PATH Intl. COVID-19 Bulletin
May 28, 2020
COVID-19-Specific Updates for PATH Intl. Centers, Individual Members, Certified Professionals & Friends .
Today’s bulletin provides planning tools, suggested guidelines, industry samples and other resources for resuming services as COVID-19 restrictions are in different phases of easing around the world. These and other resources are also available on the PATH Intl. website COVID-19 page . Additionally, today’s information has been compiled into a document- PATH Intl. Reopening Suggestions for download and ease of access.

As you examine the following, please keep in mind, all the resources have valuable points and concepts to consider as you design your plans to resume services. It can’t be stressed enough that your plans must adhere to local laws and policies. No single plan fits all. The plan that's right for you will be the plan that's appropriate and specific to your unique situation.

PATH Intl. provided a first-rate webinar at the beginning of May titled, Resuming Services Strategically and Safely: Approaching the Future with Mindful Intention. If you haven’t watched it, it is chock full of valuable suggestions and comes highly recommended by your fellow members who gave it glowing reviews. The recording is available here .
Step One: Are you ready? If not, it’s okay! Only you can make that call.

If you can’t decide, the CDC has provided a simple decision tree tool and web page for helping to make the decision about whether or not your facility is ready for reopening. The purpose of this tool is to assist directors or administrators in making reopening decisions regarding youth programs and camps during the COVID-19 pandemic and it aligns nicely with EAAT. The CDC also reminds us it is important to check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.
Step Two: Do you have a plan?
Following are some terrific reopening plans collected from within the EAAT industry and from aligned organizations/industries.

  • American Horse Council, with a coalition of breed associations, released Suggested Operating Best Practices for barns that include phases and a comprehensive questionnaire for individuals being allowed on premises.
  • Summit Center for Therapeutic Riding in Middletown, Delaware has a nicely-done, thorough plan they are working through as they move toward resuming services.
  • Agape a PATH Int. PAC in Cicero, IN has an excellent written reopening plan
  • Hearts & Horses a PAC in Loveland, CO is taking a phase-in approach to its plan.
  • PAC Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in WA is also looking at a phased approach
Step Three: Risk assessment

Because risk assessment is an important component of your decisions and plans, JoyRide Center in Magnolia, TX has kindly provided an excellent risk-benefit assessment tool they employ for riders. It might behoove you to go through similar exercises with staff and volunteers. It is critical for administrators to discuss the individual risk for your situation with your legal team and insurance representatives.  
Step Four: Volunteers!
Engaging Center Volunteers as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

Explore ideas to help plan for the return of center volunteers, engage and retain those who won’t be returning immediately and prepare for social distancing, sanitation and other concept new to your essential crew.

This fun, FREE live panel discussion will be presented next Thursday June 4, 2020 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. MST. Perfect for volunteer coordinators and everyone who works with volunteers, the panel will answer frequently asked questions and suggest creative ideas and plans for successfully navigating this up-to-the-minute hot topic. Certified professionals will earn 1.5 CEUs.

Expert Panelists
Emmy Soyka , volunteer manager, PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center Hearts & Horses Therapeutic Riding Center, Loveland, Colorado
Chrissy Stoutt , volunteer manager, PATH Intl. CTRI™, Haku Baldwin Center, Makawao, Hawaii
Amy Tripson , program director, PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor with CTRI™ designation, HOPE Bejing, China and previously volunteer manager at PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc., New Lyme, Connecticut.

See you there!
Bits and bobs

  • The US Environmental Protection Agency has compiled an extensive list of disinfectants safe and effective to use against the COVID-19 virus.
  • Sessions outdoors could be key.
  • Thanks to PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor and CTRI™ Amy Tripson for the great idea of posting reinforcement signage around your center. The CDC and World Health Organization both offer downloadable graphics for print and display addressing everything from hand washing to wearing cloth masks.
  • Thanks to PATH Intl. Region Conference Coordinator, Certified Advanced Instructor and CTRI™ Marsha Anderson for the suggestion that centers do some role playing when plans for resuming services. Have your staff go step by step through a participant’s arrival through a session to see if processes will work well and where there are holes in the plan.
We continue to research and gather information to assist centers in maintaining operations during this challenging time. If you have suggestions or ideas, please email Kathy Alm . We might include those ideas in a future communication.