Welcome to Arowhon Pines!
We’re delighted that you’re coming!
We want you to feel relaxed and safe for the duration of your stay.
Things have changed a little at Arowhon Pines for 2020. We’ve included herein everything you need to know about Covid-19 and Arowhon Pines. This information supersedes the information found in your Welcome Brochure in your room. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask the office staff or managers.
In order for all of us to be here together – guests and staff – and to stay safe and healthy, we must follow basic health and safety principles:
- Wash your hands before and after each task
- Stay 2 metres away from each other. If not possible, wear a mask.
- Avoid touching your face
- Practice good hygiene – sneeze or cough into your elbow
The most important elements in this crazy, stressful time are kindness and calm. We might all make mistakes – this is new to all of us – but we need to be patient and understanding. If being out in the world of Covid-19 makes you stressed and unkind, please stay home.
Our guests will understand that there is some risk to venturing out of your home, travelling here, sleeping in a hotel and eating in a restaurant. While there is no guarantee of a Covid-19 free world here – we must all do what we can to protect oneself and each other.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Sincerely, Theresa, David and Adam & all of us at Arowhon Pines
New COVID-19 Guidelines and Procedures
Arowhon Pines 2020
Arowhon Pines is currently operating at roughly half capacity to ensure there is ample room for everyone to practice physical distancing.
We fall under the Renfrew County Health unit who has mandated that all people must wear a mask or face covering anytime you are inside a building. This includes cloth and disposable masks, bandanas and scarves. Please wear a mask when you enter/exit the dining room, inside your shared cabin lounges and the games room. You do not have to wear a mask when you are outside.
The key to ensuring a wonderful experience at Arowhon Pines this season is to effectively communicate our safety and health regulations so there are no surprises. Our approach follows the groundwork of: Screen, Clean and 2 metres in-between.
Our priority is to create a safe and welcoming retreat in beautiful Algonquin Park.
As part of our contact-less check-in, you have indicated that to the best of your knowledge, you are symptom-free before travelling to us. Obviously if at any time between now and your arrival date you experience some symptoms, please stay home and contact us.
For your peace of mind, at breakfast, self-assessment cards to track your symptoms will be available, and we can take your temperature using an infrared thermometer.
If your temperature is higher than normal, or if you are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 at any time during your stay, you must stay in your room. Contact the front desk using the cabin phone. We will let you know further instructions.
We have implemented robust cleaning and disinfecting regimes throughout the resort. A summary of this is found on the following pages.
2 Metres In Between
You must agree to respect the 2-metre physical distancing parameter between guests and staff at all times. This is about two arms lengths or 6 feet.
There may be times when you will need to pass another guest or staff member and cannot physically distance. Like we are all doing at the grocery store, please bring a mask and put it on.
If you have any questions, concerns or feedback during your stay please do not hesitate to speak with Theresa or Adam.
Prior to Arrival
You'll receive an email a couple of days prior to your stay, regarding your booking. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONFIRM YOUR RESERVATION BEFORE 5 PM THE DAY PRIOR TO YOUR ARRIVAL. We will ask that you confirm: your credit card information for contact-less payment, that you’re arriving symptom-free and that you’ve reviewed this information package on Covid-19 prior to arriving – so that there are no surprises. We will ask for an ETA and license plate.
Choose one of the spaced parking spots.
Look for our new Welcome Booth at the bottom of the parking lot! A staff member will greet you and the bellmen will transfer your luggage to your cabin. If no one is there, please call us from the phone and we will be there in a second!
You will receive a Welcome Package with a synopsis of this information, a map of the trails and property, recipe cards, park pass for your car to use during your stay that you need to display on your dash, and other fun things (!!).
Please pop your trunk – a bellman will transport your luggage to outside your room – either on your outside porch if a nice day, or outside your room door on a rainy day. If the bellman needs to come inside your room, he will wear a mask.
Please be assured that your room has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected from top to bottom, before you arrive. Every surface, hard and soft, has been disinfected. Please be advised however that your room has not “rested” for 72 hours between check-outs like some big hotel chains are doing.
Check in time is between 3 and 4 pm – please be patient if we need a few extra minutes.
In order to keep everyone safe, we have suspended daily housekeeping service in your rooms. No one will be entering your room unless it is an emergency, or with your permission. If you wish fresh linen, place your soiled towels in the laundry bag located in your dresser drawer, and place outside your room before 10 am daily. Soon after, between 10 am and noon, we will leave fresh towels and supplies outside of your room. All linen will have “rested” for 72 hours. If you need anything at any time, call the office from your cabin phone.
If staying for a dreamy week or more, we will clean your room including a sheet change, after the THIRD NIGHT, on the morning of the 4th day. Please let us know at breakfast to arrange a good time when you are out.
To limit in-room housekeeping visits, there will be no turndown service but please let us know if you need anything.
Disinfectants and Soap
On the top shelf of the closet in your room is a bottle of disinfectant (labelled, diluted) and paper towel. Please use it for any additional cleaning during your stay.
Your room is supplied with locally made natural liquid soap - so that you can continue to wash your hands as often as possible –and shampoo.
Shared Cabin Lounges
If your cabin lounge is shared, the lounge will be thoroughly cleaned daily and “high touch” areas will be disinfected frequently throughout the day. You will find posted in the lounge a cleaning record.
Please do your part by washing your hands often after each task – after opening and closing the cabin lounge door, after touching any shared amenity like the shared fridge, telephone & fireplace.
You will notice that we have reconfigured the furniture in the lounges and on the shared decks in order for all singles and couples to be physically distanced.
We hope that although distanced, you take advantage of the social opportunity amongst your cabin mates.
There are books that you are welcome to use during your stay. Wash your hands before and after using them. As an extra precaution, keep that book in your own room so that when you check out, the housekeepers can keep them out of circulation for 72 hours. All games have been moved to the Games Room.
The Kitchen and Dining Room
Your dining experience will be just as fabulous and the food just as tasty as ever. Yet the Arowhon Pines culinary experience has changed from previous seasons.
Please enjoy the dining room verandah any time during the day respecting a physical distance of 2 metres at all times. Be mindful not to crowd the verandah and allow ample space for people to walk past.
We’ve designed one-way traffic inside the dining room. Please enter through the front reception door and exit through the two side doors leading to the verandah.
Allow guests already in the reception area to be seated while you remain 2 metres behind them. Only 4 people maximum in the front foyer please. We will be around to welcome and guide you!
Our dining tables have been spaced a minimum of 2 metres apart.
Our servers will be wearing masks and sanitizing their hands before/after bringing your plates.
Enjoy the well water bottle at your table – feel free to ask for more.
We have removed all self-serve food and beverage amenities. Allow us to serve you coffee, tea and snacks in-between meals or when you arrive.
The appetizer and dessert buffets have been replaced by outstanding multiple-course meals served directly to your table.
You may of course use the public bathroom located in the front foyer during meals. It would be great if you can use your own bathroom in your room at all other times. Wash your hands after use. There is hand sanitizer at the entrance. Our staff will regularly disinfect high touch areas.
We have made the decision to operate at one half occupancy. Because of this, we do not foresee the need to have two seatings at mealtimes. Our dining room is large, spacious and open. We estimate being able to accommodate 60 or so guests adequately spaced out in our dining room. This is subject to change without notice.
Please arrive anytime during the scheduled meal times.
Breakfast: 8 am to 10 am
Lunch: 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm
Dinner: 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm
Guests choose a breakfast “appetizer” or two – granola, oatmeal, treats from the bakeshop, fruit salad, homemade yoghurt etc – then order anything they wish from the hot kitchen. There are two daily specials.
Lunch Menu / Choices
We encourage guests to order a hearty picnic lunch to take with you on your canoe or hiking adventure or you might enjoy it by the lakeside or on your cabin verandah. Please place your order the night before through the office.
On hot and sunny days, there will be an outdoor barbecue – same sumptuous foods but served to you. Barbecue lunch days will be announced the night prior.
We will be serving a quick, simple bistro-type food for lunch in the dining room. There will be a soup/salad served with your choice of two main courses, and dessert.
In between meals, we will disinfect tables and chairs, crockery, plates, glasses etc.
Although our buffets of appetizers and desserts did not survive Coivd-19, there will be variety of food served over a 5-course dinner menu. We will not disappoint.
Please keep your wine with you in your cabin (cabin lounges all have a fridge) and bring it to the dining room to enjoy with your meal.
Covid-19 and the Kitchen/Dining Room
There is no doubt that some of your favourite food items may be missing from our menu this season. We’re confident that you will be pleased with the menu selections. They will be back next year! In other words, we may not be able to fulfill every special request like we usually do. The staff is smaller and are working staggered shifts in the kitchen in order to physically distance. We need time to clean and disinfect for our health and safety. This is a learning curve for us so please be patient and understanding.
There are infinite ways to enjoy Arowhon Pines, but the real gem is exploring the gorgeous Algonquin landscape.
We encourage you to take your picnic lunch on a paddle or hike into the backcountry to witness a mother moose watching over her calf or an otter family playing on the rocks.
Along the western shoreline you will find canoes, kayaks, SUP boards, and sailboats. A staff member will be disinfecting the facilities including paddles daily. There is disinfectant available nearby – for your own protection, disinfect the equipment before using.
The tennis court and horseshoe pit operate on a first-come first-serve basis and equipment will be sanitized frequently.
Loungers and chairs around the grounds and on the main dock are all positioned 2 metres or more apart to ensure everyone has a safe space to read, sunbathe, or snooze. Please keep them as they are. Dock towels will have “rested” for 24 hours before use and are available in the bin on the main dock, as usual. For your own protection, use a dock towel on the chairs and cushions.
The Games Room and newly decorated screened porch is available to enjoy and will be disinfected frequently including the ping pong table and shuffleboard. A cleaning record will be posted.
The movie room will be locked. Later on in the season, on bug-free nights, we may set up an old fashioned movie night outside.
Arrange through the office to setup the bonfire. Chairs will be set up, but distanced.
We have suspended the sauna this season.
Should you need to access the internet during your stay, the Algonquin Visitor Centre offers free wifi and is worth a visit. There is a laptop in our business centre (our vintage camper) for your use – please book it through the office. It will be disinfected regularly throughout the day.
Like with everything, protect yourself and others by washing your hands before and after use and avoid touching your face.
Babysitting service is suspended at least at the beginning of our season. Please talk to Theresa or Adam.
There are outside hand wash stations located around the grounds equipped with hand soap.
The well water tap is at the tree outside the office. Fill up your water bottle. The handle will be disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
Arowhon weather forecast and community events will be posted in the office.
Fires will be laid and ready to light in all cabins. For private suites, we will leave packages with wood, kindling and newspaper. Call the office if you need help.
You will be asked to confirm your credit card details. We will charge your card the morning of your check out date and will email you a receipt.
Check out time is strictly between noon and 12:30 pm – we ask that you be out of the rooms but you can spend the whole day if you like!
Please leave your room keys in your room OR at the front desk. Contact the office using your lounge phone for bellman service.
Please leave your room keys in your room OR in the basket outside the front office.
Contact the office using your lounge phone for bellman service.
Our information package regarding Covid-19 and Arowhon Pines will be updated as we live and learn. We will do our utmost to keep you aware of the changes and new policies affecting your holiday here. If at any time, you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. As always, we look forward to welcoming you to Arowhon Pines
This is a good read,
authored by a well-known cardiologist at University of Wisconsin, Dr James Stein. He gives us some very thoughtful and informative information and his perspective on Covid-19. Please read it – we found it relieves some stress and confusion.
COVID-19 update as we start to leave our cocoons. The purpose of this post is to provide a perspective on the intense but expected anxiety so many people are experiencing as they prepare to leave the shelter of their homes. My opinions are not those of my employers and are not meant to invalidate anyone else’s – they simply are my perspective on managing risk. In March, we did not know much about COVID-19 other than the incredibly scary news reports from overrun hospitals in China, Italy, and other parts of Europe. The media was filled with scary pictures of chest CT scans, personal stories of people who decompensated quickly with shortness of breath, overwhelmed health care systems, and deaths. We heard confusing and widely varying estimates for risk of getting infected and of dying – some estimates were quite high.
Key point #1: The COVID-19 we are facing now is the same disease it was 2 months ago. The “shelter at home” orders were the right step from a public health standpoint to make sure we flattened the curve and didn’t overrun the health care system which would have led to excess preventable deaths. It also bought us time to learn about the disease’s dynamics, preventive measures, and best treatment strategies – and we did. For hospitalized patients, we have learned to avoid early intubation, to use prone ventilation, and that remdesivir probably reduces time to recovery. We have learned how to best use and preserve PPE. We also know that several therapies suggested early on probably don’t do much and may even cause harm (ie, azithromycin, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir). But all of our social distancing did not change the disease. Take home: We flattened the curve and with it our economy and psyches, but the disease itself is still here.
Key point #2: COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal influenza (about 5-10x so), but not nearly as deadly as Ebola, Rabies, or Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever where 25-90% of people who get infected die. COVID-19’s case fatality rate is about 0.8-1.5% overall, but much higher if you are 60-69 years old (3-4%), 70-79 years old (7-9%), and especially so if you are over 80 years old (CFR 13-17%). It is much lower if you are under 50 years old (<0.6%). The infection fatality rate is about half of these numbers. Take home: COVID-19 is dangerous, but the vast majority of people who get it, survive it. About 15% of people get very ill and could stay ill for a long time. We are going to be dealing with it for a long time.
Key point #3: SARS-CoV-2 is very contagious, but not as contagious as Measles, Mumps, or even certain strains of pandemic Influenza. It is spread by respiratory droplets and aerosols, not food and incidental contact. Take home: social distancing, not touching our faces, and good hand hygiene are the key weapons to stop the spread. Masks could make a difference, too, especially in public places where people congregate. Incidental contact is not really an issue, nor is food.
What does this all mean as we return to work and public life? COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. It may not go away for a year or two and may not be eradicated for many years, so we have to learn to live with it and do what we can to mitigate (reduce) risk. That means being willing to accept *some* level of risk to live our lives as we desire. I can’t decide that level of risk for you – only you can make that decision. There are few certainties in pandemic risk management other than that fact that some people will die, some people in low risk groups will die, and some people in high risk groups will survive. It’s about probability.
Here is some guidance – my point of view, not judging yours:
1. People over 60 years old are at higher risk of severe disease – people over 70 years old, even more so. They should be willing to tolerate less risk than people under 50 years old and should be extra careful. Some chronic diseases like heart disease and COPD increase risk, but it is not clear if other diseases like obesity, asthma, immune disorders, etc. increase risk appreciably. It looks like asthma and inflammatory bowel disease might not be as high risk as we thought, but we are not sure - their risks might be too small to pick up, or they might be associated with things that put them at higher risk.
People over 60-70 years old probably should continue to be very vigilant about limiting exposures if they can. However, not seeing family – especially children and grandchildren – can take a serious emotional toll, so I encourage people to be creative and flexible. For example, in-person visits are not crazy – consider one, especially if you have been isolated and have no symptoms. They are especially safe in the early days after restrictions are lifted in places like Madison or parts of major cities where there is very little community transmission. Families can decide how much mingling they are comfortable with - if they want to hug and eat together, distance together with masks, or just stay apart and continue using video-conferencing and the telephone to stay in contact. If you choose to intermingle, remember to practice good hand hygiene, don’t share plates/forks/spoons/cups, don’t share towels, and don’t sleep together.
2. Social distancing, not touching your face, and washing/sanitizing your hands are the key prevention interventions. They are vastly more important than anything else you do. Wearing a fabric mask is a good idea in crowded public place like a grocery store or public transportation, but you absolutely must distance, practice good hand hygiene, and don’t touch your face. Wearing gloves is not helpful (the virus does not get in through the skin) and may increase your risk because you likely won’t washing or sanitize your hands when they are on, you will drop things, and touch your face.
3. Be a good citizen. If you think you might be sick, stay home. If you are going to cough or sneeze, turn away from people, block it, and sanitize your hands immediately after.
4. Use common sense. Dial down the anxiety. If you are out taking a walk and someone walks past you, that brief (near) contact is so low risk that it doesn’t make sense to get scared. Smile at them as they approach, turn your head away as they pass, move on. The smile will be more therapeutic than the passing is dangerous. Similarly, if someone bumps into you at the grocery store or reaches past you for a loaf of bread, don’t stress - it is a very low risk encounter, also - as long as they didn’t cough or sneeze in your face (one reason we wear cloth masks in public!).
5. Use common sense, part II. Dial down the obsessiveness. There really is no reason to go crazy sanitizing items that come into your house from outside, like groceries and packages. For it to be a risk, the delivery person would need to be infectious, cough or sneeze some droplets on your package, you touch the droplet, then touch your face, and then it invades your respiratory epithelium. There would need to be enough viral load and the virions would need to survive long enough for you to get infected. It could happen, but it’s pretty unlikely. If you want to have a staging station for 1-2 days before you put things away, sure, no problem. You also can simply wipe things off before they come in to your house - that is fine is fine too. For an isolated family, it makes no sense to obsessively wipe down every surface every day (or several times a day). Door knobs, toilet handles, commonly trafficked light switches could get a wipe off each day, but it takes a lot of time and emotional energy to do all those things and they have marginal benefits. We don’t need to create a sterile operating room-like living space. Compared to keeping your hands out of your mouth, good hand hygiene, and cleaning food before serving it, these behaviors might be more maladaptive than protective.
6. There are few absolutes, so please get comfortable accepting some calculated risks, otherwise you might be isolating yourself for a really, really long time. Figure out how you can be in public and interact with people without fear.
We are social creatures. We need each other. We will survive with and because of each other. Social distancing just means that we connect differently. Being afraid makes us contract and shut each other out. I hope we can fill that space created by fear and contraction with meaningful connections and learn to be less afraid of each of other.