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COVID-19 Policies WEBhero LARGE

COVID-19 Girl Scout Updates

LATEST COVID GUIDELINES ARE HERE

Working Together to Keep Our Girl Scout Community Safe
Updated: May 14, 2021

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline members and staff remain committed to providing our girls the consistency of Girl Scouts during these times of uncertainty. Whether gathering virtually or in-person, safety remains our cornerstone.

This information will be updated in response to any significant changes in our communities related to COVID-19; therefore, the phases and guidelines are subject to future changes. As directed by Girl Scouts of the USA, until all girl members in every program level are eligible for vaccines, for the protection of all members as well as the families and communities we serve, GSVSC will continue to practice and expects all members to social distance, utilize face coverings, disinfect/sanitize, and utilize hand-washing measures regardless of whether or not an individual has received the vaccine.

The council has adopted a phased approach to guide safe gathering for this year and next year. We recognize that our council spans many jurisdictions with ever-changing COVID-related decisions. Therefore, if local county/city government guidelines are more restrictive than the council guidelines, Girl Scouts are expected to follow the local county/city government’s guidelines (e.g., group size limits, mask use and travel restrictions). The council is currently operating in Phase III.

Please review the updates to GSVSC’s reopening strategies and the steps we are taking to fight the spread of COVID-19 and comply with Gov. Northam’s executive orders as of May 14, 2021. These guidelines will remain in place until further notice.

Council Phases: Operating in Phase III

Effective May 15, 2021, Until Further Notice

All Girl Scout members and their families must agree and adhere to all GSVSC COVID-19 safety requirements to gather in-person. 

Phase III: Effective May 15, 2021

1. In-person gathering requirements must not exceed a maximum of 100 individuals INDOORS or 250 individuals OUTDOORS (numbers updated as of May 13, 2021).

2. When possible, in-person gatherings for program-related camps, events, and meeting activities should be carried out in cohorts (units/pods); cohorts may not mix or co-mingle at any time, including during meal times, program activities, etc.

3. It is recommended for large gatherings (50+ individuals), participants be assigned to cohorts. Cohorts are not to exceed the total maximum number of allowed participants onsite for indoor or outdoor gatherings at one time. (For example, based on the facility, you may have two cohorts of 50 indoors or two cohorts or 125 outdoors, or four cohorts of 25 indoors or 10 cohorts of 25 outdoors.)

4. In-person troop/group/service unit meetings and local day field trips are permitted.

5. Local, day, overnight, and regional trips for in-person troop, group, and/or service unit overnights/camping activities ARE PERMITTED up to three days/two nights.

6. Until further notice, volunteers MUST submit an Activity/Trip Permission (#2129) to obtain council permission prior to planning/participating in any overnight, camping, or high adventure activities and continue to practice the hygiene and COVID-19 risk mitigation guidance outlined in this document.

7. Carpooling is still not recommended as coronavirus transmission risk is high when people are in close proximity (less than six feet apart). The risk increases when people are in a closed-in area or indoors for longer than 15 minutes. If possible, girls from different households should not carpool. However, troop (only) carpooling is permitted but limited to no more than three households per vehicle. When a parent or troop decides to carpool to and from an activity or event, these are the carpooling guidelines to be followed as directed by GSUSA:

a. Prior to carpooling, obtain parent permission for girls to be in a vehicle together with others outside of their household.

b. Prior to carpooling, always, for every in-person event, meeting, or transportation arrangement, pre-screen and keep a roster of all passengers when carpooling.

>> Have the families been isolating and free from contagion? If so, the troop may essentially be a safe bubble.
>> Consider the personal situations of your girls. Do they live with an immune-compromised person whom they might put at risk? If so, perhaps make other accommodations for her with her parents.

c. Girls (ages 5 and above) and adults should wear a mask at all times when inside a motor vehicle.

d. Avoid overcrowding; there must be an empty seat between each person at all times in the vehicle.

e. Do not eat or drink in the vehicle.

f. Keep vehicle windows open, at least partially, to circulate fresh air and provide ventilation.

8. NO (domestic) national or International travel allowed until further notice.

9. Council approval will be provided for (domestic) national travel within the continental United States for travel that occurs after October 1, 2021. (Dates subject to change based on US/VA travel guidelines and/or restrictions.)

a. If further restrictions are lifted in June, we will begin allowing (domestic) national travel within the continental United States as of July 1, 2021. No approvals for (domestic) National travel will be granted prior to June 18, 2021. Please plan accordingly.

10. Provisional planning & promotional clearance will be provided for international travel that occurs after May 1, 2022. (Dates subject to change based on US/VA travel guidelines and/or restrictions.) At least one year prior to trip departure, volunteers must have completed GSVSC GS 203 International Trip Training and a council-approved Intent to Travel for International Trips (#2279) form must be on file at council.

Vaccination FAQ

Now that all adults are permitted to receive the COVID-19 vaccination in Virginia, are volunteers required to be vaccinated before they can meet in person with girls? 

Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council (GSVSC) strongly encourages, but does not require, vaccination for volunteers. State laws and policies may vary from council to council. As of now, the COVID-19 vaccines may not be mandatory for Virginians, and there are no legal penalties for refusing it, but the Virginia Department of Health is urging individuals to get it once it’s available to them. Once enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19, we can resume more of the everyday activities we enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can parents/caregivers ask about the vaccination status of volunteers?

While parents/caregivers may certainly ask, volunteers are under no obligation to disclose their personal vaccination status. Also, under no circumstances should a volunteer discuss the personal healthcare decisions of another volunteer or girl with anyone.

Can parents/caregivers or volunteers ask about the vaccination status of council staff and camp staff?

While parents/caregivers may certainly ask and GSVSC strongly encourages all council staff members who can get vaccinated to become vaccinated when the vaccine is available to them, council staff are under no obligation to disclose their personal vaccination status. Under no circumstances should one staff member discuss the personal healthcare decisions of another staff member with anyone. However, a council may disclose whether it has strongly recommended COVID-19 vaccinations for its staff.

Can parents/caregivers ask other parents/caregivers about the vaccination status of girls in the troop?

Parents/caregivers are certainly free to discuss vaccinations with other parents/caregivers when both parties are open to that conversation. However, parents/caregivers should not feel obligated to share personal medical information if they choose to maintain their privacy in the matter. GSVSC encourages parents/caregivers to respect the privacy of the girls and other adults in their girl’s troop.

Once vaccinations for children are available, can councils or troop leaders require girls to be vaccinated before they attend in-person activities?

Councils are encouraged to stay abreast of state regulations and the protocols that are practiced in public schools and use that information to inform their policies. As of now, the COVID-19 vaccines may not be mandatory for Virginians, and there are no legal penalties for refusing it, but the Virginia Department of Health is urging individuals to get it once it’s available to them. Once enough people are vaccinated against COVID-19, we can resume more of the everyday activities we enjoyed before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once someone is vaccinated, do they have to continue to practice the safety protocols as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as social distancing, washing their hands frequently, and wearing a mask?

As directed by GSUSA, until all girl members in every program level are eligible for vaccines, for the protection of all members as well as the families and communities we serve, GSVSC will continue to practice and expect all members to social distance, utilize face coverings, disinfect/sanitize, and utilize hand-washing measures regardless of whether or not an individual has received the vaccine.

Additional Girl Scout COVID-19 Resources
Questions/Need Assistance

QUESTIONS/NEED ASSISTANCE
If you have questions or need further assistance, please reach out to us at info@gsvsc.org or 540-777-5100. If you have an emergency after hours, then please call the emergency number at 1-540-598-0974. Your call will be answered by a GSVSC staff member.