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COVID-19 Information

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At Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama we take nothing more seriously than the safety and well-being of our members. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be of growing concern in Alabama and our nation, we will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts. Please remember, information is changing rapidly and we will do our best to keep you informed.

Recent Communications Regarding COVID-19
Please refer to the most recent communications for current information and recommendations. Click here for links to emails we have sent out to all GSNCA members. If you are not receiving these emails, please contact us at communications@girlscoutsnca.org.


This guidance is being provided as of the Edition Date below. Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama may modify this guidance, from time to time as circumstances change. Updated 09/30/20

Frequently Asked Questions

IN-PERSON MEETINGS: PLACE

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.

Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are best for in-person meetings. Outdoor picnic pavilions can be reserved at GSNCA camps for troop meetings at no cost. Contact tsails@girlscoutsnca.org  Please review the COVID Camp guidelines Facilities will be specifically assigned. Do not use any kitchen, bathroom, building, or facility other than the one assigned to your troop/family.

Troop Meetings in the home: will only be permitted after the meeting place has been approved through the council; the most up-to-date COVID guidelines have been acknowledged; and all volunteer and participant waivers have been signed/submitted. Contact your membership manager to request approval.  

IN-PERSON MEETINGS: TROOP SIZE

Troop Size & General Meeting Guidance.  Consider your troop size when selecting a meeting space. Social distancing of at least 6 feet and face coverings are required at all times. When safe social distancing is not possible, such as during instruction, both the instructor and the participant must wear properly fitted and secured face coverings. All GSUSA Safety Activity checkpoints and guidelines must also be met.

If you have a large troop, stay connected until it’s safe for everyone to be together again. Some ideas:

  • Host virtual troop meetings.
  • Enroll the girls in the Trefoil Trunk subscription program and schedule virtual gatherings to work on the activities.
  • Participate in council virtual events
  • Gather in smaller groups—such as age-level groups, patrols, or groups of girls with a particular badge they would like to work on.
COVID PREVENTION PROCEDURES

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.  

1.    Stay home if you are sick! Girls, adults, volunteers and tagalongs should take their temperature before attending any Girl Scout event or activity. Anyone whose temperature measures 99 degrees or above should sit down and rest for 10 minutes and then take their temperature again. If the resting body temperature still measures at 99 degrees or above, do not attend the in-person Girl Scout event or activity.

2.    Troop leader will exclude from participation anyone who is currently exhibiting symptoms such as fever, headache, cough, etc.

3.    Troop leader will exclude from participation anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID in the last 30 days.

4.    Troop leader will exclude from participation anyone who has been exposed to COVID in the last 30 days.

MASKS REQUIRED Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Girls can bring their own face covering, but it’s a good idea to have spares on hand.   

Everyone in attendance at any Girl Scout event, meeting, or activity MUST wear a properly fitted protective face covering. Masks must be:

  • Worn by everyone in attendance
  • Properly fitted and of a design that resists falling down
  • Worn properly over mouth and nose
  • Made of tightly woven material, of sufficient thickness to be considered effective
  • Attach with elasticized bands or ear loops.

Proper Hygiene - Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash or sanitize your hands.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.

Personal contact. 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).

First Aid Supplies. Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including a thermal scan thermometer, hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants.

Disinfectants and Disinfecting.  Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., tabletops, 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.).

COVID WAIVER & COMMUNICATIONS

COVID Waiver and Release:

Click here to print out the Covid Waiver and Release

The standard ‘informed consent’ can be used by troop leaders, in communication with families. Leaders may use the document in its entirety or excerpt from it to provide families with a brief summary of the procedures in place. The document may also be used in its entirety, as sign and return release of liability. Signed copies should be retained by the troop leader and are not required to be submitted to GSNCA.

Volunteers and Families: Leaders should share these guidelines with troop families and make collaborative decisions about level of engagement. 

Volunteers and families should assess their ability to comply with required guidelines. For example, younger girls may find it difficult to remain socially distant and/or wear masks. If girls are unable to comply with guidelines, participation should remain virtual.

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:

  • Confirming and tracing the positive tester.
  • Contacting the parents of anyone who may have been exposed (or other volunteers).
  • Notifying a facility or homeowner where a troop has met
  • Alerting the state department of health.

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.

TRAVEL, FIELD TRIPS, & TROOP TRIPS

Transportation. In case individual parents cannot drop off and pick up their own girls from in-person meetings, participants may carpool. Along with normal GSUSA Safety Activity checkpoints for transportation, COVID carpool procedures require the use of properly fitted face coverings by everyone in the vehicle (driver and all passengers) AND no more than two people per seating row.

Day trips and activities. In conjunction with GSUSA 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 implementing COVID procedures that meet or exceed CDC and ADPH guidelines. If activity or sports equipment is being provided, ask the provider if they sanitize equipment between uses. Make whatever appropriate accommodations are necessary. For example, bring extra wipes and sanitizer if none will be provided for public use at the activity location.

Travel and overnight stays during COVID. All travel and overnight stays are being considered on a case-by-case basis. To ensure that your application can be reviewed in time, please plan to limit activities to those without specialized activity procedures OR plan to use a pre-approved activity provider.

SUBMIT APPLICATION - Travel can only be reviewed for approval after a Troop Group Activity Application is submitted electronically.

INITIAL REVIEW - The application will be reviewed carefully by volunteers and staff. If the activity will utilize an activity provider that is not already approved, documentation of instructor certification/qualification and proof of liability insurance of $1m per occurrence will be requested by the review committee. 

REQUEST - Additional information and/or documentation may be required such as a plan to address COVID symptoms during the trip, transportation, itinerary, supervision, first aider, activities, lodging, etc.

VIRTUAL MEETING - GSNCA will contact you to schedule a virtual meeting to review the latest COVID procedures relating to your planned trip

RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL – the review committee will make a recommendation for approval to GSNCA CEO Karen Peterlin. Until COVID is no longer a concern, final approval for all Troop Group Activity Applications rests with the CEO. Additional travel guidelines for July 1st and beyond can be found here.

Troop Group Activity Application- https://gsnca.formstack.com/forms/troop_group_activity_form

Pre-Approved Activity Providers- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1xVbm498efxqlwVa2ZlesYBuWalz6c7aoMDCCflzJLB4/edit?ts=5bff5bad#gid=0
For quickest trip approval, omit specialized activities that require liability coverage OR utilize only pre-approved activity providers. Depending on how quickly the activity provider responds, approval of a specialized activity provider can take six to eight weeks.

 

Contact Information

If you have questions about how the coronavirus may impact Girl Scout activities, please contact Jennifer Sholund at  jsholund@girlscoutsnca.org or Karen Peterlin at  kpeterlin@girlscoutsnca.org.

For Cookies contact: Sara Stutsman at  sstutsman@girlscoutsnca.org.

For Camp reservations contact: Tonya Sails at  tsails@girlscoutsnca.org.

For Programs contact Laura Elliott at lelliott@girlscoutsnca.org.

For Highest Awards contact: Katie Smith at  kdsmith@girlscoutsnca.org.

For Communications contact: Jennifer Sholund at  jsholund@girlscoutsnca.org.