How to Mitigate Risk & Be Responsible Scouts
While we are all anxious and excited to re-start Scouting and get outdoors, we must take specific precautions to mitigate risk. Below are the latest recommendations and details from the Cascade Pacific Council and our Safety Task Force.
Required COVID-19 Scouting Safety Protocols
New Rules from Oregon Governor Kate Brown effective Friday, July 24th which pertain to Scouting:
- Face coverings are required for age 5 and up
- Face coverings are now required when exercising indoors, plus outdoors when you can’t physically distance
Below are required procedures as of June 20, 2020, for conducting unit meetings and activities. These have been reviewed by the Cascade Pacific Council risk management committee, and a special volunteer task group of physicians, safety professionals, and board members, but are subject to change.
What’s a Cohort? What is allowed?
Scouts should stay in groups of 10 or fewer with up to 3 adults at all times for all Scouting activities. These “cohorts” (patrols, dens) must maintain social distancing (even among themselves unless they are family) and should only interact with each other. A troop with a meeting space large enough could have 3-5 cohorts (depending on the phase), but these cohorts must act independently. This ensures proper social distancing control and the ability to utilize contact tracing.
Can we change cohorts?
You can change cohorts after 14 or more days of no contact with another cohort. If you were to have in-person meetings every two weeks with no in-between activity, you can freely change the members of your cohort. If you are meeting more often, keep your cohorts the same. This is because the risk of spreading infection from one cohort to the other is mitigated by the separation.
Note: These procedures should mitigate most risk but not all. Participants need to be aware that any activity puts them at some risk of exposure. Remember: exposure to Coronavirus could be asymptomatic. If a person becomes infected, they may become asymptomatic carriers. They would then most likely infect other people unwillingly.
Follow the Three S’s of Covid-19 Scouting Safety:
Pre-Screening of members and families should be conducted before participation of any Scouting activity to ensure people are healthy and able to attend.
- Those at significant risk for infection should consult a physician before participating in any group activities.
- Only those feeling well should participate. Whenever possible, temperature checks of Scouts and leaders should be made before participation. The Oregon Health Authority has identified a list of symptoms and has guidelines when one should not attend activities. See the screening form.
- All those who have been exposed to Coronavirus must quarantine for 14 days before participation in any Scouting activity.
Screening at Scouting the activity must also be done to ensure everyone is healthy at the activity.
- All units must produce a detailed roster of participants for all meetings and activities, so they are prepared if contact tracing is required.
2: Social Distancing
- Groups must always maintain social distancing of six or more feet.
- Small cohorts must be limited to den/patrol groups of 10 or fewer scouts with a minimum of 2 registered adult leaders. Cub Scouts and parents should be in groups of 5 youth and up to 5 adults.
- These cohorts should maintain their cohort throughout the Scouting program. That means that they must stay together during meetings and not mix with other cohorts. These cohorts should stay the same throughout all activities and events.
- Transportation to and from activities must be made within family units. No carpooling should be allowed.
- When practical, each Scout and adult should wear a cloth mask.
- Hikes, bike rides, and other follow-the-leader activities, 6ft distancing should be maintained.
- If your county’s status is shelter-in-place, you may not move to an open county to conduct unit activities.
- Families/siblings do not need to maintain social distancing for transportation, sleeping, or meeting.
- On camping events, make sure overnight camping is allowed for your county’s phase. Sleeping should be limited to one person per tent unless they are family. Here is a reminder about Youth Protection rules around this.
- Everyone should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds at the beginning of the meetings, after use of the restrooms, after an activity where they get dirty and before eating.
- Use 60% alcohol sanitizer when moving between workstations or activities. (Note: this is flammable so keep away from heat or open flames.)
- Sanitize all touchable surfaces before meeting and between uses with a 1000 ppm bleach solution. (1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water). The CDC has other sanitization chemicals it recommends. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cleaning-disinfection.html for more information.
Understand your Phase Rules.
Oregon and Washington have different guidelines for reopening and interacting. In each case, the phases are tied to counties. Below is a current list of phase guidelines for Oregon and Washington.
See the links below to know the phase status of your county.
June 29, 2020 Cohort & Patrol Camping Webinar
Here’s the latest tips, rules and recommendations for small group, patrol-sized cohort camping.
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