UPDATED October 14, 2021: COVID-19 Protocols for 4-H Volunteers

UPDATED October 14, 2021:

The safety of our youth, families, volunteers, and event participants remains New Hampshire 4-H's overriding priority. To prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure, all 4-H volunteers must adhere to the following guidelines before, during, and after in-person 4-H experiences. 4-H experiences include club meetings, events, SPINs, farm visits, or any other in-person 4-H activity or program.

Prior to the 4-H Experience

1. Get approval for your activity.

Contact your County 4-H Program Manager prior to your activity for approval and any updates to the safety guidelines. All 4-H experiences MUST be approved in advance by a 4-H Staff Member. 

2. Communication with families

Communication with participants and families must be clear in outlining the Covid protocols so families can make their own decisions on whether they are comfortable participating. All parents/guardians must review Covid-19 guidelines for the 4-H experience.

During the 4-H Experience

1. Sign in to a 4-H experience.

ALL participants (staff, volunteers, parents, youth, etc.) by signing in agree to follow all Covid-19 guidelines for the 4-H experience. If a participant cannot follow guidelines they will be asked to leave the program. 

You must use an attendance sheet of all participants to help with contact tracing if needed. This sheet will need to be sent to your local 4-H office or kept to help with notification as needed. 

>>Download attendance sheet template

Health Screening:

  • To prevent the spread of Covid-19 and reduce the potential risk of exposure, all participants must complete a simple health screening.
    • The health questions can be answered online prior to the event, filled out using a Paper Health Screening Form or answered verbally upon sign-in with a 4-H Staff Member or Volunteer. Verbal answers should be recorded on the sign-in attendance sheet.
  • Multi-day programs must do health screenings during each program day and they must be recorded.  
  • If the answers to all questions are "no" then the participants may attend the program that day.
  • If the answer to any of the questions is YES, they should be asked to leave the program and 4-H Staff should be contacted. 

2. Face coverings and Physical distancing.

Face coverings:  Masks are not required to be worn outdoors but are required for indoor activities for every participant. 

Physical distancing guidelines:

  • 3-ft apart within own cohort
  • 6-ft apart if eating/drinking, even within own cohort
  • 6-ft apart if with other cohorts
  • 6-ft between participants and staff/volunteers

3. Make hand sanitizer and/or handwashing stations available.

  • Hand sanitizer and/or hand-washing areas/stations must be available and used frequently.
  • Bathrooms must have soap and sanitation supplies w/reminders to clean areas touched after use.
  • Hand sanitizer is not a complete substitute for handwashing. Washing is preferred.
  • Encourage staff and participants to avoid touching the face.
  • Provide frequent handwashing opportunities.
  • No sharing of food or drinks should occur.
  • CDC Resources:

4. Cleaning & Sanitation

  • Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently
  • Shared supplies/equipment should be limited and sanitized between use. Items that are not able to be cleaned or disinfected (e.g. books, papers, etc.) can be shared, but focus on good hand hygiene before and after use.
  • Clean with disinfecting cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label.
  • Cleaning and sanitation must occur in any area or for any supplies/equipment that may have been used by someone with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.

5. Ventilation

  • Evaluate ventilation systems, if possible, to increase room and overall building ventilation.
    • Open windows in indoor spaces whenever possible and safe. 
  • Ventilation is also important on buses or other transportation, e.g. open windows or use the vehicle air system to bring in outdoor air and avoid recirculating air.

6. Travel and Transportation

  •  If transporting participants in a multi-passenger vehicle, all passengers (staff, participants, driver) must wear a face covering.
  • It is strongly recommended that a 3-ft distance be maintained (e.g. one child seated in each row of a school bus).
  • Increase ventilation if safe to do so.
  • High touch areas (door handles, steering wheel, seats) should be cleaned.

7. Monitor participants for symptoms.

If a participant begins to show flu-like symptoms or becomes sick during a program, they should be isolated from the rest of the group until a parent/guardian can arrange for them to leave. Recommend that they contact their healthcare professional. For testing locations and Covid-19 related questions, visit www.nh.gov/covid19, or call 211. 

Report COVID-19 symptoms or cases to a 4-H Staff Member.

8. Return to the Program 

  • Participant return to an ongoing program: Each situation will be different; for instance, a participant may have a positive COVID-19 test result or may be suspected of being exposed to COVID-19 or may be exhibiting symptoms.

  • All staff, volunteers, and participants will follow the same requirements as for UNH faculty, staff, and students (per NH DHHS) at the time.

  • For shorter duration programs, the participant or staff member likely may not be able to return given the timing of testing, quarantine, etc.

After the 4-H Experience

Report COVID-19 symptoms or cases to your County 4-H Program Manager.



Joseph Drake
4-H Volunteer Field Specialist
Asst Field Specialist
Phone: 603-862-2199
Office: Cooperative Extension, Kendall Hall, Durham, NH 03824