So how are you feeling? Excited? Anxious? Not quite sure yet? That's ok, it's normal. We know that volunteering isn't always easy, especially when you're new, so we can't thank you enough for jumping in to be the mentor and role model she needs! Guiding your Girl Scouts—even if you're still figuring things outevenis nothing short of amazing!
The important thing to remember is, you're not alone. We are in this with you, ready to help and support you at all times! Thanks again! It's going to be a great Girl Scout year!
This guidance is current as of June 1, 2020, a point at which a COVID-19 vaccine was not available. Your council may modify this guidance, from time to time as circumstances change.
COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, volunteers, and families.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas. There may be regional differences or developments since this guidance was published. Continue to follow local and national directives. Discuss plans with families.
Day trips and activities.
In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the same guidance as Troop Meetings and Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation guidance in this document. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines. If activity or sporting equipment is being provided, ask the provider if they wipe down equipment in between uses, similar to equipment at the gym. Make whatever appropriate accommodations that are necessary. For example, bring extra sanitizer if none will be provided for public use at the activity location.
Travel and overnight stays.
Overnight trips are not permitted until after the home state is successfully past Phase 3 of its re-opening process. The timeframes will vary from state to state and even from county to county in some cases. As always, contact your council for prior approval before planning any overnight stays and follow guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints.
Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation.
Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as CDC or your local public health department. Share these with girls and volunteers and ensure that they are practiced during meetings and activities. Place signs in the meeting or activity space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs should include:
Hugs, handshakes, high-fives, and even activities like the friendship circle or squeeze can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Refrain from these gestures for the time being. Create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end meetings instead (like tapping elbows).
Note: Use culturally appropriate messages, materials, and resources.
First Aid Supplies.
Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including?hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal.
First Aid / CPR Training.
Keep skills up-to-date for any emergency. Talk to your council about alternative methods of training that may be available during this time.
Disinfectants and Disinfecting.
Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., table tops, markers, scissors, etc.). Use a household cleaner, or see the EPA's list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer?s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
Household bleach is effective against COVID-19 for up to 24 hours when properly diluted. Check that the bleach is not expired and determine if it can be used on a given surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.
To prepare a bleach solution, mix:
See the CDC's website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.
Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community. Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Volunteers can teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are effective. Some girls or volunteers may not be able to wear masks, due to medical conditions such as asthma. Contact your council for guidance on how best to handle these exceptional circumstances as they arise.
Reporting and communicating a positive COVID 19 test.
In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result, do NOT contact the parents or troop members. Promptly contact your council in this situation. A council staff member and NOT volunteers, will be responsible for:
Let other volunteers know that council staff, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others about a positive test result and that the tester's identity is confidential. Remember that girl and volunteer health information is private and strictly confidential and should be only shared on a need to know basis with a council staff member.
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