Apogee’s Statement With Regard to Coronavirus Concerns

Original Post: Friday, February 28, 2020

Update 1: Monday, March 2, 2020 

Update 2: Thursday, March 5, 2020

Update 3: Monday, March 16, 2020

Original Post: Friday, February 28, 2020

Like the rest of the world, we here at Apogee are learning more about the COVID-19 coronavirus every day. We’re doing our best to digest new information and respond to this fluid, evolving situation. We have found this article, https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/dont-panic-the-comprehensive-ars-technica-guide-to-the-coronavirus/, to be comprehensive, easy to digest, and informative. It’s currently updated every day at 3 PM ET, and we hope serves as a good resource for enrolled and prospective families. 

Although things may change over the next month or two, we wanted to let you know where things stand now with regard to our summer itineraries. We’ll update you and make changes as necessary moving ahead. As a starting point, please know that (a) the safety and well-being of our staff and students drives every decision we make, and (b), we are monitoring the coronavirus situation very closely and will adjust our itineraries as, and if, necessary. 

The coronavirus manifests itself as a mild or moderate flu-like illness in the vast majority of the people who have contracted it. In other words, it is likely to affect our population of students and staff as would the flu or, in our tropical locations, dengue fever. We contend with these diseases every summer, and are prepared to meet the coronavirus in the same manner in the event it spreads more widely. Accordingly, and subject to change, the vast majority of our trips are moving ahead as scheduled. Itinerary changes may prove necessary in a small number of trips, but we have not needed to make those changes yet. We will inform you immediately if we do revise itineraries, or in the even more unlikely scenario in which we cancel trips.

If you feel the need to switch your child from the trip in which they are currently enrolled, you are welcome to do so at no charge, so long as we have room in the trip into which you would like to switch. In the unlikely event we do cancel a particular trip, please rest assured that we will offer a full tuition refund or credit towards a future trip, at your choice. 

In the meantime, as we always do, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing a trip insurance policy. You can get a trip insurance quote from the company we have worked with for years, A+ Program Protection (administrated by Trip Mate), by clicking here. Trip Mate has released their own information about trip insurance and the coronavirus – you can find that here. Note that many trip insurance companies are not covering claims resulting from coronavirus, or are doing so under only fairly narrow circumstances. Nonetheless, because trip insurance remains a good idea for many other reasons aside from coronavirus, and because there are circumstances and policies under which companies may cover certain claims resulting from coronavirus-related issues, we continue to think it is a very good idea. We feel it’s particularly wise for trips operating outside of the continental United States.

Update 1: Monday, March 2, 2020:

Please note that TripMate has, as of March 2, suspended their offer of Premium Plus policies that included the “Cancel For Any Reason” benefit (CFAR). If you have already purchased a Premium Plus policy prior to March 2, your policy is still supported — TripMate is simply no longer selling new Premium Plus policies. You may still be able to find plans offering the CFAR benefit through trip insurance “supermarkets” such as Squaremouth. Note that CFAR policies are not, and have not been, available to residents of New York State. If you pursue a CFAR policy, please read the terms carefully and note that many include specific time requirements, such as purchasing the policy within 15 days of paying a trip deposit.

Update 3: Monday, March 16, 2020 (supersedes Update 2, which had extended the final payment date to April 6)

Invoicing and Final Balances UPDATED: Ordinarily, we ask for payment in full within 20 days of receipt (and had recently pushed that back to April 6), but recognizing the continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus situation in the US and abroad, we have extended our pay-in-full date to Friday, May 1 to allow our families more flexibility. If you choose to withdraw your child due to concerns about the coronavirus prior to that date, we will return 50% of your deposit or offer you a credit for 100% of your deposit towards a 2020 or 2021 trip. If you choose to withdraw your child after May 1, our regular terms and conditions will apply and we will not be able to make any refunds.

As ever, please be in touch with any questions at any point. You’re welcome to contact Chad or Kevin directly at chad@apogeeadventures.com and kevin@apogeeadventures.com, respectively.