4-H FAQs Related to COVID-19

FAQ

Updated: April 6, 2021

Program Planning Checklist – Updated 3/1/2021


Guidance for Spring Programs (In effect 4/1/2021-6/1/2021)

1. What types of 4-H programs and activities are currently available for youth participation?

Indoor Programs, Outdoor Programs, and No Contact Programs.

Indoor Program Requirements:

  • Indoor Programs limited to 4 hours.
  • Indoor Programs limited to a maximum of 30% of total room capacity or 50 persons whichever is lower.
  • For any event with more than 20 persons, participants must be divided into pods (20 or fewer), with additional distance between each pod (20 feet). Additional information about pods is below.
  • Individuals cannot circulate between pods; however, instructors/facilitators who are not part of any pod can move between pods if they maintain not less than 10 feet of physical distance from each pod.
  • 6 feet minimum distancing between participants is required at all times.
  • Physical distancing is not required between members of the same household, however, each member is counted in the maximum group size.
  • Hand sanitizing equipment (soap and water is preferred, or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch trash cans) must be readily available and frequently used.  Check with your 4-H Educator if there are supplies available to use.
  • Face masks are required indoors
  • Plans will include how young people will access the unique spaces without congregating, including parking, drop-off, and pick-ups.

Outdoor Program Criteria Includes: 

  • Outdoor Programs have no time limit.
  • Outdoor Programs are limited to 150 persons total. 
  • Individuals are to maintain physical distance (6 feet) from persons outside their immediate household. 
  • For any event with more than 20 persons, participants must be divided into pods (20 or fewer), with additional distance between each pod (20 feet). Additional information about pods is below.
  • Individuals cannot circulate between pods; however, an instructor or facilitator who is not part of any pod can move between pods if they maintain not less than 10 feet of physical distance from each pod. 
  • 6 feet minimum distancing between participants is required at all times.
  • Physical distancing is not required between members of the same household, however, each member is counted in the maximum group size.
  • Hand sanitizing equipment (soap and water is preferred, or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, tissues, and no-touch trash cans) must be readily available and frequently used
  • Face coverings for Outdoor Programs are only required when activities may make maintaining physical distance challenging. Example: Shooting Sports instruction, hands-on activities, registration tables  
  • Plans will include how young people will access the unique spaces without congregating, including parking, drop-off, and pick-ups.
  • When making plans for outdoor gatherings it is important to have a back-up plan in case of bad weather.

No Contact Program Criteria Includes:

  • No Contact Programs do not require a program approval form.
  • No Contact Programs may include:
  • “In a Box” activity kits delivered or picked-up without contact
  • Pen Pal Programs
  • National 4-H At Home
  • Wisconsin Virtual Learning Community
  • Online experiences require us to follow the 4-H electronic Communication policy. Program policy highlights include:
    • Youth 12 and under need parental consent
    • Youth 13 and older need parental notification
    • Platform needs to be safe for young people and protect any personal information.
    • An adult and young person may never be online together alone, a 3rd person must always be present.

2. When is Pre-approval needed?

Educators/Volunteers holding activities or meetings need approval any time that:

  • An event, meeting or activity is being organized by a 4-H volunteer or Educator.
  • A 4-H club or group is participating in an event organized by other organizations.
  • 4-H is co-sponsoring an event organized by other organizations.
  • No-Contact Programs do not require a program approval.
  • Allow two weeks for Educators and the 4-H Program Manager to review and approve the Program Guidance and Approval checklist.

3. Who counts in the total group/pod number?  

20 people or fewer including all youth and adults.

4. How do I set up multiple groups or pods for indoor and outdoor meetings?

Pods of 20 or fewer may rotate through a space as follows:

Indoor Rotation:

  • The program form should detail the total numbers of youth and adults expected in the space at a given time, a description of the activity, and how they will be divided over time and space.
  • The number of 4-H participants and volunteers using the entire site/building doesn’t exceed 50 at a time.
  • The total number of 4-H participants/volunteers using the space at one time doesn’t exceed 30% of the capacity allowed in that space. 
  • There is sufficient time between groups to allow for cleaning and to avoid crowding – 15 minutes is the minimum.
  • 4-H groups cannot co-mingle with other public users indoors. (i.e. no indoor trampoline, rock-climbing, bowling alleys, skating rinks that are in use by other users).

Example #1: Indoor Meeting: Room occupancy is 100 people

  • 30% is 30 people
  • There can be a maximum 20 people in a pod, there are several options to consider:
    • 1 pod of 20, 1 pod of 10
    • 3 pods of 10
    • 2 pods of 15
  • Pods must be 20 feet away from each other.
  • Each individual group is allowed up to 4 hours in the space.

Example #2: Indoor Meetings in Shifts:  Room occupancy is 168 people

  • 30% is 50 people, There can 3 groups of no more than 50, with sufficient time (at least 15 minutes) between groups, using the same room over the course of a day.
  • Group 1: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
  • Group 2: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
  • Group 3: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Outdoor Rotation:

  • The group size remains capped at 150 outdoors, divided into pods of 20 or fewer with 20 ft between pods.
  • If the outdoor space is a public/shared space there must be 20ft. between the 4-H group and others.
  • The time between groups must be sufficient to ensure that groups do not come in contact with one another. (The time will vary by setup).

5. Can I attend an approved in-person 4-H meeting/activity if someone in my household just tested positive for COVID-19?

No. Our program approval process states “Registrants will be informed to stay home when they are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or have had known contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.”

6. Can I attend an approved in-person 4-H meeting/activity if someone in my household is in quarantine for COVID-19?

If the household member is quarantined because they have tested positive or they are symptomatic, you cannot attend. If, however, the household member does not have symptoms or a positive test for COVID-19 but is quarantined because of a potential exposure, other household members would not have had contact with a known carrier of COVID-19. In this case, other household members could attend an activity, but we ask that you still exercise caution and consider your own potential exposure before making a decision regarding attendance.

7. What is the status of 4-H overnight camps and travel programs?

Overnight camp and university-sponsored out-of-state travel programs continue to be canceled. National 4-H meetings and events have been canceled or moved online through the end of the summer. Guidance for Wisconsin 4-H summer programs will be posted later this spring.

8. Can 4-H staff and volunteers promote partnership opportunities in newsletters, emails,  social media, etc?

Yes, 4-H Program Educators and 4-H Volunteers can continue to share information from trusted partners with recommended language:

“This event is not organized by UW-Madison Extension and you can check with its organizers for details on safety protocols.”

Please note: 4-H Program Educators and 4-H Volunteers are not able to share any participant information with a partner organization.

9. Can a 4-H Club or Group have food at meetings or programs?

  • Food may not be consumed indoors in group program settings since face coverings are required.
  • If food is necessary for the nature of the event, options include pre-packaged, homemade baked goods (i.e., bakery products that can safely remain unrefrigerated), or catered food packaged for individual participants that can be consumed outdoors or taken home. 
  • Those preparing and packaging food are required to wash hands, practice good hygiene and food safety standards, and wear a mask while preparing foods. 
  • We are not approving food samples or food prep demonstrations at this time. 
  • Fundraiser food sales of pre-packaged items that are contactless may be allowed with approved plans. 

10. How will Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) be provided?

In the event that you are unable to locate the required PPE’s please contact your 4-H Program Educator for assistance.

11. Can a youth’s enrollment in 4-H be extended if they aged out of the program?

No.  4-H programming is tied to developmental ages and stages, therefore, 4-H membership is open to all youth through one year beyond high school graduation and not to extend beyond the age of 19 as of December 31 of the enrollment year.  Alumni are encouraged to continue their 4-H journey as volunteers, and, through Collegiate 4-H when possible.

12. What if our 4-H Club or 4-H Group has excess funds because of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Excess Funds policy for all 4-H Clubs and 4-H Groups is being suspended by the Division of Extension and Wisconsin 4-H for 2020-21 fiscal year. 

Extension Program Guidance Summary
Current (through 3/31) April 1 – June 1
Maximum Total Participants

Indoors: 10 or fewer at any one time regardless of room size. (see pod section)

Outdoors: 50 or fewer (see podding section)

Indoors: Up to 50 total participants or 30% of room occupancy (whichever is lower), podding for groups over 20

Outdoors: up to 150 total, podding for groups over 20

Groups “Podding”

Indoors: 

Groups of 10, need separate rooms

Outdoors: 

Groups of 10 

Indoors: 

Groups of 20, can be in same space in large rooms (up to 30% of room occupancy)

Outdoors:

Groups of 20

*Program Checklist will ask details on how participants will be podded for programs with more than 20 total participants, unless a clear reason is stated why podding would not enhance safety

Total Duration of program

Indoors: 2 hours

Outdoors: no specified limit

Indoors: 4 hours

Outdoors: no specified limit

  • Not Changing in new guidance: 
  • Continued Use of Face Covering
  • No Eating Indoors
  • Physical Distancing (6 ft with members outside household; 20 ft between pods)
  • Cleaning

When there is more restrictive local guidance we must follow that rather than our guidance.

 

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