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GSH COVID-19 Response -- Working Together to Keep Our Community Healthy

updated: August 11, 2020

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The outbreak of the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic is the very definition of an unplanned crisis, and while there remains a great deal of uncertainty about the virus itself, what is abundantly clear is that it has never been more important for Girl Scout leadership to take bold and decisive action. Our chief priority is the health and safety of our girls, families, volunteers, and staff.  

Based on WHO and CDC guidance, and bearing in mind official guidance around social distancing, The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas, there may be regional differences or developments that occur after this edition is provided. Continue to follow real-time local and national directives. Discuss plans with families. GSUSA and GSH will continue to evaluate in-person Girl Scout programs on a case by case basis.

Girl Scouts of Hawai`i has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and the local public health departments for our counties within our council. We will continue to update our website frequently with new messaging as state officials provide updates.

Launch of Girl Scouts at Home

Our primary goal in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been ensuring the continued delivery of the Girl Scout mission, expanding to virtual—to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place—and to protect the financial viability of the Girl Scout Movement—GSUSA and councils—moving forward. In support of our goal, we launched Girl Scouts at Home, a national online platform for all girls and families to access free, self-guided activities from GSUSA’s expert programming. 

Volunteer Awareness

Volunteers should be reminded, and acknowledge understanding, that COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Volunteers should take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, themselves, and families. Councils should lift and highlight this important message in a way that promotes that awareness, preparedness, and health and community service.  It is an important time to be a great Girl Scout and demonstrate Girl Scout values.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas, there may be regional differences or developments that occur after this edition is provided. Continue to follow real-time local and national directives. Discuss plans with families. 

Troop & Service Unit Activities

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas. There may be regional differences or developments since this guidance was published. Continue to follow local and national directives. Discuss plans with families. 

Use these questions and reminders to help decide how and when to return to troop activities.

Troop Meeting Space. The current suggested maximum is ten people (eight girls and two unrelated adult volunteers). However, check your local restrictions for small gatherings. If more restrictive than 10 people, follow the local restriction. Restrictions vary greatly from state to state, county to county, and even from town to town--and can frequently change. If a state allows more than ten to gather, utilize all social distancing practices, and follow all preventative guidance (such as face coverings).  Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings. Get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

For meetings held at public facilities, contact the facility ahead of time and ask:

  • Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, etc.) sanitized, at least daily?
  • Who else uses the space (how often, what size is the group)? Is the space cleaned between groups?
  • What type of faucets/soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?

Then, consider whether you can supplement any practices that are less ideal. For example, if you will arrive after another user group, plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for your troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel. Use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist.  Schools or churches may not permit outside organizations on-premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.

Troop Meetings in the home. GSUSA strongly suggests no meetings in the home out of concern that there would be a greater risk of exposure to other family members.  The recommendation is to stay away from in-home meetings for the time being.

Troop Meeting Size.  The current suggested maximum is ten people (eight girls and two unrelated adult volunteers). However, check your local restrictions for small gatherings. If more restrictive than 10 people, follow the local restriction. Restrictions vary greatly from state to state, county to county, and even from town to town--and can frequently change. If a state allows more than ten to gather, utilize all social distancing practices, and follow all preventative guidance (such as face coverings).

For large troops, have volunteers stay connected with girls while waiting for a safe time for everyone to gather. Large troops are wonderful, so encourage them to stay together! Some ideas for volunteers:

  • Host virtual troop meetings (see below).
  • Gather up in smaller groups—such as age-level groups, patrols, or groups of girls with a particular badge they’d like to work on.

Large Gatherings. If your jurisdiction permits larger gatherings, confirm the number of people that are permitted and remind volunteers to allow for proper girl-to-adult ratios. It is strongly recommended to meet outdoors as opposed to indoors, and only when social distancing can be maintained. For more people or large gatherings, when the time is safely appropriate, follow the CDC guidelines:   Large Gatherings and Community Events.

Volunteers should get council prior approval before planning any gatherings of more than ten people. Council staff may consider larger group gatherings greater than 10 people after considering the norms in the local region. Answers to the following questions will help guide this decision:

  • Has a successful final phase of re-opening been completed? (several weeks after)
  • Do state and local laws permit larger gatherings?  How many people permitted?
  • Have schools been re-opened for in-person classes?
  • Is the event indoors or outdoors?  (outdoors is safer than indoors provided social distancing is maintained)
  • Can social distancing be maintained?
  • Always follow CDC guidance and all GSUSA guidance available in this document pertaining to large in-person gatherings and/or hosting council events.

Troop Meeting Space. Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings when the weather permits. Volunteers should get advance permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location.

  • For meetings held at public facilities, volunteers should contact the facility ahead of time and ask:
  • Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, etc.) sanitized, at least daily?
  • Who else uses the space (how often, what size is the group)? Is the space cleaned between groups?
  • What type of faucets/soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?

Then, encourage volunteers to supplement any practices that are less ideal. For example, if the troop arrives after another user group, they should plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for their troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, ask volunteers to take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel and to use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms because the atmosphere in sports facilities is aerosolizing making them a higher risk for contracting viruses.

Troop Meetings in the home. GSUSA suggests no meetings in the home out of concern that there would be a greater risk of exposure to other family members. In certain exceptional situations and due to the current COVID-19 risk restricting public meeting options, councils may wish to evaluate in-home meetings on a case by case basis, particularly for those troops in rural areas who have regularly and successfully met in the home, have no elderly or immune-compromised family members in the home, have been deemed safely beyond a final phase of re-opening and do not have access to a virtual option.  However, these complexities may be difficult to confirm and manage consistently which is why the recommendation, ideally, is to stay away from in-home meetings.

If a council opts to permit in-home meetings, consider making it mandatory that volunteers get prior council approval.  To assist with the council approval process, safety checkpoint considerations include:

  • The home must be the home of registered, background checked, council approved Volunteer.
  • Girls may not meet in a home where a registered sex offender lives.
  • Some councils may require membership and background checks for all adults living in the home.
  • The troop needs to be able to focus without disruptions from other household members.
  • All animals should be kept in a place that is separate from the meeting space. All pets/livestock must be secured in a space that the girls will not have regular access to for the duration of their time on the property.
  • Homeowners should consider any personal homeowner insurance implications.  The Homeowner should ask their Homeowner’s insurance carrier if there are any insurance exclusions regarding holding troop meetings at the home, in the event an accident or injury occurs. 
  • Council staff should confirm with their insurance broker that a Girl Scout volunteer homeowner would be covered under the council’s General Liability insurance carrier, in the event an accident or injury occurs during the course of a Girl Scout meeting at the home. 
  • Weapons must be completely out of view and stored in a locked space.
  • Medication, dangerous cleaning products, or any poisonous substance must be stored in a secure space out of sight, preferably locked.
  • Meetings should ideally be held outdoors, perhaps in the back or front yard of the home (this is a COVID-19 specific precaution).
  • Ensure that the Hygiene and Risk Mitigation and all other guidance in this document are followed. (this is a COVID-19 specific precaution)

Troop Meetings on Council Premises. Since regular troop meeting spaces may not be available, councils may consider using council property such as troop houses, services centers, camp property, and other program facilities for troops to meet. It is always best to opt for outside meetings than inside, whenever possible until your jurisdiction is passed the final phase of reopening. All safety guidelines must be carefully adhered to in accordance with CDC, state, local health authorities, and as outlined in this document including:

  • Re-opening phases
  • Restrictions by state
  • Volunteer Awareness
  • Troop meeting Size
  • Large Gatherings (when applicable, over 10 persons)
  • Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation (enforce social distancing)
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Disinfectants and Disinfecting
  • Personal Contact
  • Face Coverings
  • Release & Waiver of Liability

Troop meetings on council premises, as with normal Girl Scout programs, should abide with Safety Activity Checkpoints in terms of two unrelated adult volunteers, adult-to-girl ratios etc.

Especially for troop meetings indoors, taking temperatures prior to attendance may not always be possible – but it is certainly ideal. The Release & Waiver example provided in this document is very helpful because it asks the signer to attest to very specific COVID-19 related health factors such as being symptom-free and having not been in high-risk areas or in close contact with a known COVID-19 positive person within 14 days of the event. So, it’s best to always use a Release & Waiver when hosting troop meetings on council premises.

Hosting Council Events.  As with hosting troop meetings above, council hosted events must follow all GSUSA guidance provided in this document as well as those provided by the CDC, state, and local health authorities. Be particularly careful with respect to complying with state and local guidelines or restrictions concerning Large Gatherings. Similarly, if the event is being planned at a third-party property or off-site facility, call ahead to ensure the property or facility owners are following the same standard of guidelines and safety protocols.  Be prepared to fill in for areas where they may fall short, bringing disposable masks for example. It is the council’s responsibility to ensure girl and guest safety, to the fullest extent possible.  The GSUSA guidelines in this document apply, with special emphasis on the following (same as Troop Meetings):

 

  • Re-opening phases
  • Restrictions by state
  • Volunteer Awareness
  • Troop meeting Size
  • Large Gatherings (when applicable, over 10 persons)
  • Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation (enforce social distancing)
  • First Aid Supplies
  • Disinfectants and Disinfecting
  • Personal Contact
  • Face Coverings
  • Release & Waiver of Liability

When/if the attendees are coming from outside the council’s immediate jurisdiction, become familiar, whenever possible, with the risk factor involved from the location guests are coming from. If the risk is high, consider special accommodations or a contingency plan for how best to handle that. The same goes for the event destination when being held off council premises. To support this assessment, Georgia Tech College of Sciences created a Georgia Tech - Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool which is an interactive map that tracks and provides the COVID-19 risk factor by inputting the number of attendees and the county in question. There is more information on this tool in the Resources section at the end of this document.

Especially for events indoors, taking temperatures prior to attendance may not always be possible – but it is certainly ideal. The Release & Waiver example provided in this document is very helpful because it asks the signer to attest to very specific COVID-19 related health factors such as being symptom-free and having not been in high-risk areas or in close contact with a known COVID-19 positive person within 14 days of the event. So, it’s best to always use a Release & Waiver when hosting council events.

Family-Only Camp on Council Property. Reasonable accommodations to support property revenue can be assessed individually at the council level. One option is to permit family only overnight camp.  Again, GSUSA recommends overnight stays and travel only after the final phase or re-opening. However, some councils are considering, on a local level, (when the council location is very low risk and overnight stays or travel is permitted in the host state and county), having families camp overnight. Only one household per site should be permitted at camp where safety hygiene, distancing and all COVID-19 protocols are to be followed completely. In this case, council staff is controlling the premises and safety protocols as well as the number of the total participants. As with public campgrounds, each individual family site is insulated from other families. No interactive activities or shared camping facilities should be involved.

Restrooms. Be very careful in public restrooms.  Most public restrooms will regulate the number of people using the restroom at the same time, depending on the size.  If there is no regulator or signage, have volunteers ensure girls take appropriate turns to maintain social distancing and that they wear their masks in the restrooms.  It is ideal to have automatic flushers and sensory faucets to wash hands.  If these are not available, girls and adults should get in the habit of using tissue or paper towel to open doors and latches, touching as little as possible. If the restroom is large, have girls use every other stall and avoid using stalls with a person in the stall next to them at the same time. Restrooms and toilets are fraught with germs normally, and more so now considering the contagion of coronavirus.

Transportation (car-pooling). It is strongly recommended to adopt a zero-transportation policy (no car-pooling girls) until the county, town or region is safely past its final phase of re-opening.

Until then, individual parents drop off and pick up their own girls from meetings, and carpooling or public transportation should be avoided and not encouraged in order to maintain social distancing.

Once a county or region is fully past its final re-opening stage, car-pooling may resume as necessary with precautions. For example:

  • Girls and adults should wear masks when inside of a motor vehicle
  • Keep the car window opened, at least slightly, to circulate fresh air. 
  • Consider the personal situation of your girls.
    • Do they live with an immune-compromised person that they can put at risk? If so, perhaps make other accommodations for her with her parents.
    •  Have the families been isolating, and free from contagion? If so the troop may essentially be a safe bubble.

Remember, sustained contact within less than six (6) feet for longer than ten (10) minutes within an enclosed area creates a high risk for virus transmission, so be very careful with carpool decisions.

CDC guidance for rideshares and drivers for hire may be helpful as an additional reference when evaluating motor vehicle transportation or car-pooling: Ride Shares and Drivers for Hire

Virtual meetings. Meeting options may need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of COVID-19 risk. Troops that are able to run online meetings as needed (or wanted) should continue to do so. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to an in-person ratio of at least 20/80, which means to maintain virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep tech skills and virtual meeting habits fresh and the on the ready, should a second wave occur or shelter in place restrictions resume. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings, to guide your meeting plans: Virtual Troop Meetings.

Other helpful resources to support volunteers for virtual troop meetings and virtual activities, including the gsZoom page, Getting Started Guide and FAQs, can be found on gsConnect.

Visit gsZoom on gsConnect for more information.

Day trips and activities. In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, the guidance for Troop Meetings and Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation in this interim guidance should be used for day trips and special activities. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines. If an activity or sporting equipment is being provided, ask the provider if they wipe down equipment in between uses, similar to wipe downs in between uses for equipment at the gym.  Make whatever appropriate accommodations that are necessary. For example, bring extra sanitizer or disinfectant wipes if none will be provided for public use at the activity location.

Large Gatherings

If your jurisdiction permits larger gatherings, confirm the number of people that are permitted and remind volunteers to allow for proper girl-to-adult ratios. It is strongly recommended to meet outdoors as opposed to indoors, and only when social distancing can be maintained. For more people or large gatherings, when the time is safely appropriate, follow the CDC guidelines:  Large Gatherings and Community Events.

Volunteers should get council prior approval before planning any gatherings of more than ten people. Council staff may consider larger group gatherings greater than 10 people after considering the norms in the local region. Answers to the following questions will help guide this decision:

  • Has a successful final phase of re-opening been completed? (several weeks after)
  • Do state and local laws permit larger gatherings?  How many people permitted?
  • Have schools been re-opened for in-person classes?
  • Is the event indoors or outdoors?  (outdoors is safer than indoors provided social distancing is maintained)
  • Can social distancing be maintained?

Always follow CDC guidance and all GSUSA guidance available in this document pertaining to large in-person gatherings and/or hosting council events.

Council Programs and Property Reservations

Check out our Virtual Programs for Girl Scouts of all age levels. We have weekly programs and activities on Facebook Live, Virtual Troop Meetings by Age-level, Virtual Badge Work, and more!

For a listing of our Virtual Council-led Programs please visit our events or our Facebook pages. To receive a weekly email on upcoming weekly programs, please email Charelle Silva, Senior Manager of Programs.

Our Council Properties are currently closed, please email Customer Care if you have any questions.

Cookie Program

Please be on the lookout for our “Cookie Bites” communications.

If you have any questions, please contact us!

Girl Scout Shop

Starting Wednesday, March 18, Girl Scouts of Hawai`i will be suspending our in-person retail transactions at our offices. Please go to our online store to fulfill your retail needs. GSUSA will be offering Free Standard Shipping on all orders with no minimum threshold for all online orders.

COVID-19 Information Resouces

We want to ensure you have the proper resources you need to answer your questions and address any concerns. Included is a link to a Raising Awesome Girls piece, "How to Talk to Your Girl About Coronavirus." 

We understand that media coverage about the coronavirus can prompt many questions as well as anxiety and fear. GSUSA has been following the  CDC's guidance and updates, including prevention and travel, and we recommend that troops do the same. If we learn of any updates that may impact our Movement's national programs and meetings, we will share them promptly.

At Girl Scouts, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls, volunteers, and council staff. Girl Scouts of Hawai’i will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts. We encourage volunteers, caregivers, and girls to use their best judgment when determining cookie booth locations, and to follow all health and safety guidance from Girl Scouts and other official sources, which we will continue to make available as we learn more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guide on Prevention and Treatment
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wearing a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website.

For information specific to healthcare, see CDC’s Hand Hygiene in Healthcare Settings.

These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses.

Council Office

GSH Council staff are available by email & phone during business hours. Limited staff at Council offices during business hours. Contact customer care to come into our council office by APPOINTMENT ONLY. Shop online with no shipping charge. Visitors by appointment only.

Travel and Overnight Stays

Travel and overnight stays. Overnight trips are not permitted until after the home state, county, town or region is successfully past its final phase of re-opening. The timeframes for the final phase of re-opening will vary from state to state and even from county to county in some cases.  As always, volunteers must seek council prior approval before planning any overnight stays, follow guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints and continue to practice the Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation guidance outlined in this document for the foreseeable future.

Interim Guidance. GSUSA has provided COVID-19 safety and health guidance for councils to share with their volunteers, recognizing that the timing of resuming in person troop meetings and activities will vary from state to state and even county to county in certain regions.  This guidance is intended to be used for volunteers in conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints and according to each council’s individual state and local COVID-19 circumstances which remain fluid. This guidance is being provided as of the Edition Date above, during a time when a vaccine has not been made readily available. It is important that you continue to monitor local and federal guidelines and the other resources indicated below such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC). GSUSA may, but is not obligated to, modify this guidance, from time to time, in its sole discretion.

Re-opening Phases. GSUSA strongly recommends resuming normal in-person activities only after your state and county have successfully passed its final phase of the re-opening process.  COVID-19 risk is fluid and the guidance provided does not supersede more recent government guidance or restrictions.  Council staff should be checking regularly for changes that apply to their jurisdictions. For a reference on how to track what phase your jurisdiction is in, refer to the Proposed Phases of Re-Opening which was provided by the CDC.

Restrictions by state. Before implementing these national guidelines, first and foremost: Check local restrictions for small gatherings in the council home state. They could vary greatly from state to state, county to county, or even from town to town. As of this date, state restrictions are still changing. AARP publishes an excellent overview of restriction by state which is updated daily: AARP Coronavirus Restrictions by State.  Check your state Department of Health (DOH) to ensure your jurisdiction is in compliance with statutory norms and laws.

Hygiene and COVID 19 Risk Mitigation

Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as CDC or your local public health department. Share these with girls and volunteers and ensure that they are practiced during meetings and activities. Place signs in the meeting or activity space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs should include:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.
  • Volunteers, girls, and parents should be reminded to make sure temperatures are taken prior to group interaction to confirm the individual is not running a fever and temperature is a normal 98.6 degrees. Members with fever or temperature higher than 98.6 should skip the in-person gathering until their temperature is normal.                                                       

Personal contact. Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end meetings instead (like sharing the shaka hand symbol or tapping elbows).

 

First Aid Supplies. Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal.

Disinfectants and Disinfecting. Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., tabletops, markers, scissors, etc.). Use a household cleaner, or see the EPA’s list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Household bleach is effective against COVID-19 for up to 24 hours when properly diluted. Check that the bleach is not expired and determine if it can be used on a given surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser.

To prepare a bleach solution, mix:

  • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or
  • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

FDA Warning.  The FDA advised consumers (6/19/2020) not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico, due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)

Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.  Stay completely away from sanitizers containing methanol.

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for the potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.

Face Coverings. Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community.  Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Volunteers can teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are effective. Some girls or volunteers may not be able to wear masks, due to medical conditions such as asthma. Contact your council for guidance on how best to handle these exceptional circumstances as they arise.

First Aid/CPR Training

First Aid / CPR Training. Keep skills up-to-date for any emergency. Email us for information on our first aid/CPR training or visit our events page.

Food, Dining and Snacks

Food, Dining, and Snacks. Be careful when handling and serving food and have girls be careful with each other when eating.  Safety recommendations for food, dining, and snacks include:

  • Encourage girls to bring their own foods to eat (bag lunch or dinner)
  • Encourage girls not to share their food after having touched it, such as a bag of chips.
  • Individually wrapped items are recommended.
  • If providing snacks, especially if unwrapped, have one person, wearing gloves, hand out items to each person, such as with cupcakes or cookies.
  • Use a serving spoon or scoop rather than reaching into a bag or bowl of snacks.
  • Use a buffet line only if staffed with a safely protected server with masks and gloves.
  • Avoid “serve yourself” buffets. 
  • Public dining only as permitted in your local jurisdiction.
  • If serving family style, have one person, wearing clean gloves, serve everyone on clean plates
  • Use disposable plates, forks, napkins, etc.  when possible. 
  • Encourage girls to bring foods they can easily cook themselves (a prepacked foil pack) or hotdog for outdoor cooking. 
  • Ensure everyone handling food, those serving, girls, adults, wash hands (even if they will be wearing gloves) prior to any food prep or meals, following CDC handwashing guidelines.  
  • If sharing outdoor cooking utensils (roasting forks), they should be washed and sanitized between each use or bring enough utensils so that each person gets their own.  
  • Continue recommendation for 6-foot spacing during mealtimes.   
Reporting and Communicating a positive COVID 19 test

Reporting and communicating a positive COVID 19 test should be managed by a council staff member.  Volunteers do not manage COVID-19 communication responsibilities.

Designate a COVID-19 incident response lead. Volunteers should be directed to contact a council staff member in the event of a COVID-19 positive test result.  Each council have should assign a point person to lead the COVID-19 communications and responsibilities. This person should ideally be the CEO, COO, or HR professional to ensure confidentiality.  The point person’s contact information should be readily available for all volunteers, so they know who to notify. Perhaps an email address can be posted on the council website. Another suggestion is to tailor the COVID-19 contact information into the interim COVID-19 guidance to be shared with volunteers.  Remember:

All health information is private/confidential to be shared only on a need to know basis. There are laws and regulations governing sharing of health data.

Let volunteers know that council staff, NOT volunteers, will notify parents and others about a positive test result and that the tester’s identity is confidential.

The council staff point person responsible to manage COVID-19 positive tester reports will:

  • Record the facts. An example incident report template, to be used internally to gather the necessary information, can be found here: COVID-19 Incident Report Template
  • ·Create a file to keep all information related to the incident together, including emails.
  • Confirm and trace the positive tester
  • Notify the facility or homeowner where a troop has met.
  • Alert the state department of health.
  • Contact the parents of anyone who may have been exposed, or other adult volunteers. Do not share the positive tester’s identity.

Permission Slips.  Add wording to annual or activity-specific permission slips to acknowledge coronavirus risk may be appropriate. For example:

“COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily through person-to-person contact. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19.  While Girl Scouts of Hawai`i takes every safety and preventative precaution, Girl Scouts of Hawai`i can in no way warrant that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in Girl Scouts of Hawai`i programs.” 

The waiver template language is quite uncompromising and may be unnecessarily harsh for certain jurisdictions, or perhaps not restrictive enough for others.  The catalyst for this example came from a council operating in a strict state. They had looked at what other youth organizations, cleared by the state to operate, were doing – such as youth sports leagues.  These entities were using detailed COVID-19 waivers similar this example. In any case, it is best to be consistent with local industry standards and jurisdictional norms before opting for the waiver language suitable in your local jurisdiction which is why it’s best to consult local legal guidance.  Also, council may want to consider having one release that includes both COVID-19 and a general release for activities, trips, events, etc.

Release & Waiver of Liability. GSUSA cannot provide legal advice to councils. The template Release and Waiver Council Template provided here is an example of what councils can use to emphasize and document the assumption of risk and waiver of liability related to COVID-19 to protect the council. However, always consult local legal advice.

The waiver template language is quite uncompromising and may be unnecessarily harsh for certain jurisdictions, or perhaps not restrictive enough for others.  The catalyst for this example came from a council operating in a strict state. They had looked at what other youth organizations, cleared by the state to operate, were doing – such as youth sports leagues.  These entities were using detailed COVID-19 waivers similar to this example. In any case, it is best to be consistent with local industry standards and jurisdictional norms before opting for the waiver language suitable in your local jurisdiction which is why it’s best to consult local legal guidance.  Also, council may want to consider having one release that includes both COVID-19 and a general release for activities, trips, events, etc.

Additional Resources

Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool. This current interactive map published by Georgia Tech College of Sciences is a planning tool for troop meetings, service unit meetings and Girl Scout events. Councils can insert the size of a meeting (number of attendees) on the sliding scale to the left and then click on the destination state and county on the interactive map.  Once the map link is clicked, a likelihood percentage appears which indicates the risk of COVID-19 exposure or the likelihood of contracting COVID at a gathering given the levels of infection, by county, nationwide. Find out more information on this interactive tool by visiting the Georgia Tech college of Sciences homepage.

Georgia Tech - Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool

Georgia Tech College of Sciences - Homepage

CDC One-Stop-Shop Toolkit. The One-Stop-Shop CDC page offers an array of topic specific COVID-19 guidance.  There are many topics to review. Some of the notable subjects are copied in the below links, but all of them are very good and worth a review. This One-Stop-Shop site is updated regularly as situations arise and was most recently updated on July 21, 2020.

Main page:   COVID-10 One-Stop-Shop Toolkits    

Topic Specific Links:

Suggestions for Camp and Camp Administrators

Toolkit for Childcare Programs and Summer Camp

Toolkits for Young Adults 15-21

People with Disabilities

Toolkit for Youth Sports and Activities

Toolkit for Domestic Travelers

Travel in the United States

Visiting Parks and Recreational Facilities

Social Media Toolkit

If you have any additional questions, please contact customer care.

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone!