Summer 2020 And COVID-19
Coronavirus: A Message
Dear Friends and Families of Summerfuel,
I hope this note finds your family healthy and safe. As we approach the end of March, our team is staying busy planning all of the details of our exciting summer programs and I wanted to share some information regarding our plans, thoughts and preparations for Coronavirus, COVID-19.
Since our founding 35 years ago, we have approached each participant and staff member’s summer experience with the same unwavering attention to safety, health and security. It is and always has been our number one priority. This summer is no exception.
Having run summer programs since 1984, we have had considerable experience planning and running programs during public health scares. Our teams have worked through both SARS and the H1N1 outbreaks, successfully establishing appropriate healthcare protocol and keeping students and staff well cared for. Summerfuel works collaboratively with dedicated health centers on each of our campuses. We have strong ties to nearby pediatric practices, and access to excellent full-service hospitals just minutes from each location. In that spirit, we are diligently monitoring the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. In addition, we are also in constant contact with our friends and colleagues who are actually on the ground in locations where run programs.
With Summerfuel program start dates nearly four months away, we remain optimistic that our programs will continue as planned. At present, the CDC continues to report that immediate risk to the general public is relatively low. Young people under the age of 20 are not contracting the disease at significant rates and youth appears to be a protective factor. We are in touch with each of our partner campuses for regular updates and feel confident we are well informed of local resources, policy and support. However, Summerfuel is prudent when it comes to the health and safety of our students and staff, and we will continue to monitor the evolving situation closely with the best interests of our students and staff at heart.
Reflecting upon other worldwide illnesses and geographic events we have seen in the past, we know it is easy to be distracted and sometimes overwhelmed by the minute-to-minute, occasionally inconsistent updates provided by media outlets throughout the world. We encourage you to reference the CDC Website and the WHO Website to stay informed. In the unlikely event that Summerfuel decides to close a program, enrolled families would be refunded program fees paid. If a student is unable to travel to their program due to government travel bans, airport closings, or other governmental shutdowns, Summerfuel will work with enrolled families to arrange a refund.
To provide peace of mind amidst the uncertainty we are extending our refund deadline to April 30th to help you enroll with confidence. As we do every year, Summerfuel recommends trip insurance, and we urge you to read policies closely to ensure that they match your needs. Please consider a comprehensive policy with Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) coverage once you register. In addition to sources you may have locally, you may view and find some options on Insuremytrip.com and other similar sites.
Summerfuel will continue to monitor the situation closely and we will adjust our response as facts dictate. Our assessment at this time, based on the best available evidence, is that the threat to our students for the coming summer is extremely low. Should the situation change, we will, of course, be in touch with you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.
We’re looking forward to seeing you this summer!
Stay calm, stay healthy and keep washing your hands!