The purpose of this page to provide resources for 4-H volunteers to use with their 4-H members, parents, and guests regarding COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines set forth by the Texas A&M System, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Texas 4-H, and/or Milam County. Information regarding educational programming through Texas 4-H will be updated as notifications are received by the County AgriLife Extension Office. 4-H leaders are encouraged to check back for updates prior to each scheduled meeting or activity. 4-H Club Managers and Project Leaders need to be familiar with the following information, as it pertains to their club:
- Preparedness Plan for Texas 4-H Clubs
- FORM: My Club’s Preparedness Plan (required two weeks prior to planned event)
- FORM: Covid-19 Screening Form (required for anyone attending a 4-H meeting or activity)
As a volunteer, your health and that of our youth members is of utmost importance and as such some engagement may be minimized at the request of a Milam County 4-H staff and/or volunteers based on a health concerns associated with COVID-19. By following the above best practices, we hope to offer more opportunities for youth to interact face-to-face, within parameters provided by county health officials. If you have any questions, please contact your local extension office.
Guidelines to review with 4-H officer teams, project leaders, and outside guests:
- Stay home when sick and avoid contact with other people unless you need medical
- Follow common-sense steps such as washing your hands often and well; covering your coughs and sneezes; and cleaning and if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed
- Avoid close contact with people by staying at least 6 feet
- Wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing is difficult to control.
- Wipe down all common surfaces as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Common surfaces include tables, counters, doorknobs, light switches, counter tops, handles, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, chairs, etc.
Ask these questions before planning the 4-H Meeting or Project Workshop….
- Can the program be offered using a virtual platform? OR Are there participation options for 4-H families interested participating but concerned about the health/safety of their family? If NOT, then what steps will be taken to include these families if program will take place in person.
- Know the recommended number of attendees in the space planned to use.
- Ensure that no more than ______ number of people are in attendance. This number should follow the guidance of the current local Directive Health.
- The number needs to include everyone (volunteers, parents, members, siblings, guest speakers, etc.)
- Encouraged participants to stay home if they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, have had contact with someone with COVID-19 positive test or symptoms or are at risk of exposure. This includes individuals:
- Considered at high risk themselves or if they live or work with individuals at high (age 65+, are immunocompromised, or have other health factors identified by the CDC that increase risk if being exposed)
- Exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, which include fever, cough, and shortness of breath
- Have had known contact with anyone with COVID-19 symptoms in the 14 days prior to the meeting
- Have provided signage to educate those at my meetings
- Create and prepare any signs or documents that will be used at the event communicating procedures like, checking in, information for parents, expected times, reminders to wash hands/sanitize, etc
- Contact your local extension office for signage.
Preparing the facility for a 4-H meeting/activity
- Ensured the size of the room or facility is large enough to allow for the number of expected attendees and to allow for social distancing.
- This should be in accordance with current guidelines of the local Health and Human Services Department.
- Keep in mind what would be developmentally appropriate for the ages in your club. For instance, clover kid age level youth may have more of a challenge understanding distancing and sanitizing.
- Space tables, chairs, shooting points, farther apart to ensure social distancing (at least 6 ft. apart).
- Have properly sanitized the space and all areas we plan to wipe down all common surfaces as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Preparing for 4-H family arrivals
- Remind participants of meeting expectations like maintaining appropriate distancing and reducing the items in the room
- Have a “check-in” process in place and follow it – include providing hand-washing location, hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol, and directions for where to wait until activity starts to ensure practicing social distancing, etc.
- To support safety practices, collect information and do not ask participants to pass papers and share pens.
- Take Be sure to write down the names of EVERYONE that attended and the date. Keep a copy for your records, and send to the extension office a copy of any meeting attendance list.
What to do during the meeting/activity
Make sure the meeting was planned and formatted to allow for social distancing and limiting potential
- Maintain social distancing (6 feet) throughout the meeting or activity by households. You may need to be creative with different ice-breaker activities, roll-calls, etc.
- Ensure a protocol is in place and followed for use of any type of equipment. This may require planning of sanitizing equipment between uses. This is especially important for shared equipment like sewing machines, firearms, clippers, pencils, crayons, etc. (Example-It it suggested to not pick up the small flag sets during Pledges.)
What to do after the meeting/activity
- Have a plan in place for youth who have not yet left the meeting and provide activities for individual youth to do while awaiting their pick-up. These could be handouts, games, etc, that do not involve contact with each other.
- Have properly disinfected the entire space utilized and properly prepared it to be used
- Think about the additional spaces that may have been used such as bathrooms, walkways, trashcans, any panels/additional buildings or equipment, and ensure all are cleaned and disinfected properly.
- Wipe down all common surfaces with a disinfectant as recommended by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).