Dr Erica Pan: “I think indoor climbing is low risk.”

March 4, 2021

KP Associates' lobbyists, Alice Kao of Sender One, Kristin Horowitz of The Pad Climbing/Ascent Ventures, and Jeffrey Bowling of Touchstone met today with representatives California Department of Public Health. On the call were Elina Nasser, of the guidance and policy team, and Dr Eric Pan, state epidiemiologist.

They both opened the call with forthright information about how they were working through the pandemic, that despite being a large department they had been short staffed, and that they worked all hours of the day to serve Californians. Warm, organized, and candid, the meeting elicited smiles on all sides, which was rare for our interactions at this point.

After discussing the news that broke last night that the tier requirements were changing and she was confident the whole state would be in "red" within two weeks as a result, Dr Pan outlined the concerns that they had about making changes to the guidelines, including opening floodgates to all special interest groups and going against their mandate to focus activities outdoors.

But, she said, our preparation was incredibly helpful and she would be reviewing it with the team, including Dr Ghaly and Dr Aragon (who worked with indoor climbing centers in San Francisco to get them reclassified as fitness and not recreation).

We are cautiously optimistic given our interactions of having a fair shot at being able to open at a higher capacity in red than 10%, which could mean make or break for many centers in California.

Now begins the waiting game to see what, if any changes, come out in the next few weeks.