Meeting In Person

Updated October 2020

The UC ANR safety standards relating to reopening and engaging in-person have been modified to align with the State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

Meetings should be conducted remotely whenever possible.

To help minimize transmission of COVID-19, recommendations are to limit the size of in-person gatherings. Capacity is limited based on locations being able to accommodate 6 feet between all participants at all times. The following guidelines apply to all 4-H meetings and events.

COVID-19 Information for 4-H Programs and Volunteers

University of California 4-H Youth Development Program modified its safety standards related to reopening and engaging in person.

UC ANR implemented Basic Safety Standards that must be followed for all in-person activities. These Basic Safety Standards are minimum requirements for conducting 4-H programs. You must also follow additional guidelines specified by your county if they are more restrictive. These protocols and any additional local procedures are detailed in your UCCE County Office’s Location Safety Plan.

Requirements to Begin Limited In-person Activities

The Safety Protocol Checklist noted below must be completed by adult volunteers in order to resume in-person 4-H meetings, programs, or activities. Please submit the PDF Safety Protocol Checklist to your UCCE office 2 weeks in advance.

Approval Required

All in-person 4-H meetings or programs involving the participation of 4-H volunteers, families and members requires prior approval from UCCE personnel (4-H program staff, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, and/or County Director).

Any unauthorized in-person activities will not be covered by the UC insurance and may not be included in 4-H record books. Corrective actions will be taken if 4-H volunteers or families host or participate in any unauthorized in-person 4-H activities.

Plan for remote participation too

Please note that while in-person gatherings may be allowed, some families may not feel comfortable meeting in-person. You may still need to plan for remote participation.

Partnering with Other Organizations

Sometimes 4-H staff or volunteers are invited to participate at another organization’s program or event, such as schools that have re-opened in accordance with state and local guidelines. While local requirements may vary, they must comply with the State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy

First, assess if the activity is compliant with state and local health department standards for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes reviewing the organization’s COVID-19 safety protocols related to the activity. Consider if those protocols are consistent with UC ANR’s safety standards.

If the other organization’s safety protocols are more restrictive than UC ANR's, then the 4-H representatives must follow the organization’s safety protocols. If the other organization’s safety protocols are less restrictive, then the 4-H staff should consider whether additional protective measures are needed in order to ensure the safety of the 4-H participants. This review should be conducted by local 4-H personnel, in consultation with UC ANR Risk & Safety Services.

COVID-19 Safety Protocol Checklist for In-Person 4-H Activities

This checklist must be completed by 4-H Adult Volunteers prior to hosting in-person meetings to ensure you are prepared to resume in-person 4-H programming or activities.

Please email the completed PDF Safety Protocol Checklist form to UCCE 4-H staff personnel at least 2 weeks prior to hosting any in-person 4-H meeting, activity, or event.

At least 2 weeks before the in-person activity

  • Receive approval to host the in-person activity from your local UCCE 4-H personnel prior to hosting any meetings
  • Volunteers must review, agree to, and follow any specific guidance or safety protocols provided by the UCCE County office.
  • If required by your UCCE Office, you may also have to complete virtual COVID-19 safety training hosted by UC ANR or UCCE 4-H personnel.
  • You should keep up-to-date on the most recent guidelines and public health situation. Be prepared to modify, cancel, or re-schedule in-person activities if UC, County, or state guidelines or protocols change.
  • All participants must agree to and follow the UC ANR Basic Safety Standards as specified in this document.
  • Some counties may have additional restrictions. If County Public Health Orders are more strict, you must follow the County’s policies.
  • The following statement must be included on all registration forms, event webpages, and sign-up forms. For meetings, please include this statement on the agenda.

Per UC ANR policy: Capacity for in-person activities is limited in order to maintain six feet of distance between participants at all times. Face masks must be worn during entire event.

  • Conducting in-person meetings outdoors is preferred. If you are unable to meet outdoors, ensure the facility will allow for physical distancing with 36 square feet per person. If there is not enough space for 36 square feet per person, the project leader must reduce the number of people or identify a different facility. 
  • When meeting In-person, limit occupancy based on the Occupancy Limit table below. The county’s status is posted on the State of California's Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This status is updated every Tuesday. The county status must be checked 7 days before an in-person meeting for any changes.

 

Occupancy Limits for UC 4-H Activities and Programs

County Tier Status Indoor Outdoor

Widespread (purple)

Purple box

NO indoor in-person meetings, programs or workshops

Maximum 10 persons

Maintain 6 ft. distance between all participants during activity.

Substantial (red)

Red box

Capacity = Area of Room / 36sq. ft. per person

or maximum 25% of room capacity, whichever is lower. No more than 100 people.

Maximum 100 people

Maintain 6 ft distance between all participants during activity

Moderate (orange)

Orange box

Capacity = Area of Room / 36sq. ft. per person

or maximum 50% of room capacity, whichever is lower. No more than 200 people.

Maximum 200 people

Maintain 6 ft distance between all participants during activity

Minimal (yellow)

Yellow box

Capacity = Area of Room / 36sq. ft. per person

or maximum 50% of room capacity, whichever is lower.

Maximum 50% of space

Maintain 6 ft distance between all participants during activity

 

Day of meeting

  • At least two 4-H adult volunteers must be present to conduct any 4-H activity with youth.
  • Post Symptom Survey outside of meeting room.
  • Station greeter at the door to ask each attendee the survey questions. If they say "No" to all questions they can enter and be logged in to the Attendance Log by the greeter. If they say "Yes" to any question, they cannot enter the meeting and must leave the premises. The greeter also signs people out when they leave.

During the meeting

  • Keep an Attendance Log for ALL in-person activities.
  • Meeting spaces must be arranged to allow participants to maintain physical distancing (at least 6 feet) between each other.
  • Volunteers must educate all participating volunteers, youth and families on all Safety Protocols and expectations outlined in these documents as well as additional information provided by your county prior to beginning in-person activities. Maintain documentation of attendees educated on safety expectations and procedures.
  • At each in-person meeting, verbally review the Basic Safety Standards and seek cooperation:
    • Educate participants on the symptoms of COVID 19.
    • If you can answer "YES" to any of the questions on the Symptom Survey, do not come to the in-person meeting.
    • There will be one person assigned to log everyone in and out of the meeting. If you can answer "NO" to all the questions on the Symptom Survey you may join the meeting.
    • Maintain 6 feet distance between you and others.
    • Wear a mask or face covering at all times.
    • Wash and/or use hand sanitizer frequently.
    • Disinfect working surfaces frequently.
  • Participants who develop signs of illness during an in-person 4-H activity, must be separated from other participants and leave the premises as soon as possible. Disinfection measures must be taken immediately to reduce potential exposure.
  • Require and enforce cloth masks or face coverings for all volunteers and participants when attending in-person meetings. Have a supply to provide one upon request or if someone forgets their face covering. If masks are not available, the in-person activities must be cancelled.

4-H Meeting Guidance Poster for displaying at in-person meetings during COVID-19 pandemic. Click for PDF to print 36
4-H Meeting Guidance Poster for displaying at in-person meetings during COVID-19 pandemic. Click for PDF to print 36"x24" poster.

  • Display the “Procedures for 4-H Meetings during COVID-19” poster at all in-person meetings.
  • When meeting indoors, use well-ventilated spaces. Open windows to bring in outside air and increase filtration (such as HEPA filters), if possible.
  • The meeting facility must be sanitized using CDC-approved disinfectants. Follow sanitation procedures outlined in the COVID-19 Safety Standards Summary. If you cannot ensure the appropriate cleanliness of a meeting facility or do not have the necessary supplies, then the in-person meeting cannot occur.

For example: if you are unable to sanitize the room due to lack of being able to obtain CDC-approved disinfectants, in-person activities cannot occur.

  • Ensure handwashing facilities (soap and water), hand sanitizer, and tissues are available to all participants. Hand sanitizer must be available at or near the entrance of the facility. Encourage frequent handwashing and/or use of hand sanitizer. 
  • If feasible, prop doors open so not everyone needs to touch it. In cooler weather consider designating someone to open the door for everyone. You can also make sure paper towels and garbage bin are available by doors, so that everyone can open doors with a towel and then throw it away.
  • Avoid shared materials, handouts, equipment, tools, etc. It is preferable for youth to bring their own equipment and/or supplies. If equipment or supplies are provided you must follow all sanitation procedures outlined in the COVID-19 Safety Standards Summary.
  • Have one individual hand out items; do not pass along items among the group. The individual distributing items (including paper handouts) must wear one-touch gloves.
  • Maintain hygienic practices. Frequently clean and disinfect spaces and equipment, wash hands often, and use hand sanitizer.
  • Ensure that all meeting spaces are cleaned and disinfected before and after use. Ensure adequate personnel and materials are available to maintain the required cleaning protocols.
  • Avoid food service. Schedule meetings between meal times.
  • Do not use water fountains. Water bottle refill stations are okay to use.
  • Limit occupancy based on the Occupancy Limits table. Meetings or activities are limited to the total capacities in the table. The capacity includes all persons present (youth, volunteers, other adults, etc.)
  • The greeter should log people out on the Attendance Log when they leave.

After the meeting

  • If a volunteer, parent, or 4-H member tells you that they have COVID-19 or believe they were exposed at a 4-H activity, immediately report this information to your local 4-H staff.
  • The Attendance Log must be kept for a minimum of 15 days. The log must be submitted to Public Health contact tracing personnel if a participant and/or a member of the participants’ household is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • At the end of 15 days, attendance logs must be destroyed by shredding or mailed to the UCCE 4-H county office for shredding.

Planning Strategies for In-person Meetings

  • Ask families if they are comfortable meeting in-person and consider offering alternatives for those unable to attend in-person. Can you live-stream the meeting for those who cannot attend in person?
  • Be mindful of providing the appropriate volunteer and adult coverage for 4-H meetings. Include adult counts in determining adequate space.
  • Depending on the number of youth, you may not have enough space to include additional parents in the meeting. Let parents know that if they want to wait, they should remain in their vehicle or stay separated from the 4-H meeting group.
  • Enlist teen leaders in the planning process. They can help implement the plan when you are meeting in person.
  • Complete all required local training and planning well in advance of the meeting date.
  • Consider having back-up volunteers in place: Oftentimes parents will bring a sick child with them to an event when they are committed to volunteering. This is well-intentioned, but cannot be allowed during the current pandemic conditions. To avoid gaps in help, be sure to add a few more back-up volunteers to your roster for each activity to plan for absences.
  • Make sure to allow time during your meeting for proper hygiene.
    Choose ice breakers that do not require physical touch between participants during highly infectious seasons.
  • Consider a new greeting: Members might enjoy coming up with a silly new way to say hello that does not involve touching!
  • Relax attendance policies: If a child or close family member of a child is sick, they should be excused from participating. Right now, we need to be as flexible as possible with attendance and avoid the situation where someone feels they need to attend a meeting or event, even if they are sick or at risk of illness.

Strategies to reduce in-person meeting size

  • Divide project participants based on experience (beginner, intermediate, advanced).
    Example:
    • Hold monthly virtual meetings with all members on a common topic
    • Alternate meeting in-person with a subset of the group based on experience. The in-person meeting can focus on beginner, intermediate, or advanced level activities in the project.
        
  • Divide group based on other factors (subgroups meet on different days/times).
    Example:
    • Break group up into 3 smaller groups. Each group meets for 60 minutes in-person on a Saturday afternoon. Schedule ample time between meetings to sanitize surfaces and materials and limit contact between groups.
        
  • Divide group into cohorts that meet together in separate 6-week sessions.
    Example:
    • One cohort meets in-person on the second Monday.
    • Second cohort meets in-person on the fourth Tuesday.
        
  • Divide group based on needs
    Example:
    • Meet in-person with youth who have limited access to internet.
    • Connect with rest of youth virtually during the meeting.
        
  • Offer multiple sessions for popular projects. Recruit multiple adult project leaders and ask each pair to take a session.
      
  • As a last resort, consider capping youth enrollment in projects, following 4-H policies about limiting participation.
Frequently Asked Questions

All attendees must answer "NO" to all of the questions on the Symptom Survey before they are allowed to enter the meeting area. Anyone who answers "YES" to any of the questions must leave the meeting premises immediately.

If someone refuses to wear a mask, remind them this is a statewide public health requirement for the protection of others, as well as a UC ANR program requirement. If they will not comply, ask them to leave until they can comply with this requirement. If this behavior persists, this should be handled like other 4-H policy or code of conduct violation.

If a participant (4-H member, volunteer, or parent) tells you that they cannot wear a mask for medical reasons, contact your 4-H staff in the County office to discuss the situation and alternatives. In some cases, a clear plastic face shield may be an appropriate alternative.

Ask parents to wait in their vehicles or wait in another area separate from the 4-H meeting group.

If a volunteer, parent, or 4-H member tells you that they have COVID-19 or believe they were exposed at a 4-H activity, immediately report this information to your local 4-H staff.
The Attendance Log from the event must be submitted to Public Health contact tracing personnel if a participant and/or a member of the participants’ household is diagnosed with COVID-19.