UPDATE: February 1, 2021
Scouts BSA in NW Oregon can Resume in-Person Meetings
The Cascade Pacific Council announced today that it has adopted new COVID safety measures to ensure safe Scouting in Oregon for Scouts BSA youth.
Please note that these recommendations only apply to Oregon. The task force is currently reviewing guidelines for younger-aged Cub Scouts and youth in Washington state.
The new measures were developed by our COVID Task Force and follow the State of Oregon’s “Youth Programs Guidelines” which now allows various youth groups meet in small numbers while wearing masks and practicing social distancing.
Updates for Cub Scouts
The counties below have dropped risk categories from Extreme to High. This means Cub Scouts can meet together in groups of 8 total people outdoors, including cohort camping. (See page 7 of the COVID Meeting Guide.) This also opens up the carpool guidelines for Cub Scouts. Counties include:
- Hood River
Overview of the New Guidelines
The State of Oregon’s Guidelines allow youth meetings in person for Scouts BSA youth ages 11-18 (or older for Crews, Posts, and Ships) under the “Youth Programs Guidelines.” Cub Scouts still must follow the Social Gathering Guidelines. The “Outdoor Social Gatherings” guidelines are the most flexible for meeting in person.
The COVID Task Force reviewed Oregon guidelines carefully, and we believe the following requirements meet these rules and BSA policies. The State of Oregon can change these guidelines at any time. We will update this guide as needed if requirements change.
Meeting and outing guidelines are broken into tiers of risk. Units should evaluate which tier matches their comfort level for participation in Scouting activities:
- Tier 1: No Risk (Meeting Virtually)
- Tier 2: Low Risk (Meeting Outdoors)
- Tier 3: Some Risk (Meeting Indoors) Camping Guidelines
Each Tier includes the following details:
- Meeting Plan and Approval
- Cohort Size
- Sanitization Requirements
- Social Distancing Guidelines
- Meeting space constraints
- Screening Strategy
- Attendance gathering
- Participation agreements
- Infection response and communication
Please download the Guide below for full details and use the Meeting Attendance Log for your meetings:
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Know your risk and protective measures before participating in any Scouting in Person Activity.
During this pandemic, we have all had to make sacrifices. The challenge with participating in any social activity is not just the danger you place yourself but also your ability to place others in danger. You should have come to grips with the fact that any social activity outside your family puts you and your family at risk of infection. Those who are at-risk or have fragile persons in their home (see below) should carefully weigh the risks of socializing outside the home. Most should not feel they need to wait out this pandemic stuck indoors. There are several things you can do within the guidelines of your state and county that could allow for in person Scouting can happen.
Below are the latest recommendations and details from the Cascade Pacific Council and our Safety Task Force.
Required COVID-19 Scouting Safety Protocols
- 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, and now carpooling.
What’s a Cohort? What is allowed?
A Cohort is a small group of around 10 people that must participate in all Scouting activities together. For example, it could be a patrol of up to 10 Scouts plus 2-3 leaders, it could be a den of similar size. (Smaller may be better). Please see your state and county guidelines for size limitations. These “cohorts” (patrols, dens, families) must maintain social distancing (even among themselves unless they are family) and should only interact with each other. A troop or pack with a meeting space large enough could have 3-5 cohorts (depending on the phase), but these cohorts must act independently. In the event of an exposure we limit the number of people affected.
Can we change cohorts?
By mixing cohorts you could take an exposure of 6-8 people and make it an exposure of 20-30 or more people. 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.
Family members in separate groups run the risk of spreading an infection between groups. Thus siblings should be encouraged to participate in the same cohorts when possible.
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.
Remember to 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.
- You must report any infection of COVID-19 that has been traced to a Scouting activity to Jim.Hill@scouting.org.
2: Social Distancing
Do not participate if you are not feeling well. 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. It is recommended that Cub Scouts and parents should be in groups of up to 5 youth and up to 5 adults. (Phase 2 Washington cohorts should limit their cohorts to 6 people)
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.
It is recommended that transportation to and from activities be made within family units. Howerver, units can choose to carpool within their cohort groups.
- 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.
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