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Current COVID-19 Guidelines for GSNorCal Members

Updated as of 06/01/2023

Formulario en Español 

California's COVID-19 State of Emergency is over, but COVID-19 has not gone away.  To safely go about participating in Girl Scout activities, we need to continue taking steps to prevent the spread.

GSNorCal continues to support troop leaders, event directors, and camp directors to use their judgment in establishing protective measures based on planned activities, current local conditions, and local requirements that might exist.

GSNorCal values inclusion and recognizes that some members of our community are at greater risk than others and may need enhanced safety measures to be safe.  We will work with our members, and where possible, identify appropriate modifications and alterations that will not increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure for Girl Scout participants.

It is important to note that if individuals are feeling ill or have tested positive for COVID-19, they should stay away from in-person meetings or gatherings.

Masks

Effective immediately, masks are no longer required at Girl Scout meetings and activities*, unless local conditions, private or public venues, school districts, communities, or counties require masks to be worn.

*See Camping Section for guidelines specific to the camping environment.

Vaccinations and Testing

GSNorCal strongly recommends, but does not require, vaccines/boosters for all eligible adults and youth.

Proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test will not be required at Girl Scout meetings, activities, or events unless specified in a program description.  For those attending camp, consult your adventure packet or event confirmation packet for vaccination requirements related to programs and events. 

Participants who develop any symptoms of illnesswhile participating in a meeting, activity, or event will be isolated and arrangements for sending them home to recover will be made as quickly as possible.  Parents/guardians are asked to pick their girls up from the event as soon as possible

Quarantine & Isolation

Visit the website to use the Isolation and Exposer Calculator that the Center of Disease Control (CDC) has developed to help you determine if you need to isolate or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19.  This tool asks specific questions about your exposure and possible symptoms and make recommendations accordingly.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) also offers helpful isolation and precautions for people with COVID-19.

Camping

When girls share sleeping structures, consider the following to lower the risk of any and all contagious illness spreading through the group:

  • Sleeping structures (tents, cabins, dormitories, etc.) must be well ventilated with open windows or other ventilation systems in use.
  • Campers must practice distancing as much as possible (sleeping head to foot in ground tents, cots or sleeping mats separated in buildings, etc.)

Domestic Travel

What you need to know

Before You Travel 

Make sure to plan ahead:

  • Get up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines before you travel
  • Check the current COVID-19 Community Level at your destination.
  • Make sure you understand and follow all state, tribal, local, and territorial travel restrictions, including proper mask wearing, proof of vaccination, or testing requirements.
  • If traveling by air, check if your airline requires any testing, vaccination, or other documents.  
  • Prepare to be flexible during your trip as restrictions and policies may change during your travel.
  • If you have a weakened immune system or are at increased risk for severe disease, take multiple prevention steps to provide additional layers of protection from COVID-19 even if you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk before travel and consider delaying travel to areas with high COVID-19 Community Levels.  Even if you are up to date, you should know what precautions to take.

International Travel

It is important to note that travelers should always check the U.S. Department of State's International Travel Advisories to understand which countries are LEVEL 4 (Do Not Travel status) and LEVEL 3 (Reconsider Travel).

  • Travel to Level 4 countries will not be approved by GSNorCal 

TheTrip or High Adventure Approvalform should continue to be completed for all international trips. 

*Helpful Tips When Planning International Travel: COVID-19 Summer 2022 Travel Guide

Help the girls create a plan for the possibility of someone getting sick or catching COVID during the trip. This is a good idea even if you choose to travel domestically or to a Level 1 or Level 2 country, since by participating in Girl Scout activities and events:

X

1. COVID-19 incident rates:

 

You and your troop families acknowledge that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists for any in-person activity, including meetings, activities, events, and trips; and

 

You and your troop families are voluntarily assuming all risk related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Girl Scouts of Northern California, or any of its directors, employees, agents or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.

 

Review the GSNorCal COVID Guidelines (this webpage) and the Travel and Trips Safety Activity Checkpointwith the girls to learn what our policy is for International Travel.

 

Have the girls look at the websites for the CDC and US Department of States Travel Advisories to find travel advisories for the country they want to visit, since each country has its own unique guidelines and protocols. Please note that CDC and US Department of State Level rankings are not necessarily exactly aligned- the Department of State rankings are based primarily on the CDC data, but also may include additional factors.

 

What is the country's COVID-19 Level, as described in the State Department Travel Guidelines?

 

What does that level mean?

 

What is their vaccination requirement?

 

What is their policy if someone in your group contracts COVID?

 

Will that person be able to board a plane and go home?

 

How long will they need to stay in that country?

 

How will they know when they can go home?

STOP

If the COVID-19 rate is high at either location, consider rescheduling. If the US Department of State has “Level 4” Travel Advisory in place, Girl Scouts do not travel to that location.

 

X

2. COVID-19 related requirements for vaccination or testing in the destination:

 

Are vaccines, testing, masking or other COVID-19 mitigation measures required at the location?

 

Consider not only the country or state regulations, but also local vaccine or testing rules for businesses you may want to visit (i.e. restaurants, events).

STOP

If a group cannot comply with all COVID-19 regulations at the destination, or as set by GSNorCal, consider rescheduling.

 

X

3. Financial Considerations:

 

What is the deadline for final payments to be made, and have you worked with vendors to push payment deadlines as far out as possible?

 

What is the cancellation policy for the hotel/accommodation? Best to find 24-hour cancellation policy locations, when possible.

 

Is the airline offering full refunds or just changeable tickets? Can the troop afford to purchase refundable tickets?

 

Do all travelers understand the financial implications if the entire trip is postponed or cancelled at the last minute or if an individual participant(s) must cancel at the last minute? Exactly how much money would each person lose?

 

If a participant must leave the trop early due to an exposure and necessary quarantine, will any of the activities be refundable? Exactly how much money would each person lose?

 

If a participant must leave the troop early due to an exposure and necessary quarantine, will any of the activities be refundable? Has this been communicated to parent/guardians?

 

What is the plan for accommodations/hotel if any members of the group have to isolate for illness or quarantine during the trip, or after the planned last day of the trip? How will this be paid for, if needed? (See #5 for more information)

 

Travel insurance: Has the group reviewed and decided on purchasing travel insurance? (Note that COVID-19/pandemic is excluded from most travel insurance policies, but there may be other reasons groups may find travel insurance valuable. Read the fine print!)

STOP

If a group is not able to make a viable plan for these financial risks, consider rescheduling.

 

X

4. Activity consideration and trip logistics:

 

What are the sleeping, transportation, and eating arrangements?

STOP

If a trip does not meet any particular requirements set by GSNorCal for these areas, consider rescheduling.

 

X

5. Illness, exposure, and quarantine considerations:

 

 

 

Are you planning to have additional adult chaperones on the trip beyond ratio-requirements? (strongly recommended)

 

What is the immediate plan if a member of the troop exhibits COVID-19 symptoms? Will that person be immediately tested? Have parent/caregivers given permission for this, and do trip leaders have tests on hand? Who covers the cost?

 

What is the next step for an individual who tests positive for COVID-19? Which adult(s) on the trip will supervise any participant who must be isolated for a positive case, and at what point (24/48hrs) must parents/caregivers arrive on site to take custody of their children?

 

What is the next step for individuals who are exposed to COVID-19? Which adult(s) on the trip will supervise any participant who must be isolated for exposure, and at what point must parent/guardians arrive on-site to take custody of their children?

 

Do all participants and parent/guardians understand and agree with the above plans? Have parent/caregivers been advised that they must be contactable during the entire trip and willing to finance their own travel to pick up their child? If trip is international, does a parent/caregiver of each child have an up-to-date passport?

 

What is the plan if adult chaperones fall ill?

 

Will the trip have additional adults beyond ratio-requirements? (Strongly recommended)

 

Will all adult chaperones be fully up to date on vaccines? 

 

Remind the girls and the parents/guardians that you and your co-leaders are just as much at risk as they are for catching COVID, and a plan must be put in place for this possibility. Share your concerns with the girls.

STOP

If a group is not able to make a viable plan for these risks, consider rescheduling.

Be sure to meet with parents/guardians to keep them informed of evolving plans. Having these conversations with your Girl Scouts and their parents/guardians will ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone!  If you have questions about how COVID-19 may impact Girl Scouts activities, please contact us at info@gsnorcal.org or 800-447-4475, we're here for you.

Additional COVID Resources

CDC Vaccines for People Who Are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised

http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html

CDC: Coronavirus: How To Protect Yourselves and Others

http://www.cdc.gov./coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/preventative.html

CDC: International Travel to and from the United States http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel-during-covid19.html

CDC: Cruise Ship Travel during COVID-19 (Updated 11/03/2022): http://www.cdc.gov.coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/cruise-travel-during-covid19.html

 

 

 

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