COVID-19 Response

Safe Reopening Guidelines for Youth Ministries

ARUMC Stage 2 Safe Reopening Guidelines for Youth Ministries

The following guidelines will help guide the conversation and any decisions made as these plans are developed:

  1. All churches should follow the guidance of the Bishop as to when churches can safely begin to reopen. Bishop Mueller has identified June 28 as the start of Revised ARUMC Stage 2.
  2. Church Relaunch Teams should include a representative from youth ministry.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
    • Youth trips, outings and missions should not involve communal travel.
    • Due to the nature of retreats or trips needing extended periods of time indoors, shared sleeping spaces and shared bathrooms overnight retreats, trips or missions are not recommended.
  5. 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, with a maximum of 50 people.
  6. Attendance should be taken at all youth gatherings including youth and adults in attendance in case COVID tracing needs to occur.
  7. Food should not be offered in a communal setting. It is recommended that youth bring their own food to gatherings when possible.
  8. Be aware that while youth appear to be less vulnerable than other age groups, some youth are vulnerable and some youth are in regular contact with someone who is vulnerable. It is vital to continue to provide ministry opportunities for those who are not able or are not comfortable attending in person.