are limiting massage for this summer season, but we have a robust wellness program, including sessions in sound therapy, meditation, yoga, and other incredible non-touch experiences.
Questions? Contact us, and let’s talk about it. The hummingbirds are calling!