COVID-19 ResponseSafe Reopening Guidelines for Youth Ministries
Safe Reopening Guidelines for Youth Ministries
The following guidelines will help guide the conversation and any decisions made as these plans are developed:
- Church Relaunch Teams should include a representative from youth ministry.
- Safe Sanctuary policies should be reviewed and volunteers should be reminded of these policies as plans are made for transitioning back to in-person programming as a shortage of volunteers is a possibility as high-risk adults will remain home. Some changes in policy may need to be considered in order to reduce the possibility of spreading infection.
- Safety Guidelines
- Youth programming must follow CDC guidelines for sanitation, safety, size, and social distancing.
- Guidelines and procedures for deep cleaning and regular sanitizing of all space used for youth’s ministries should be developed prior to in-person events and programs re-starting.
- Develop a plan for providing face coverings for those youth and adults who arrive without one.
- All staff, volunteers, and youth should wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet physical distance from all present whether gatherings are indoors or outdoors. Those who live in the same household can be considered a “family unit” and can be within 6 feet of one another but must wear a face covering at all times.
- When possible, youth gatherings should be held outdoors.
- Whether indoors or outdoors, a space of 36 square feet should be accounted for per “family unit” in attendance to allow for space for physically distancing as recommended by the CDC.
- CDC guidelines for overnight trips for youth, college students and young adults may be found here.
- Plans for registering or accounting for youth expected to attend in-person events and programs must be used in order to limit the number of youth and adults to safe social distance.
- Attendance should be taken at all youth gatherings including youth and adults in attendance in case COVID tracing needs to occur.
- Only prepackaged food may be served at any youth events. People may remove their mask only to eat and drink, but must stay socially distanced. (source)
- It is strongly recommended that those who work with youth encourage those who are 12-17 years old to be vaccinated.
- Please note that the CDC states that all people, even fully vaccinated ones, should “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” All counties in Arkansas are currently considered an “area of high transmission.” (source 1, 2)