4-H FAQs Related to COVID-19

Updated: August 7, 2020

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

Virtual & Distance Programs are preferred.

Pre-approved programs, indoors or outdoors, with groups of 10 or fewer.

Educators will submit a checklist and have it approved. Pre-event registration, notification and post-event reporting are required, (please discuss plans for this with the Educator).

Some criteria for in-person programs include:

      • Indoor gatherings are limited to 2 hours.
      • 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 masks or coverings are typically required even when speaking.

Note: Training for partners and volunteers is available and encouraged for all volunteers. The training FOR VOLUNTEERS is required for volunteers leading approved meetings or events. https://youtu.be/QLUd9lyMGO8

2. When is Pre-approval needed?

Educators/Volunteers engaging in 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.

3. What counts as a group?

10 people or fewer including all adults and children meeting in one location.

4. Can a larger group meet in person?

    • More than one group (each under 10 individuals) may meet in outdoor or multi-room locations where the groups can remain separated and physically distant.
      • Groups may use separate spaces in the same venue such as a school, library or community center where groups remain in different rooms and physically distant throughout the event.
      • Groups may use several areas within a park or other large outdoor space.
    • Total numbers across all groups may not exceed 50 individuals.
    • There must be a minimum of 20 feet between each group of 10 when outdoors.
    • Each group must have its own staff/adult leader. Groups must remain together, staff/volunteers and youth cannot rotate between groups during a meeting or activity.
    • 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.

Another example of multiple small groups:

    • Drive-In style meetings where families remain in their cars.

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

Due to increased risk with prolonged exposure, overnight camp and travel programs continue to be cancelled. University-sponsored out-of-state travel has been cancelled until further notice. National 4-H meetings and events have been cancelled or moved online through the end of the year.

6. 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 a clear disclaimer such as:

“This is not a 4-H sponsored activity.”

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

7. Is UW-Madison liability coverage provided for non 4-H activities?

No . UW-Madison risk and liability coverage is only available for approved Extension programs and activities including 4-H. Participation in an un-sponsored activity is not covered.

8. Can a 4-H Club or 4-H Group participate in a parade?

Under current guidance, a parade typically will not meet the Extension requirements listed above, given that parades are large gatherings. However, in limited circumstances when all requirements can be met, parade participation may be approved.

9. Can a 4-H Club or 4-H Group offer food as part of a meeting, operate a food stand, sale, or sample giveaway?

  • All food provided at 4-H activities should be pre-packaged or provided by a caterer/restaurant and served in individual portions.
  • Food stands with made-to-order food will not be able to comply with the program planning guidance listed above.
  • Food sales of pre-packaged items that are contactless may be allowed with approved plans when 6 ft.distancing can be maintained.

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 Educator for assistance.

11. What happens if staff or volunteers do not follow the Extension guidance?

Both staff and volunteers are required to follow the guidance of 4-H and UW-Madison Division of Extension. As with all policies, those who do not are subject to disciplinary actions including discharge.