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COVID-19 Policies WEBhero LARGE

COVID-19 Girl Scout Updates

IDP Lifted as of August 31, 2020
There is nothing Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council takes more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers and staff members. We know the desire for safety is one shared by all of us. We want to be together and remain physically healthy, and we need to have our emotional and social needs met as well. A healthy Girl Scout community can only be achieved if we ALL commit to doing it together. If even a fraction of our members ignore our guidelines, this effort will fail.

No CEO, council staff, service unit team leader, troop co-leader, parent, girl, or other individual or single group can assure everyone’s health and well-being without the support and effort of us all. In a sea of unknowns, what we do know is that we have to make our communal health our top priority. In order to gather as Girl Scouts, we have to prioritize mutual accountability and responsibility for our communal well-being.

To that end, the "Culture of Care" commitment will need to be made by all members and families. Our togetherness depends on our ability and commitment to keep one another well. Every action counts and matters. We ask everyone to take the Girl Scout Culture of Care Pledge:

In keeping with our Girl Scout Promise & Law, I (council staff, volunteer, parent, and girl), hereby pledge to approach the challenges of the new membership year with a renewed focus on mutual accountability and collective responsibility. I commit to learn and grow as an individual, mindfully and intentionally, for and with one another as leaders in the broader community. I accept the necessity of personal sacrifice for the achievement of our communal goals. As a member of the Girl Scout community, I commit to step up and forego some conveniences in the short term for the greater opportunity to return and be together, as safely as possible.

I acknowledge that our "Culture of Care is merely a means to express the ideals we have long valued: beloved GS traditions, experiencing new things, gathering together, creating connections, making new friends; and exercising integrity to be leaders and a source of safety in our community. I hereby pledge to be a role model for how we navigate this moment in history.

Here are 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:

General Reopening Guidelines

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council will resume full, normal in-person activities only after Virginia has successfully passed out of Phase 3 of the re-opening process. These phases were developed by the White House back in April and are updated by the governor’s office specifically for Virginia.

  • As Virginia entered Phase 3 of re-opening on July 1, the state’s guidelines permit social gatherings of up to 250 people; however, GSVSC Girl Scout gatherings will remain restricted to no more than 50 people until further notice. This will allow some troops and service units to meet in person if they choose to do so. This includes all in-person, council-sponsored sessions of program events, activities, and training.
  • Meeting outdoors is preferred over meeting indoors; local parks or outdoor community or church pavilions are highly encouraged. 
  • If you have a large troop or group that exceeds what is currently allowed, continue to stay connected virtually and gather in smaller groups—such as age-level groups, patrols, or groups of girls with a particular badge or journey they’d like to work on. 
  • Virtual meetings are always possible. Virtual meetings or phone conferences should be offered. The council continues to develop resources and advice to help leaders with virtual meetings. Complete this Zoom survey to request a Zoom license or to participate in a council-led Zoom meeting.
  • We will continue to monitor local and national directives, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health, and Virginia Department of Health. The guidance we provide is intended to be used in conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints in accordance with our council’s individual state and local COVID-19 circumstances which remain fluid.
  • If updates from sources such as the governor’s office, Centers for Disease Control or National Institutes of Health lead to changes in our evaluation of the situation, then we will communicate via our website, The Girl Scout Connections digital e-newsletter, and social media.
Headquarters Reopening Strategies

Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council offices and activities will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. At that time, we will follow the rules and guidelines set forth by the Virginia governor, the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC).

Doors to the headquarters' building will remain locked. Visitors will be allowed by appointment only. Visitors must call the office and complete a CDC self-assessment before being allowed to enter the building. Staff and visitors must wear a mask/face covering in common spaces, hallways, and when meeting with another staff member or customer. Social distancing guidelines must be followed.

The following supplies will be provided onsite at headquarters: sanitizer, cleaning supplies/wipes, masks, and gloves. All staff members and visitors will be required to have their temperature checked upon entering the building. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to enter the building. Staff with a temperature of 100.4 or higher will be sent home immediately and not allowed to return until fever-free for 72 hours.

In-Person Girl Scout Meetings, Activities, & Travel Guidelines
  • In-person troop or group meetings, and day-only activities that include local field trips are permissible. Troop or group leader(s) are to keep the council informed of troop/group high adventure activities or local field trips by submitting an Activity/Trip Permission (#2129)
  • NO camping or activities requiring overnight stays permitted until after Virginia has successfully passed out of the Phase 3.
  • NO overnight trips or domestic (extended) travel permitted until after Virginia has successfully passed out of the Phase 3.
  • NO International Travel until Virginia has successfully out of the Phase 3 and nonessential travel to other countries is deemed safe.
    The council will NOT consider requests for troop travel or overnight activities until Virginia has successfully passed out of Phase 3.
  • Refer to COVID-19 Troop or Group Travel Guidelines for specific details.

 

Transportation Guidelines

Girl Scouts has adopted a zero-transportation policy until Virginia has safely passed out of Phase 3.

  • Individual parents must drop-off and pick-up their own girls from all Girl Scout meetings and activities.
  • Volunteers may not transport girls, other than their own, during this time. 
  • Troop or group members may not travel together. Maintaining six feet of space between people inside a car is not possible. 
  • Carpooling and public transportation is to be avoided to maintain social distancing.
Social Distancing During Phase 3 Guidelines
  • Meeting outdoors is preferred over meeting indoors; local parks or outdoor community or church pavilions are encouraged. 
  • Maintain six feet of physical distance between people who do not reside in the same household. 
  • Maintain at least 10 feet in any setting that includes physical activity, singing, cheering, or chanting. 
  • Follow all preventative guidance (such as hand washing and face coverings).
Face Masks Guidelines
  • Everyone should wear a mask.
  • Wearing a face mask is required while entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending any amount of time indoors or when unable to maintain six feet of physical distance from others.
  • Face masks must be worn in any setting where individuals might raise their voice (e.g. shouting, cheering, chanting, or singing, etc.) 
  • When outdoors, individuals should have a face mask on them at all times if for any reason six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained. 
  • Girls can bring their own masks. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them.
  • Teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are effective.
  • Remind girls and their families that Girl Scouts wear face masks not only to protect themselves, but also to protect others. Face masks are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community.
COVID-19 Exposure Mitigation Guidelines

Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) or your local public health department. Volunteers are to share these with girls and adults, and ensure that they are practiced during meetings and activities. When possible, 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:

  • Know the symptoms.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Review CDC Guidelines on "How to Protect Yourself & Others."
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash or sanitize hands.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Review CDC Guidelines for "When and How to Wash Hands."
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.
  • On-site temperature checks are preferred, but we understand that this may not always be feasible. Volunteers, girls, and parents should take temperatures prior to group interaction to confirm no one is not running a fever and temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees. Anyone with fever or temperature higher than 100.4 should skip all in-person Girl Scout meetings or activities until their temperature is normal for at least 72 hours.
  • Follow CDC Guidelines on "What to Do If You Are Sick."
  • Add your phone to the COVID fight and help Virginia stop COVID-19. Download Virginia’s free COVIDWISE Exposure Notification app to help protect your community while protecting your privacy. Download on the Apple App Store or get it on Google Play.
COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tools

Council staff, volunteers, families, and girls should take a self-assessment to check symptoms prior to any in-person Girl Scout gathering. These tools are a guide to help bring awareness and seek appropriate medical care. These tools are NOT intended for the diagnosis or treatment of disease or other conditions, including COVID-19. It is recommended to use self-assessments tools based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool
Google COVID‑19 Self-Assessment
Blue Cross Blue Shield Self-Assessment
Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Self-Assessment

Girl Scout Family Guidelines

Here is a COVID-19 handout for Girl Scout families

  • It is to be understood that meeting in-person is a personal decision families must make for their girls and individuals must make for themselves. 
  • It is to be understood that a communicable disease is not covered under the Girl Scouts of the USA's general liability policy provided through Girl Scout membership. Additional insurance coverage is available for purchase. Please contact the council at info@gsvsc.org for additional information.
  • Parents are to ensure their child does not have a fever or feel ill before coming to the in-person meeting or gathering.
  • All individuals must complete a temperature check and should agree to the Girl Scout Culture of Care Pledge prior to participation.
  • All individuals who are ill, living with someone who is ill or showing symptoms or in a high-risk category may not participate in in-person meetings or gatherings.
  • All individuals must complete a COVID-19 Questionnaire, Participation Agreement, and Pledge (#1082) and COVID-19 Waiver (#1083) prior to any in-person participation.
  • Volunteers will not provide food or drinks. If the event is a family gathering, then each family should provide their own food and drinks.
  • Remind girls not share food and drinks with others outside of a family unit.
  • Remind girls not to drink from water fountains. Girls should each bring their own bottles of water.
  • Each girl can provide her own box of supplies (markers, scissors, glue, etc.) This box can be carried to and from the meeting or collected, labeled, and stored in one location. Each box is to be sanitized before being stored or reused.
  • Keep girls Girl Scout health records up-to-date. 
  • Report any known exposure or positive COVID-19 test to council.
Troop Meetings at Council Camps/Properties Guidelines

Council camps/properties are available for use FREE of charge for troop meetings.

  • Submit your reservation to the council. 
  • Send a complete roster of all members who will be in attendance. 
  • A limited number of days and times are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please understand the following guidelines will be activated:

  • Only one troop/group on camp/property at a time.
  • Gatherings will be scheduled for a maximum of two hours.
  • Limited to 50 people maximum. This includes girls, volunteers and family members.
  • All members of the group are required to wear masks or facial coverings.
  • Troops can use the outdoor spaces, including fire circles and pavilions, as well as bathrooms.
  • To build a fire, at least one troop volunteer must have appropriate outdoor education training.
  • Specific program activities, areas and equipment are not available. This includes archery, canoeing, and the climbing wall at Camp Icimani. 
  • Shared food items are not permitted. Girls/adults/families should provide their own food packed and brought from home.
Girl Scout Meetings in Public Spaces Guidelines

Please give this GSVSC COVID-19 Girl Scout Handout for Public Meeting Spaces to your meeting place owner. 

  • Meeting outdoors is preferred over meeting indoors; local parks or outdoor community or church pavilions are encouraged. 
  • Troop meetings in the home are not permissible. Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) has always discouraged troop meetings in the home. GSUSA strongly believes not making exceptions out of concern that there would be greater risk of exposure. 
  • Meetings are not permissible in fitness centers or commercial gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist.
  • Girl Scouts may not gather at the maximum number of 50 participants, if the activity or location does not make it feasible for all participants to follow social distancing. (See guidelines to calculate in-person meeting square footage.)
  • Girl Scouts must obtain advance permission from the owner of the location or facilities being used. 
  • Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.
  • For meetings at public facilities, ask the facility in advance:
    • Is the space cleaned and are touch surfaces (door knobs/handles, light switches, counter tops, tabletops, chairs, handrails, restrooms, toilets, floors, etc.) sanitized at least daily?
    • Who else uses the space (how often, what size is the group)? Is the space cleaned between groups?
    • What type of faucets and soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?
    • Does the facility follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health department guidelines?
  • Girl Scouts are to supplement public facility cleaning practices. Arrive at least 20 mins prior to Girl Scout meetings to wipe down and sanitize touch surfaces to prepare space for Girl Scout activities. After meetings, allow time to sanitize and wipe down touch surfaces to leave the meeting space better than you found it. 
  • Council camps/properties are available for use FREE of charge for troop meetings. Be sure to contact the council for scheduling and submit your reservation.
In-Person Meeting Square Footage Calculations
  • Girl Scouts may not gather at the maximum number of 50 participants, if the activity or location does not make it feasible for all participants to follow social distancing.
  • Volunteers are to calculate square footage needs so that all participants can properly social distance. Calculations should be based on a circle radius of six feet equal or approximately 113 square feet per person; e.g., 10 participants require 1130 sq. ft. of space to properly social distance. Here online is an Occupant Capacity Calculator.
Food & Drinks Guidelines
  • Volunteers should not provide food or drinks. If the event is a family gathering, then each family should provide their own food and drinks.
  • Do not drink from water fountains. Girls and volunteers should each bring their own bottles of water.
  • Do not share food or drinks with others outside of your family unit.
Avoid Personal Contact at In-Person Activities Guidelines
  • Practice social distancing by keeping at least six feet of space between others and everyone should wear a mask.
  • Have hand washing/sanitizing supplies available. Have everyone sanitize hands upon arrival, throughout (at least every 30 minutes) and just before leaving.
  • Avoid all 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. Create a safe way for members to greet and end meetings without any physical contact. 
  • Games and activities will need to be chosen to ensure physical contact does not happen.
  • Avoid the use of shared materials such as markers, scissors, etc. by having each girl provide her own box of items. This box can be carried to and from the meeting by the individual girl. If collected and stored in one location, each box should be wiped off with sanitizing wipe before being stored and before being reused. 
  • If there are shared items, sanitize each item before and after each person uses the item.
  • Provide trash baskets or bags for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets or bags are always easily accessible.
First Aid Supplies Guidelines
  • Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol), tissues, disposable face masks, and disinfectants.

  • Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive; however, parents are to check temperatures before allowing their girl(s) to join in-person Girl Scout activities.

Disinfecting Guidelines
  • Use a household cleaner or see the Environmental Protection Agency's list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.

  • Girl Scouts are to supplement public facility cleaning practices. Arrive a minimum of 20 mins prior to GS meetings to wipe down and sanitize touch surfaces to prepare space for Girl Scout activities. 

  • After meetings, allow time to sanitize and wipe down touch surfaces to leave the meeting space better than you found it. 

  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (tabletops, chairs, equipment, etc.)

  • Avoid the use of shared materials such as markers, scissors, etc. by having each girl provide her own box of items. This box can be carried to and from the meeting by the individual girl. If collected and stored in one location, each box should be wiped down with sanitizing wipe before being stored and before being reused. 

  • Sanitize each item before and after, if equipment or supplies must be shared.

COVID-19 Symptoms at Girl Scout Meeting/Event Guidelines
  • Isolate and transport those who are sick. In the event a participant (adult or child) begins to exhibit COVID-19 symptoms (or later tests positive for COVID-19, or later realizes exposure to someone with symptoms or a confirmed or suspected case), instruct participants to notify the designated volunteer COVID-19 point of contact for that activity.

  • Clean and disinfect. Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use these areas until after cleaning and disinfecting them (for outdoor areas, this includes surfaces or shared objects in the area, if applicable).

    • Wait at least 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible. Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning external icon and disinfection products, including storing them securely away from children.

  • Advise sick individuals of home Isolation criteria. Sick members or participants should not return to Girl Scouts until they have met CDC’s criteria to discontinue home isolation

  • Gather attendance records and health forms. Document what happened using the Incident Report (#1089) and submit to the council at CEO@gsvsc.org.

  • Promptly notify council. Once the person has been safely isolated and/or transported, promptly contact the council during regular business hours at 540-777-5100 or contact the council emergency number after hours: 540-598-0974. Refer to the guidelines for reporting and communicating a positive COVID-19 test or known exposure section.

    • In accordance with state and local laws and regulations, council staff will notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

    • Council staff will request the required documentation from volunteers in charge of activity and advise those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to separate themselves, self-monitor for symptoms, and follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. 

Reporting a COVID-19 Positive Test or Known Exposure Guidelines
  • Girl, volunteer, and staff health information is private and strictly confidential. 

  • In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result or known exposure to someone who has tested positive to COVID-19, do not contact the parents or troop members. 

  • Promptly contact a GSVSC council staff member in this situation at 540-777-5100 or contact the council emergency number after hours at 540-598-0974. 

  • Volunteers responsible for the troop, group, or service unit gathering, where participants had a known exposure to COVID-19, will be asked to submit copies of the following documents to council: 

    • Meeting, activity, event or gathering attendance records

    • Participant health forms

    • Signed COVID-19 Questionnaire, Participation Agreement, and Pledges (#1082) and COVID-19 Waivers (#1083)

  • A council staff member (not volunteers) will be responsible for taking the necessary steps to to correctly handle the situation. 

    • Confirm and trace the positive tester

    • Notify volunteers or parents of anyone who may have been exposed or impacted by a positive test result

    • Notify the facility of where a troop or group has met 

    • Alert the Virginia Department of Health

When Girl Scouts Meet In-Person (Overview)
Please read carefully our COVID-19 In-Person Meeting Guideline Updates for Volunteers

  • It is to be understood that meeting in-person is a personal decision families must make for their girls and individuals must make for themselves. 
  • It is to be understood that a communicable disease is not covered under the Girl Scouts of the USA's general liability policy provided through Girl Scout membership. If you have questions regarding the purchase of additional insurance coverage, please contact the council at info@gsvsc.org.
  • Meeting outdoors is preferred over meeting indoors; virtual meeting options should be made available for those who do not wish to meet in-person. 
  • All participants must follow Virginia’s Phase 3 social distancing, face mask, disinfecting, and all other guidelines as outlined by Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Parents must drop-off and pick-up their own girls from all Girl Scout activities because maintaining six feet of space between people inside a car is not possible.
  • All individuals must agree to a temperature check and the Girl Scout Culture of Care Pledge (#1082) prior to their participation.
  • All individuals must complete a COVID-19 Questionnaire, Participation Agreement, and Pledge (#1082) and COVID-19 Waiver (#1083) prior to their participation. 
  • A designated, trained volunteer must be on site to serve as point of contact and lead person in charge to: 
    • Confirm temperature checks, and keep stellar attendance, contact, and health records for all participants. 
    • Routinely clean areas before and after all in-person meetings or activities; must have cleaning supplies available for all in-person meetings or activities.
  • Avoid providing food or drinks. If the event is a family gathering, then each family should provide their own food and drinks. Do not share with others outside of your family unit. 

ADDITIONAL GIRL SCOUT COVID-19 RESOURCES

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.