Last week, the Kuskokwim 300 Race Committee Board of Directors voted unanimously to adopt a policy requiring full vaccination against COVID-19 for all mushers, handlers, employees and volunteers. The policy extends to participants in the Bogus Creek 150, the Akiak Dash and all other K300 events during the 2021-22 season.
As was the case last year, the Race Committee is committed to doing all it can to carry on with a full season of dog mushing while taking whatever measures necessary to protect the Kuskokwim communities we love. Throughout this chapter we've consulted closely with the foremost medical experts in our region and we will continue to heed their clear advice that we must use all of the tools available to us if we are to hold safe events. That includes masking, social distancing, testing and vaccination.
This and other COVID related policies are subject to change as the pandemic continues to evolve. Any changes or amendments will be posted at www.k300.org. Please read the full vaccination policy below.
K300 Race Committee
COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Policy
Effective immediately, the K300 Race Committee will require all employees, volunteers, mushers and handlers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. At this time, to be fully vaccinated means that two weeks have passed since the final shot in the individual’s vaccination course (2 shots for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, 1 shot for Johnson & Johnson). This definition may change to include booster shots as recommendations change and availability expands.
Current employees are expected to be fully vaccinated no later than October 15, 2021. Future hires must be fully vaccinated within one month of the date of hire. Each employee shall provide a copy or photo of their vaccination card for internal K300 records.
All K300 volunteers working in any role that involves interaction with the public are required to be fully vaccinated. There are a small number of volunteer duties that can be performed remotely, from home. Any unvaccinated individual interested in one of these positions must indicate that desire when they sign up. All other volunteers will be required to provide a copy or photo of their vaccination card in advance and should also carry proof of vaccination while volunteering.
Mushers and Handlers:
Anyone participating in any 2021-2022 K300 Race Committee event as a musher or handler must be fully vaccinated. This includes the Kuskokwim 300, The Bogus Creek 150, The Akiak Dash and all other “local races”.
Kuskokwim 300 and Bogus Creek 150 Mushers and Handlers:
Proof of vaccination for mushers and their handlers should be provided at the time of registration. If a Kuskokwim 300 or Bogus Creek 150 musher is not vaccinated at the time of registration but intends to get vaccinated later, proof of full vaccination must be provided at least two weeks before the race. Likewise, if a musher does not know who their handler(s) will be at the time of registration they must provide names and proof of vaccination at least two weeks before the race. Racers and handlers should also carry proof of vaccination when traveling to Bethel. Any musher registering within two weeks of the race date is required to provide proof of vaccination for themselves and handlers at the time of registration.
The Akiak Dash and Local Races:
Mushers participating in local races must provide proof of vaccination when registering for their first race of the season. If possible, proof of vaccination should also be provided for handlers. Since a musher may have different helpers from one race to the next all helpers must carry proof of vaccination to each event and should expect to show it to a race official at the start line.
COVID-19 Testing for K300 Mushers and Handlers:
At this time we expect to implement the same testing policy as last year – all K300 mushers and handlers traveling from outside the YK Delta region will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of travel and may be subjected to an additional test upon arrival in Bethel. Local residents participating in the race will be required to provide proof of a negative result from within 72 hours of the pre-race musher’s meeting.
THIS POLICY IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.