Dateline: Friday, March 5th, 2021.
First off, if you are a guest who stayed with us since we reopened in June, I wish to say “Thank you so much!” Sue and I are so happy with the care and kindness you show for other guests and our staff by the just about 100% compliance with wearing face coverings while inside the Inn. And that we achieve 100% compliance with the most gentle, friendly nudge from us on the rare occasion you’ve forgotten your mask in your room. Well done! With the degree to which we see you doing your part, I can confidently say that together, we shall get through this.
Sue & I would like to tell you about what we are doing to make your stay as safe, comfortable and care-free as possible. We know there’s a bunch of stuff to read here. If you’d rather hear about things directly, please call us at (207) 998-4976. Odds are either Sue or Roy (hint – it’ll probably be Sue!) will answer. And as the owners, well, the buck stops with us. You’ll get honest, sincere answers to all your questions and concerns. We’ll do our best to take care of you. Finally, with the below information in hand and the flexibility offered by our small Inn, we hope you’ll decide that you’ll be in good hands with us for your getaway, vacation, honeymoon, elopement or any other purpose for your visit.
Importantly, please know that you must wear a face covering while in the public, interior spaces of the Inn where social distancing is challenging. This is also true at local businesses. As such, please bring a face covering with you for your stay.
Regarding masks. By order of the Governor, mask wearing is now mandatory everywhere in the state of Maine. All businesses are required to deny service for those who do not wear a mask. There are no medical exceptions or any other exceptions. As such, if you do not intend to wear a mask while outside your room at the Inn, we ask that you do not come to the Inn. If you come and do not wear a mask as required, we will deny you service. The only mask wearing exception is while actively eating and drinking in the dining room. While not actively eating or drinking in the dining room, masks are required.
SUMMARY OF WHO MAY STAY AT MAINE LODGING, REQUIREMENTS & LIMITATIONS
Update: Guests from any state are now exempt from testing and quarantining requirements if the have recently had COVID-19 or have fully completed vaccination.
Currently, there are no limitations on guests visiting from the states of:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Guests from elsewhere may stay at Maine lodging provided they meet one of the following 3 criteria:
- Have a negative COVID-19 test result on a specimen taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival OR
- Have self-quarantined in Maine for 10 days prior to arrival OR
- Agree to self-quarantine at a Maine lodging establishment for 10 days or the duration of their stay in Maine, whichever is less.
IMPORTANT! If you are from a non-exempt state, prior to arriving at the Inn, you must send us the following documentation:
- For those with a negative COVID test, email your test results to firstname.lastname@example.org
- For those quarantining for 10 days prior to arrival, email the following to email@example.com:
- Location where you quarantined in Maine for 10 days prior to arrival at the Inn AND for those traveling to Maine by air, a copy of your airline tickets showing that you left your departure city 10 days or more prior to arriving at the Wolf Cove Inn
Failure to provide required supporting documentation, or agreeing to the self quarantine requirements (more information on this below) will result in a denial of lodging at the Wolf Cove Inn. This may seem very hardline. It is. Please understand however that we are committed to keeping other guests and our staff as safe as possible during the current COVID infection surge.
Testing is readily available in Maine. Note however that it is taking anywhere from 3-8 days for test results to come back. Therefore we strongly recommend you test prior to departing for Maine. If you opt to test in Maine, you must self-quarantine (see below for more information) at the Inn until your test results come back. Many more testing sites are coming online frequently, so keep checking the list. As a traveler from out of state, by executive order of the governor, you meet the criteria of “elevated risk”. As such you are eligible for free testing without any doctor’s authorization. The most convenient locations for guests coming to the Wolf Cove Inn are:
- CVS at 8 Union Street in Auburn (20 minutes east)
- State of Maine drive through testing in Auburn (20 minutes east, 3 day turnaround time)
- Western Maine Healthcare in Norway (20 minutes west)
- CVS at 111 Auburn Street in Portland (1 hour south)
- Any Walgreens location (nearby Walgreens are in Norway and in Auburn)
- Stephens Hospital in Norway is available for testing for those with a Doctor in the Maine Medical system. This is a PCR test site with in-house results analysis and turnaround time in 24 hours or less. My last test – less than 12 hours for results.
- These locations have drive through testing. Appointments are required. The State of Maine site in Auburn was readily available for next day appointments when I checked on January 13th.
Regardless of which option you choose, all guests (except those from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) are required to sign a Certificate of Compliance in order to check in.
SELF QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS
If you choose to self quarantine, the requirements are as follows:
- You may self quarantine here at the inn
- You may self quarantine for 10 days or for the duration of your trip if it is less than 10 days
- Guests who self quarantine are allowed to be out and about on the grounds of the Inn and enjoy outdoor spaces and activities in Maine such as (depending on the season) sight seeing, hiking, kayaking, snow shoeing, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, swimming, road trips/touring and so on as long as social distancing is maintained
- Guests under self quarantine may not visit local restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, crowded spaces or other indoor facilities where physical distancing can be a challenge, other than for emergency medical care. Nor may guests under self-quarantine utilize public transportation or ride-sharing services
- Guests who self quarantine must take meals served by the Inn in your room or outside away from others (aka picnicking). You may also have food delivered to your room from area restaurants, though this must be contactless. To help you with this, we can make arrangements to deliver meals to your room or outdoors at the Inn
For more information on Maine’s phased reopening plans, timelines, limitations and restrictions, you may review them at the Restarting Maine website. Check back periodically as it tends to change with some frequency.
FRESH AIR AND PURIFIED AIR
The CDC maintains that exchanging room air with fresh, outside air is an arrow in the quiver of a COVID-19 risk mitigation plan. As such, even in the dead of winter, we are committed to opening windows in guest rooms upon departure of prior guests. Those windows will be open for a couple of hours to circulate the fresh air into the rooms. Yes, it’ll get cold in those rooms and our heating bill will take a big hit. But, unlike most hotels, our windows do open, so we will take advantage of that for your and our safety.
Though not required by any State or Federal standard or guideline, we’ve decided to invest in air purification for the dining room. You’ll find two Blueair Blue Pure 211+ Air Purifiers in the dining room. These HEPA compliant purifiers are top rated units by both Consumer Reports and Good Housekeeping and are proven effective at removing viruses from the air. That said, none have yet been tested for COVID-19 removal. Nonetheless we felt something that has proven effective in removing other viruses could provide additional mitigation for both our guests and us in a space where people are gathering for breakfast and/or evening pizza.
A CLEAN AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT, AS ALWAYS
The safety of you and our team members is our highest priority. To achieve that purpose, we have implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitary measures at the Inn. The American Hotel & Lodging Association has, following CDC guidance, developed a new set of standards to ensure the safety of guests and staff. As well, Select Registry has established a set of Select Safe COVID safety standards. We have fully implemented these standards at the Wolf Cove Inn. Please feel free to read the Safe Stay standards.
In addition to the Safe Stay standards mentioned above, we have a rigorous set of checklists, published by the State of Maine, with which we are complying fully. One checklist is the lodging checklist. The other checklist is the restaurant checklist. Both checklists go to great lengths to keep you and us safe.
To keep you safe, we have always asked our team members to stay home if they feel sick. We have reinforced this policy with them. If you are not well, tell us and don’t come to work. But Sue and I don’t want you to worry about the financial impact to our team that you know so well. We have always had, since we bought the Inn in 2013, a paid sick time policy. Our valuable team knows that if they stay home when ill, they’ll still be paid for the time missed.
CHANGES IN OPERATIONS AND FOOD SERVICE
- Under normal circumstances, we’d greet you with a handshake or maybe even a hug. However, for the foreseeable future, we’ve implemented a self check in and check out process. Details on this are provided in the emails you receive prior to your stay with us.
- When we see you around the Inn, we’ll forego that handshake and instead you’ll receive a hearty, friendly smile. Roy will greet you with “Live Long And Prosper” and the apropos hand sign!
- Our staff won’t enter you room for touch ups during your stay. If you wish to receive fresh towels, let us know and we’ll take care of your request.
- In order to facilitate social distancing, we’ve rearranged the tables in the dining room to give lots of elbow room. We have plenty of space to keep you socially distanced!
- We’ve eliminated self service aspects of our food service. Everything is still available. However you’ll be asked to request things you used to get yourself:
- Ice and ice buckets
- Breakfast fruit and baked goods courses
- Toast, butter and jams/jellies
- As well, instead of having afternoon fresh baked cookies available in the dining room, you’ll find them packaged in the slot for your room in the foyer where you found your self check-in materials.
MODIFICATION TO DEPOSIT & CANCELLATION POLICY
During these times of unease, we’d like to give you some peace of mind when you choose to book with us. As such, we’ve amended our deposit and cancellation policy:
- Our deposit policy has been reduced from 50% deposit to a one night deposit,
- If you cannot join us per your reservation, your stay can be rescheduled or changed to a Gift Certificate towards a future stay without penalty,
- For those not rescheduling or taking a Gift Certificate on cancellation, we’ve reduced our cancellation window from 14 days until arrival to 3 days until arrival before you deposit is retained,
- We’ve also reduced the service charge from $50 to $25 for cancelling outside of the new 3 day window,
- If you are ill, or required to self-quarantine preventing your stay with us, cancellation service charges are waived.
This policy modification will remain in place until such a time as we feel the world has returned to some level of normalcy.
WHAT IS ASKED OF YOU
In order for you to help us and other guests stay safe:
- The State of Maine requires that all guests wear face coverings while in public spaces where social distancing can be a challenge. As such, we ask that guests wear face coverings as they enter the building and in the public spaces inside the Inn. Note that wearing of face coverings also applies when frequenting area restaurants (though not while eating) and businesses.
- To the best extent practical, please practice social distancing while in and around the Inn.
- If you don’t feel well before arrival, please stay home, but let us know you aren’t coming.
PLAN YOUR NEXT ESCAPE WITH US
Although you may not be able to join us right now, we are here and happy to help you plan your next getaway to our “little bit of Heaven on the lake.” It’s always helpful, especially in challenging times, to have something to look forward to! Our central location offers you close access to a myriad of activities, including activities on the lake, hiking, waterfalls, covered bridges and much more. Or simply enjoy relaxing by the lake or enjoying a glass of wine by the fire pit at sunset. Let us know how we can help!
Wishing you safety and peace,
Your Innkeepers, AJ, Sue & Roy