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Coronavirus Updates: Working Together to Keep Our GSNorCal Community Healthy

gsnorcal-health

Current COVID-19 Guidelines for GSNorCal Members

Current COVID-19 Guidelines for GSNorCal Members

Updated as of 03/18/2022
Updated items have an asterisk (*) next to them

Formulario en Español 

Our goal as Girl Scouts is to model leadership by prioritizing the health and safety of our members and communities, keeping kids in school, and reducing community spread of COVID-19, an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community.

GSNorCal follows public health guidance and requirements regarding vaccination, masking, testing, distancing, and quarantining, referred to as “COVID Mitigation Layers”.

GSNorCal supports troop leaders, event directors, and camp directors to use their judgment to establish even greater protection than GSNorCal’s requirements based on planned activities or current local conditions.

GSNorCal values inclusion and recognizes that some members of our community are at greater risk than others and need enhanced COIVD Mitigation Layers to be safe. Some members of our community may not be able to wear masks and/or be vaccinated. We will work with members, and where possible, identify appropriate modifications and alterations that will not increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure for Girl Scout participants.

Staff members are required to follow Cal OSHA requirements, as well as state and county guidelines. This means they may be masking at times when it may seem unnecessary to do so, however, please understand these guidelines may vary for them.

It is important to note that if individuals are feeling ill, they should stay away from in-person meetings or gatherings.

*Masks

Indoors:

  • As of March 12, masks will be optional at Girl Scout meetings and activities unless gatherings are being held in school districts, communities, or counties that still require the wearing of masks. 
  • Masks are still required on public transit, e.g. buses and BART, etc., in health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities, a consideration for Girl Scouts who might be using public transit to get to and from their activities or might be participating in community service events at these facilities.
  • Although not required, the State of California strongly recommends that masks continue to be worn indoor in public settings, including K-12 schools

Outdoors :

Masks are optional, except in these circumstances, where masks are required:

  • When required by the county, school district, school, or other organization where the activity is taking place

Vaccinations and Testing

GSNorCal strongly recommends, but does not require, vaccines for all eligible adults and youth.

GSNorCal supports volunteer troop leaders, event directors, and camp directors who choose to require in-person event participants to provide proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of an event. 

  • GSNorCal recommends that troop leaders, event directors, and camp directors notify participants in advance that proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test will be required for participation in an event.
    • Event/Camp Directors may choose to require permission to test a girl or adult participant for the COVID-19 virus, using an over-the-counter test should the girl or adult become ill or exhibit COVID symptoms.  Participants who develop any symptoms of illness while participating in an event will be isolated and arrangements for sending them home to recover will be made as quickly as possible.  Parents/guardians are asked to pick their girls up from the event as soon as possible. 
    • *If permission is not given for COVID-19 testing, girls must be picked up as soon as possible after the First-Aider has contacted the parent/guardian. 

*Quarantine & Isolation

The CDPH (California Department of Public Health) K-12 COVID Guidance provides clear rules for what to do if you come in close contact with someone who tests psotive for COVID-19 or if you test positive. Follow these guidelines:

When to Stay Home

Calculating Quarantine

The date of your exposure is considered day 0. Day 1 is the first full day after your last contact with a person who has had COVID-19. Stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days. Learn why CDC updated guidance for the general public.

 


IF YOU
Were exposed to COVID-19 and are NOT
up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations

Quarantine for at least 5 days

Stay home
Stay home and quarantine for at least 5 full days.

Wear a well-fitted mask if you must be around others in your home.

Get tested
Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested at least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19

After quarantine

Watch for symptoms
Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19

If you develop symptoms
Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitted mask around others.

Take precautions until day 10

Wear a mask
Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

 

Avoid travel

Avoid being around people who are at high risk

IF YOU
Were exposed to COVID-19 and are
up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations

No quarantine
You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms

Get tested
Even if you don’t develop symptoms, get tested least 5 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19

Watch for symptoms
Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19

If you develop symptoms
Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well fitted mask around others.

Take precautions until day 10

Wear a mask
Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

Avoid Travel

Avoid being around people who are at high risk

IF YOU
were exposed to COVID-19 and had confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test)

No quarantine
You do not need to stay home unless you develop symptoms.

Watch for symptoms
Watch for symptoms until 10 days after you last had close contact with someone with COVID-19

If you develop symptoms
Isolate immediately and get tested. Continue to stay home until you know the results. Wear a well-fitted mask around others.

Take precautions until day 10

Wear a mask
Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

Avoid travel

Avoid being around people who are at high risk.

Calculating Isolation

Day 0 is your first day of symptoms or a positive viral test. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or your test specimen was collected. If you have COVID-19 or have symptoms, isolate for at least 5 days.

IF YOU
Tested positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms, regardless of vaccination status

Stay home for at least 5 days
Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others in your home.

 

Wear a well-fitted mask if you must be around others in your home.

Ending isolation if you had symptoms

End isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving

 

Ending isolation if you did NOT have symptoms

End isolation after least 5 full days after your positive test.

 

If you were severely ill with COVID-19

You should isolate for at least 10 days. Consult your doctor before ending isolation.

Take precautions until day 10

Wear a mask

Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.

 

Avoid travel

 

Avoid being around people who are at high risk.

Definitions

Exposure

Close contact with someone infected with SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in a way that increases the likelihood of getting infected with the virus.

Close Contacts

Close contacts are someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. For example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15-minutes.

If you feel sick, have COVID symptions and/or have tested, positive isolate and DO NOT attend any in-person meetings, events, or activities. 

 

Camping

Overnight camping is allowed in outdoor settings. Girls may share sleeping structures under the following conditions:

  • Parents/guardians and troop leaders agree that girls may share sleeping structures. They can do so provided parents/guardians review and sign the updated Activity and Event Permission Form.
  • Sleeping structures (tents, cabins, dormitories, etc.) must be well ventilated with open windows or other ventilation systems in use. 
  • Campers must practice distancing as much as possible (sleeping head to foot in ground tents, cots or sleeping mats separated in buildings, etc.)

Carpooling

Carpooling is allowed with masking, under the following conditions: 

*In-Person Events

  • Girl Scouts should follow local county, community, and gathering place protocols when meeting in person.
  • Plan activities so that no one is in close proximity to another individual for more than 15 minutes.    
  • Masks are always required for staff   
  • Signage at recruitment events/gatherings that clearly states GSNorCal focus on COVID-19 safety protocols
    • "Safety is always a top priority in Girl Scouts and our events are designed for the safety of youth who are not yet vaccinated against COVID-19. If you are not able to follow these rules and would like to learn more about Girl Scouts, please send an email to ______________ and we will be happy to set up a time to connect."
    •   Download Sign Template
  • Event size should be limited based on the venue and number of staff and volunteers available to support the event. 
    • Aim for no more than 50% capacity of venue capacity limitation; avoid crowding
    • Plan to have enough staff to manage crowding, mask-wearing, etc. 
  • If possible, always meet outdoors. When outdoors:
    • Masks are optional, except in these circumstances, where masks are required:
    • When required y the county, school district, or other organization where the activity is taking place. 
    • When required by the troop leader, event director, or camp director who is repsonsible for the activity or event. Volunteers are often in the best position to determine whether greater protection is needed given the circumstances in their communities, the nature of the event, the vaccination rates of participants, etc. 
  • If indoors, confirm capacity and adequate ventilation at the site
    • Open doors and windows, if possible, to encourage cross ventilation
    • Prevent crowding and allow for at least 6' distancing
  • What if guests won't comply with GSNorCal COVID guidelines?
    • Staff/event organizers should end the gathering and hand out pre-printed cards to attendees that state:
    • "Thank you for stopping by to discover Girl Scouts. Unfortunately, some of today's guests were not willing to comply with our COVID safety requirements, so we are not able to complete the event as planned. To learn more about Girl Scouts, please contact me at _____________ and I will be happy to set up a time to connect."
    • Download Card Template

*Meals and Snacks

  • Weather permitting, eating and drinking should be done outdoors
  • When eating and drinking outdoors is not an option, use these guidelines:
    • Physical distancing should be practiced. 
  • Girl Scouts should follow local county, community, and gathering place protocols if eating and drinking are not allowed indoors. 

Domestic Travel

Domestic travel is now possible, with the following advisory from the State of California.

  • California no longer has a travel advisory in effect. There is now no state recommendation to test and quaratine before and after travel.
  • The California Department of Public Health asks that you do the following:
    • Delay travel until you're fully vaccinated 
    • If you're not fully vaccinated, but choose to travel, get tested before and after
    • No matter your vaccination status, wear a mask white on public transportation or in a transportation hub
    • Get tested if you feel sick and avoid traveling if you have or may have had COVID-19.
  • The Trip or High Adventure Approval form should continue to be completed for all domestic travel. 
  • See CDC's travel guidelines and read more at CDPH's travel flyer (PDF)

International Travel

International travel is possible under the following conditions, as outlined by the CDC's International Traveling During COVID-19

  • Travelers must be fully vaccinated. 
  • Fully vaccinated people should follow the guidelines outlined in the link above. 
  • Unvaccinated people should also follow specific guidelines for them outlined in the above link. 

Travelers should check the U.S. Department of State's International Travel Advisories to understand which countries are LEVEL 4 (Do Not Travel status) and Level 3 (Reconsider Travel). 

  • Travel to Level 4 countries will not be approved by GSNorCal 

The Trip or High Adventure Approval form should continue to be completed for all international trips. 

*Helpful Tips When Planning International Travel: COVID-19 Summer 2022 Travel Guide

Help the girls create a plan for the possibility of someone getting sick or catching COVID during the trip. This is a good idea even if you choose to travel domestically or to a Level 1 or Level 2 country, since by participating in Girl Scout activities and events:

X

1. COVID-19 incident rates:

 

You and your troop families acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists for any in-person activity, including meetings, activities, events, and trips; and

 

You and your troop families are voluntarily assuming all risk related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Girl Scouts of Northern California, or any of its directors, employees, agents or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.

 

Review the GSNorCal COVID Guidelines (this webpage) and the Travel and Trips Safety Activity Checkpoint with the girls to learn what our policy is for International Travel.

 

Have the girls look at the websites for the CDC and US Department of States Travel Advisories to find travel advisories for the country they want to visit, since each country has its own unique guidelines and protocols. Please note that CDC and US Department of State Level rankings are not necessarily exactly aligned- the Department of State rankings are based primarily on the CDC data, but also may include additional factors.

 

What is the country's COVID-19 Level, as described in the State Department Travel Guidelines?

 

What does that level mean?

 

What is their vaccination requirement?

 

What is their policy if someone in your group contracts COVID?

 

Will that person be able to board a plane and go home?

 

How long will they need to stay in that country?

 

How will they know when they can go home?

STOP

If the COVID-19 rate is high at either location, consider rescheduling. If the US Department of State has “Level 4” Travel Advisory in place, Girl Scouts do not travel to that location.

X

2. COVID-19 related requirements for vaccination or testing in the destination:

 

Are vaccines, testing, masking or other COVID-19 mitigation measures required at the location?

 

For domestic trips, check this AARP Coronavirus Restrictions list by state.

 

For international trips, check the US State Department Travel Advisories, or - for quick reference – this worldwide list of restrictions from the New York Times.

 

Consider not only the country or state regulations, but also local vaccine or testing rules for businesses you may want to visit (i.e. restaurants, events).

 

Note: the CDC recommends full vaccination for all travelers. Per CDC guidelines, in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, participants who are up to date on vaccines, or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, will be able to continue with a program (masked and taking precautions); however, those who are not fully up to date on vaccinations or recently recovered must move to quarantine. These guidelines may differ on international trips – check local guidelines.

 

For international trips, what is the plan for testing required to return to the US? How will tests be obtained and who will cover this cost?

STOP

If a group cannot comply with all COVID-19 regulations at the destination, or as set by GSNorCal, consider rescheduling.

X

3. Financial Considerations:

 

What is the deadline for final payments to be made, and have you worked with vendors to push payment deadlines as far out as possible?

 

What is the cancellation policy for the hotel/accommodation? Best to find 24-hour cancellation policy locations, when possible.

 

Is the airline offering full refunds or just changeable tickets? Can the troop afford to purchase refundable tickets?

 

Do all travelers understand the financial implications if the entire trip is postponed or cancelled at the last minute or if an individual participant(s) must cancel at the last minute? Exactly how much money would each person lose?

 

If a participant must leave the trop early due to an exposure and necessary quarantine, will any of the activities be refundable? Exactly how much money would each person lose?

 

If a participant must leave the troop early due to an exposure and necessary quarantine, will any of the activities be refundable? Has this been communicated to parent/guardians?

 

What is the plan for accommodations/hotel if any members of the group have to isolate for illness or quarantine during the trip, or after the planned last day of the trip? How will this be paid for, if needed? (See #5 for more information)

 

Travel insurance: Has the group reviewed and decided on purchasing travel insurance? (Note that COVID-19/pandemic is excluded from most travel insurance policies, but there may be other reasons groups may find travel insurance valuable. Read the fine print!)

STOP

If a group is not able to make a viable plan for these financial risks, consider rescheduling.

X

4. Activity consideration and trip logistics:

 

Is the trip primarily outdoor or indoor?

 

Is it possible to socially distance from those outside the troop, or will the troop be visiting mostly crowded, indoor locations?

 

What are the sleeping, transportation, and eating arrangements?

STOP

If a trip does not meet any particular requirements set by GSNorCal for these areas, consider rescheduling.

X

5. Illness, exposure, and quarantine considerations:

 

Are chaperones fully vaccinated and boosted?

 

Are you planning to have additional adult chaperones on the trip beyond ratio-requirements? (strongly recommended)

 

What is the immediate plan if a member of the troop exhibits COVID-19 symptoms? Will that person be immediately tested? Have parent/caregivers given permission for this, and do trip leaders have tests on hand? Who covers the cost?

 

What is the next step for an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 (Note current CDC guidelines: As of 2/25/22, individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for a minimum of 5 days and not travel for a minimum of 10 days. These guidelines may differ on international trips- check local guidelines.) Which adult(s) on the trip will supervise any participant who must be isolated for positive case, and at what point (24/48hrs) must parents/caregivers arrive on site to take custody of their children?

 

What is the next step for individuals who are exposed to COVID-19? (Note current CDC guidelines: As of 2/25/22 exposed individuals who are vaccinated and boosted OR have recovered from COVID-19 in the past 0- days no have to quarantine. They should mask for 5 days and take precautions for 10 days. However, unvaccinated individual who have not recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days must isolate for 5 days and not travel for 10. These guidelines may differ on international trips- check local guidelines.) Which adult(s) on the trip will supervise any participant who must be isolated for exposure, and at what point must parent/guardians arrive on-site to take custody of their children?

 

Do all participants and parent/guardians understand and agree with the above plans? Have parent/caregivers been advised that they must be contactable during the entire trip and willing to finance their own travel to pick up their child? If trip is international, does a parent/caregiver of each child have an up-to-date passport?

 

What is the plan if adult chaperones fall ill?

 

Will the trip have additional adults beyond ratio-requirements? (Strongly recommended)

 

Will all adult chaperones be fully up to date on vaccines? (Strongly recommended. Not only does this decrease risk of illness, but vaccinated and boosted chaperones MAY be able to continue with the program if exposed; unvaccinated chaperones have to quarantine.)

 

Remind the girls and the parents/guardians that you and your co-leaders are just as much at risk as they are for catching COVID, and a plan must be put in place for this possibility. Share your concerns with the girls.

STOP

If a group is not able to make a viable plan for these risks, consider rescheduling.

Be sure to meet with parents/guardians to keep them informed of evolving plans. Having these conversations with your Girl Scouts and their parents/guardians will ensure that everyone is on the same page.

 

Frequently Used GSNorCal Forms (revised with COVID information)

*Additional COVID Resources

CDC Link to California Counties Covid Requirements https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Public Health: California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-2022 School Year. (Jan. 21, 2022)
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/K-12-Guidance-2021-22-School-Year.aspx

Masks: California “Masks in Daily Life” Mandate: https://covid19.ca.gov/masks-and-ppe/#Masks-in-daily-life (Feb. 15, 2022)

*International Travel:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html (October 25, 2021)
*Travel Accomodations/Travel Tips: 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-risk.html (September 1, 2021)
Current Safety Measures: California State “Do’s and Don’ts”: https://covid19.ca.gov/safely-reopening/#what-to-do-now (October 26, 2021)

 


Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone! If you have questions about how COVID-19 may impact Girl Scout activities, please contact us at  info@gsnorcal.org or 800-447-4475—we're here for you.