COVID and Communicable Disease Policy

Updated Dec 27, 2021.


Climbing Facility, Equipment, and Capacity:


Climbing Gym: max 20.  Boulder Cave specifically: max 6.  One-way flow in effect through climbing areas.

No Birthday Parties or events until Jan 18.

School Groups when gym is otherwise closed: max capacity 24.

Fitness area near classroom door: max 1.

No use of treadmills.

Spectator area upstairs: max 8. Spectators should remain seated.

Tot area upstairs: max 6.

Separate plan for first aid and safety training.


Climbing and Youth Programs:

Youth Programs (Spider Monkeys, Tree Frogs, Mountain Goats, Dynos, and Competitive Team): no changes – starting again in January as planned.  Note upstairs spectator limitations, and minimise downstairs spectators. Spectators should be seated or encouraged to wait outside, in vehicle, or in restaurant.  Right from start of program, staff are to implement physical distancing, masking, and hand hygiene expectations, and model these throughout the program. One-way flow is mandatory.

Birthdays and other group bookings: Cancelled until January 18, as per current health order.

Learn to Belay lessons: max 6. Instructors encouraged to use Party Room for preliminary skills (lessons about harnesses, knots, buddy checking, communications, and initial practice belaying a milk jug up and down), before heading to climbing area for more practice. This reduces pressure on climbing gym spaces and encourages physical distancing at all times.

Parent and Tot program: max 16. Participants encouraged to spread out between climbing areas, Party Room, and Tot area upstairs.



Climbing Gym users: All climbers, belayers, gym program participants, and spectators aged 12 and up must provide proof of vaccination to enter OVERhang. This must be checked using the BC QR Code reader app.  Those aged 18 and up must also present government photo ID.


  • School outings by K to 12 public and independent school students. Teachers and chaperones aged 22 and up must provide proof of vaccination.
  • Participants in formal rehabilitation or exercise therapy programs, such as CDC. Associated staff and spectators must provide proof of vaccination.

Non-BC residents: provincial/territorial vaccine record or federal proof of vaccination, and valid government photo ID. International visitors must show the proof of vaccination they used to enter Canada, and a passport.

Participants in first aid and outdoor safety training may be subject to different vaccination policies, although full vaccination is always strongly encouraged. Masking, PPE, physical distancing, capacity restrictions, hand hygiene, and other measures are heavily enforced for these courses, especially indoors.


Masks and Face Coverings:

A face covering must be worn in a manner that covers the nose and mouth, by all visitors aged 5 and up, except while physically climbing a wall. “Face covering” means either of the following that covers the nose and mouth of a person:

(a) a medical or non-medical mask;

(b) a tightly woven fabric;

but does not include a clear plastic face shield.

If taking a mask off to eat or drinking, step away from others briefly and then wash hands afterwards.


Refer to OVERhang’s Mask and Face Coverings document (updated Dec 24 2021), which details exceptions to wearing masks, including while physically climbing on a wall. Masks must be worn while belaying or after being lowered back to the ground. Staff may remove their mask while behind a physical barrier, while alone in a space, or while route setting outside of open hours.


Cleaning and Disinfection

Frequently-touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected at least 1x/day and when visibly dirty. These include items touched by larger numbers of people (e.g., door handles, handrails, tap faucets, locker handles, benches, hand weights in fitness corner, office equipment, etc.).

Objects made of materials that are not easily cleaned (e.g., climbing holds, ropes, harnesses, etc.) or typically cleaned intermittently (e.g., fabrics, soft toys, etc.) can continue to be used. They should be cleaned (if possible) according to regular practices. Textbooks, paper, other paper-based products, laminated or glossy paper-based products and items with plastic covers do not need to be cleaned and disinfected, or quarantined at all.


Masks and Face Coverings Policy - in Detail

A mask or face covering must be worn in a manner that covers the nose and mouth, by all visitors aged 5 and up.  “Face covering” means either of the following that covers the nose and mouth of a person:

(a) a medical or non-medical mask;

(b) a tightly woven fabric;

… but does not include a small or large clear plastic face shield.


  • a visitor who is less than 5 years of age;
  • a visitor who is unable to wear a face covering because of
       -a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or
       -a physical, cognitive or mental impairment;
  • a visitor who is unable to put on or remove a face covering without assistance;
  • removed temporarily for the purposes of identifying the visitor wearing it;
  • while the visitor is consuming food or drink
  • while the visitor is participating in exercise activity or sport at a sport facility (ie climbing a wall, but not while belaying)
  • the face covering is removed to permit the visitor to engage in an activity that cannot be performed while wearing a face covering (route setting)
  • communicating with a person with a disability or diverse ability for whom visual cues, facial expressions, lip-reading or lip movements are essential
  • the person is delivering a presentation or lecture, if
       -there is a distance of two metres separating the visitor and persons attending the presentation or lecture, or
       -there is a physical barrier between the speaker and persons attending the presentation or lecture.


OVERhang Facility Management for Physical Distancing and Hygiene:

  • Reduced occupancy of climbing spaces: max 20 climbing clients and folks in the climbing spaces.  This does not include any staff, instructors, or course participants, for which we have separate protocols.
  • Spectators are welcome again, at reduced capacity (max 8).  Spectators are upstairs, observing from the upstairs hallway.  If you are downstairs, you are considered a climber and must be charged entry accordingly, as you take one of 20 spots.
  • We strongly encourage people to maintain a 2m distance from other people that are not already in their bubble.
  • We installed plexiglass across both front office windows.
  • Our water fountain was replaced with another hand washing station.
  • Flow changes – i.e. how we move people through the climbing facility to encourage at least 2m between each person:
    • Counter-clockwise flow through climbing spaces: one way into boulder cave from hallway, out into Main Roped Room… same thing for Programming Room.  No changes in Main Roped Room.
    • Signage to indicate spacing and flow
    • We now check every climber out when they leave.  This ensures our Current Climber Count on our website is accurate, and is key for managing our Max 20 and our Contact Tracing Plan (below).  Please alert staff when leaving.
    • We opened up the narrow spaces by moving lockers, shoe racks, and garbage cans
    • Staff only in office and in party room (except during bookings).  During camps kids will use party room as their home base.
    • When possible there is a time gap between youth groups and open gym hours to facilitate cleaning and to keep user groups separate.
    • When gym is open to drop-ins, we will usually only need one or two staff members working, who will also do ongoing sanitizing of high-touch surfaces at the front desk and doorbell, as well as hallways, bathrooms, doors, sinks, and bench areas.



Cleaning Plan:

  • Daily cleaning of floors, high-touch surfaces, doors, bathrooms, etc. 
  • Staff also frequently sanitizing high-touch surfaces while the gym is open
  • When feasible, sanitization period between user groups (such as camps and open hours, tots and school bookings, etc)
  • Weekly clean by a contractor.



General Hygiene:

  • The Golf and Curling Club has automatic door openers for the lobby doors (push with knee or hip), and hand sanitizer in the lobby.  Clients are encouraged to use all these features before approaching OVERhang’s front desk.
  • Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands immediately upon entry into OVERhang's wing.  Thorough hand washing with soap and water is recommended over the use of hand sanitizer.
  • Frequent hand washing or sanitizing is strongly encouraged throughout one's visit, and on their way out.
  • Discourage touching faces
  • Liquid chalk encouraged over powdered chalk
  • Signage throughout the facility about prevention of disease transmission
  • Hand sanitizer also available throughout the facility



Client Education:

  • New waiver identifying risks, and need to comply with policies designed to protect staff and clients
  • New verbal COVID-19 orientation for each person climbing after June 16, 2020
  • Signage in lobby and inside our facility
  • No one with symptoms, in close contact with anyone symptoms, or that has traveled outside Canada in previous 14 days should enter the facility.  This includes staff and clients.  Everyone is asked to self-assess, but staff can also turn people away if they are exhibiting symptoms.
  • Users will be oriented to new protocols upon their first entry to OVERhang after June 16, 2020.



Reducing touch points:

  • Online transactions whenever possible (purchase memberships, punch cards, and bookings online before coming to the gym)
  • Online waivers (read and complete waivers online before coming to the gym) are encouraged over paper waivers
  • No shared finger tape from front desk (users may purchase their own roll)
  • No water fountain (bring personal water bottles, or purchase at the front desk)
  • No clients allowed in Front Office (staff only)
  • No rental chalk bags.



  • Use of non-medical masks that cover the user’s mouth and nose are mandatory for anyone 5 and older
  • OVERhang has masks available for free
  • OVERhang also has attractive reusable cloth masks available for clients to purchase for a mere $5



Contact Tracing Plan:

We absolutely do not want any staff or clients to become infected with COVID-19.  However, risk of disease transmission is always a possibility, even when we do our best to minimize it.  So, if a person is identified to have a confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infection, then we will activate our contact tracing plan.

  • We will diligently check-in all visitors into our member-management software, and check them out when they leave.
  • With a few quick taps we can produce a contact tracing report from our software, which allows us to see who was in facility at same time as a given client, and for how long (length of exposure), over a given time frame.
  • With that in hand, we would collaborate with health officials in tracking down and informing all visitors and staff that were potentially exposed, upon the direction of health officials. Information collected on our waivers includes personal contact information for all climbing gym users.
  • Video footage can also be reviewed within a three-week time period.
  • If requested by health officials, we would close the gym temporarily or engage in extra heavy duty cleaning process, and modify our protocols if necessary.


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