UPDATED June 22, 2021: COVID-19 Protocols for 4-H Volunteers

COVID-19 safety protocols for 4-H volunteers graphic

UPDATED June 22, 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 your county Program Manager.

2.  Physical distancing and Mask wearing.

We are not allowed to ask if participants are vaccinated!
This works on the honor system and the trust of our 4-H members, volunteers, and participants. 

Fully Vaccinated: 

  • Masks are not required to be worn outdoors.
  • Masks are optional indoors unless required by an external partner, or a local business, etc.

*Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the final shot.

Not fully vaccinated: 

  • Masks are not required to be worn outdoors except where physical distancing cannot be maintained +
  • Masks must be worn indoors as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Masks should be worn, particularly in crowded outdoor settings or during activities involving sustained close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

+ 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 campers and staff

3. Share safety protocols and health screening questions and agreement of risk with participants.

Safety Protocols: Share this link with parents/guardians to communicate COVID-19 safety protocols with all participants prior to the activity: Protocols for Participants in 4-H Experiences

Health question: Upon signing into the 4-H experience, all participants (youth, parents, volunteers, etc.) MUST answer the following Health questions. If any answers reflect symptoms, the participant will be asked to leave the program.

All participants must confirm that they have read and agree to the Protocols for Participants in 4-H Experiences

During the 4-H Experience

1. Sign in to a 4-H experience.

ALL participants (staff, volunteers, parents, youth, etc.) Must answer the health questions and agree to follow any Covid-19 guidelines for the 4-H experience. If a participant cannot follow guidelines or if any answers to health screening questions reflect symptoms, the participant will be asked to leave the program and be isolated from the rest of the group until they can do so.

2. Keep an attendance sheet.

You must keep an attendance sheet of all participants to help with contact if needed. This sheet will need to be kept to help with notification as needed. 

>>Download attendance sheet template

3. Ensure that physical distancing and mask-wearing as needed.

Fully Vaccinated: 

  • Masks are not required to be worn outdoors.
  • Masks are optional indoors unless required by an external partner, or a local business, etc.

*Fully vaccinated means two weeks after the final shot.

Not fully vaccinated: 

  • Masks are not required to be worn outdoors except where physical distancing cannot be maintained +
  • Masks must be worn indoors as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
  • Masks should be worn in, particularly in crowded outdoor settings or during activities involving sustained close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

+ 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 campers and staff

4. 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:

5. Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces.

Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched. Clean with the cleaners typically used. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. For disinfection, the most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

Click here for US EPA doc: Six Steps for Safe & Effective Disinfectant Use.

A list of products that are EPA-approved for use against the virus that causes COVID-19 is available here. Additionally, diluted household bleach solutions can be used if appropriate for the surface. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for application and proper ventilation. CAUTION: Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

6. Do not share equipment or supplies.

Participants and instructors are not allowed to share equipment or supplies unless they are thoroughly sanitized between each use (e.g., hot glue guns, animal leads, computers, etc., must be cleaned between each use).

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 your County 4-H Program Manager.

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

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

2. Consider emailing or handing out a 4-H experience follow-up sheet to each participant at the end of the event.

>>Download follow-up email template/handout