COVID - 19 Information
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The state of Indiana has opened many recreational and educational opportunities, and Girl Scouts is excited to support girls and volunteers returning to great troop activities.

Girl Scouts of Central Indiana is now open for all in-person meetings and activities, as well as council and public events for girls and volunteers. 

Indiana’s Back on Track Indiana plan allows for groups of up to 250 which will likely allow for lots of choices for troop meetings and activities this summer like zoos, parks, hiking, and Girl Scout sponsored program.

Please read carefully all the safety protocols below, and continue to adhere to local, state and CDC guidance. Please keep troop size and groups within a troop to small teams so that social distancing can be maintained. Patrols are a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and this is the perfect time to use them!

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COVID - 19 Important Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

Please remember to check Safety Activity Checkpoints, as well as the safety information below, as you plan meetings, activities, and events through the summer and fall. We will keep the information current as we receive updates from local authorities through BACK on Track IN and GSUSA.

Also check out our Girl Scouts At Home page and Lead Your Own Adventure page for additional resources that girls can do with their family or troop, or even on their own.

Enjoy the warm weather and the return to group activities, and use the information below to stay safe while having fun!

Return to Girl Scout Programming after Covid-19 Illness or Diagnosis

Girls and adults who have had Covid-19 symptoms and/or have tested positive for Covid-19 may resume Girl Scout meetings and activities after meeting the requirements below. These guidelines are based on CDC recommendations and many school district guidelines.

Covid-19 Positive, with symptoms
Girls and volunteers/parents who tested positive for Covid-19 and exhibited symptoms may participate or chaperone Girl Scout events and activities (including troop meetings), when ALL THREE of the following statements have been met:
• It has been 10 days or more since individual first had symptoms;
• It has been 3 days or more since the individual had a fever (without medication); and
• It has been 3 days or more since coughing and shortness of breath have improved.

Covid-19 Positive, with NO symptoms (Asymptomatic)
Girls and volunteers/parents who tested positive for Covid-19 and exhibited symptoms may participate or chaperone Girl Scout events and activities (including troop meetings) 10 days from the time the individual tested positive, assuming no symptoms have developed.
If symptoms subsequently developed, follow the guidelines for Covid Positive, with symptoms from the date that the first symptom occurred.

No Covid-19 Test, but exhibit symptoms
Girls and volunteers/parents who exhibited symptoms for Covid-19 (but were not tested) may participate or chaperone Girl Scout events and activities (including troop meetings), when ALL THREE of the following statements have been met:
• It has been 10 days or more since individual first had symptoms;
• It has been 3 days or more since the individual had a fever (without medication); and
• It has been 3 days or more since coughing and shortness of breath have improved.


 

Troop and Service Unit Meetings


In addition to the protocols below, all Girl Scout policies and procedures must be followed, including Safety Activity Checkpoints when applicable. Troop leaders and families should thoughtfully discuss if they are ready to meet in person. Caregivers who are not ready to meet should be provided a way to stay connected to the troop.

In-person troop meetings are not required. Each troop/family should weigh their participation based on their own health concerns and tolerance for risk. Members and troops who prefer to continue with virtual meetings and activities may continue to do so.

Use these questions and reminders to help decide how and when to return to troop activities.

Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

For meetings held at public facilities, contact the facility ahead of time and ask:

· Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, 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 / soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?

Then, consider whether you can supplement any practices that are less ideal. For example, if you will arrive after another user group, plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for your troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel. Use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.

· Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings when weather permits.

· No personal items should be shared.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.

Troop Meetings in the home. GSCI prohibits meetings held in homes.  Troops having difficulty finding space to meet should contact their Membership Manager or Help Desk.

Troop Meeting Size.  As the state opens up, in person gathering sizes have expanded. 

To enable safety while participating in events/activities in a large group, please break up into smaller patrols (such as 10 or less) to control the social distancing for your group. Patrols are a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and this is the perfect time to use them!

Also adhere to the following protocols:

· 6-foot social distance between individuals must be adhered to, and all participants are strongly encouraged to wear facemasks.

· Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the group, and use liberally and often.

· If anyone is exhibiting symptoms prior to the meeting, they should not attend. For additional information see guidelines regarding return to actitivites after Covid - 19 illness. 

· Attendees must wash their hands when arriving and before leaving. If a handwashing station is not available, hand sanitizer is required.

· Troops should follow the no touch rule. No friendship squeeze, high-fives, handshakes, hugs, or other physical contact. No personal items should be shared.

· No shared water coolers or shared drinking stations.

· Serve only prepackaged food and beverages.

· Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at the meeting/activity.

· If you have a troop larger than 10, break up into smaller groups—such as age-level groups or patrols. Adults can rotate between stationary groups to facilitate activities “round-robin” style.

If an attendee tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 after the meeting, the troop leader should notify GSCI. GSCI will take care of notifying all attendees of the event without divulging the identity of the affected person.

Transportation. Individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing.

Virtual meetings. Meeting options may need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of COVID-19 risk. Troops that are able to run online meetings as needed (or wanted) should do so. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person ratio of at least 20/80, which means to maintain virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans.  

 



GSCI Camps

Camping is available at all of our five camp properties beginning on July 1 and is open to Girl Scout families and troops. Make your reservations now, and bring a friend!

If you’d like in to purchase a Lead Your Own Adventure activity kit to enhance your weekend camping experience those will be available for weekends through August.

 

Program Events and Activities

Day and overnight activities. GSCI will open up all event and overnight program participation on July 1.  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.

Event Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for program events.

Group Size.  As the state opens up, in person gathering sizes have expanded. 

To enable safety while participating in events/activities in a large group, please break up into patrols of 10 or less to control the social distancing for your group. Patrols are a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and this is the perfect time to use them!

Also adhere to the following protocols:

· 6-foot social distance between individuals must be adhered to, and all participants are strongly encouraged to wear facemasks.

· Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the group, and use liberally and often.

· If anyone is exhibiting symptoms prior to the meeting, they should not attend. For additional information see guidelines regarding return to actitivites after Covid - 19 illness. 

· Attendees must wash their hands when arriving and before leaving. If a handwashing station is not available, hand sanitizer is required.

· Troops should follow the no touch rule. No friendship squeeze, high-fives, handshakes, hugs, or other physical contact. No personal items should be shared.

· No shared water coolers or shared drinking stations.

· Serve only prepackaged food and beverages.

· Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at the meeting/activity.

· If you have a group larger than 10 attending an event, divide into smaller groups—such as age-level groups or patrols. Adults can rotate between stationary groups to facilitate activities “round-robin” style. Or groups can navigate the program in a smaller group bubble.

If an attendee tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 after the meeting, the troop leader should notify GSCI. GSCI will take care of notifying all attendees of the event without divulging the identity of the affected person.

 

Travel Guidance

Trips.  Domestic Day and Overnight trips are permitted beginning July 1 when Indiana (or any state being entered or passed through) is also currently into Phase 4 of it’s opening process.  Troops must follow all CDC guidelines and the guidelines of any state the troop is entering.

International Travel.  Following the direction of the US State Department, all international travel is canceled through Sept. 30, 2020. We will update this section as State Department guidelines change.

Transportation. Individual parents must transport their own girls on the trip. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing.

Trip Activity Spaces and Lodging.  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.

Group Size.  As the state opens up, in person gathering sizes have expanded. 

To enable safety while participating in events/activities in a large group, please break up into patrols of 10 or less to control the social distancing for your group. Patrols are a long-standing Girl Scout tradition, and this is the perfect time to use them!

Also adhere to the following protocols:

· 6-foot social distance between individuals must be adhered to, and all participants are strongly encouraged to wear facemasks.

· Bring plenty of hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes for the group, and use liberally and often.

· If anyone is exhibiting symptoms prior to the meeting, they should not attend. For additional information see guidelines regarding return to actitivites after Covid - 19 illness. 

· Attendees must wash their hands when arriving and before leaving. If a handwashing station is not available, hand sanitizer is required.

· Troops should follow the no touch rule. No friendship squeeze, high-fives, handshakes, hugs, or other physical contact. No personal items should be shared.

· No shared water coolers or shared drinking stations.

· Serve only prepackaged food and beverages.

· Immediately isolate and seek medical care for any individual who develops symptoms while at the meeting/activity.

· If you have a group larger than 10 attending an event, divide into smaller groups—such as age-level groups or patrols. Adults can rotate between stationary groups to facilitate activities “round-robin” style. Or groups can navigate the program in a smaller group bubble.

If an attendee tests positive or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 after the meeting, the troop leader should notify GSCI. GSCI will take care of notifying all attendees of the event without divulging the identity of the affected person.

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:

· Stay home if you are sick.

· 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.

· Volunteers, girls and parents should be reminded to make sure temperatures are taken prior to group interaction to confirm the individual is not running a fever and temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees. Members with fever or temperature higher than 98.6 should skip the in-person gathering until their temperature is normal. For additional information see guidelines regarding return to actitivites after Covid - 19 illness.                                                                                                                      

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 with a special code word or singing a song.

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.

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:

· 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or

· 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

See the CDC’s website for more information on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

Face Coverings. 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, and girls should be given specific directions for maintaining social distancing in this instance.

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 GSCI in this situation. A council staff member and NOT volunteers, will take all appropriate next steps as outlined by local, state, and CDC guidelines. 

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.