Gov. Justice says Hatfield-McCoy trails can reopen on May 21, 2020, with some limitations

(R) - Governor Jim Justice

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – Gov. Jim Justice has announced that the Hatfield McCoy Trail system can open with some limitations.

The Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreational Authority has been a great partner throughout the closure. In the weeks the trails have been closed, state and local leaders have developed policies and procedures to further mitigate risk.

Under Gov. Justice’s reopening plan, West Virginia Strong – The Comeback, the Hatfield McCoy Trails will be permitted to have a limited reopening effective Thursday, May 21, 2020. While riders will be allowed on the trails, all trailhead properties and welcome centers, as well as the visitor center for the trail system, will remain closed.

RIDER GUIDANCE
While the trails offer outdoor recreation opportunities for both in-state and out-of-state visitors, it is important to maintain proper physical distancing and safety precautions, even while out in the field. The following guidance has been issued to ensure riders remain as safe as possible.
o PPE: Riders are encouraged to wear face appropriate face coverings or face shields while stopped. All riders, by law, must wear a helmet while riding.
o Self screening: Riders are encouraged to self screen for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
o Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
o Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
o Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
o Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
o Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours
o Temperature checks: Riders are encouraged to take their temperature prior to arriving at the trails. If their temperature measures over 100 degrees, the riders are not permitted to enter the trails.
o Sick riders: Any rider or visitor who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) must leave the trails immediately and seek medical care and/or COVID-19 testing, per CDC guidelines.
o Limit groups: Riders are prohibited from congregating on the trails.
o Physical distancing: Practice proper social distancing, minimum of six feet where practical and safe to do so.
o Shared vehicles: Riders are discouraged from sharing a UTV, ATV or Off-Road dirt bike with anyone outside their immediate group or party.
o Shared equipment: Riders are discouraged from sharing safety equipment or appropriate face coverings.

OPERATIONS & EMPLOYEE SAFETY
To mitigate the spread of COVID-19 among employees of the Hatfield McCoy Trails, the following guidance has been issued for workers who build and maintain the trails.

o Screen employees: Screen all employees reporting to work daily for COVID-19 symptoms with the following questions:
o Have you been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19?
o Are you experiencing a cough, shortness of breath, or sore throat?
o Have you had a fever in the last 48 hours?
o Have you had new loss of taste or smell?
o Have you had vomiting or diarrhea in the last 24 hours?
o Temperature checks: Employees are encouraged to take their temperature prior to leaving for work. If their temperature measures over 100 degrees, the employee should notify management and not return to work that day and any future days when the temperature is over 100 degrees.
o Sick employees: Direct any employee who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms (i.e., answers yes to any of the screening questions or who is running a fever) to leave the premises immediately and seek medical care and/ or COVID-19 testing, per CDC guidelines.

Employers should maintain the confidentiality of employee health information.

o Training: Train all employees on the importance and expectation of increased frequency of handwashing, and the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, and provide clear instruction to avoid touching hands to face.
o PPE: Employees should wear proper personal protection equipment (PPE), including cloth face coverings and gloves, when working on shared equipment and interacting with riders.
o Social distancing: Employees should avoid all contact with riders while working the trails.
Employees shall not congregate in groups of five or more and should practice social distancing wherever practical and safe to do so.
o Sanitization: Disinfecting wipes and hand sanitizer should be made available in common areas for employees. Hand soap should be easily accessible.
o Signage: Post extensive signage on health policies, including the following documents in the workplace to help educate all on COVID-19 best practices:
o CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs
o CDC: COVID-19 Symptoms

CLEANING & SANITIZATION
The Hatfield McCoy Trail System utilizes a lot of equipment, parts and resources. As such, the following guidance has been issued to help protect employees, riders and community members.
o Pre-shift equipment cleaning: Employees shall disinfect touch points on all mobile equipment, ATV’s, UTV’s, Off-Road dirt bikes prior to using them. This includes seats, seat belts, steering wheels, shifters and other handles that must be touched in order to safely operate the equipment.
o Cleaning: Implement workplace cleaning and disinfection practices, according to CDC guidelines, including sanitizing common surfaces and equipment at least every two hours.
o Gas stations: Employees who visit local gas stations to fill automobile or equipment gas tanks are encouraged to wear proper PPE (face covering and gloves) while fueling vehicles. Employees are also encouraged to use pay-at-the-pump services, where applicable.

TRAILHEADS & PARKING AREAS
While trails will be open, all trailhead buildings (the fixed facilities at each trail system where riders can purchase permits, merchandise and use public restrooms) will remain closed. These facilities will not reopen until further notice as their size prohibits social distancing, and these sites, when open, lead to congregations of trail riders. The parking areas utilized by trail riders at these locations will remain open as normal.

VISITOR CENTERS AND WELCOME CENTER
The two Hatfield McCoy visitor centers and the one Hatfield McCoy trail welcome center, which are located in Bramwell, Logan and Julian will also remain closed until further notice. These larger facilities also provide restrooms, sell merchandise and permits. These facilities remain closed until safety shields and other social distancing measures can be implemented to protect both visitors and staff. The parking areas utilized by trail riders at these facilities will remain open as normal.

More details can be found here: https://governor.wv.gov/Documents/Hatfield-McCoy-Trail-Reopening-Guidelines.pdf

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com