COVID-19

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4-H Alberta is directly following AHS guidelines related to COVID-19.  We are listening to our community and working with AHS to provide clarity and support wherever possible to continue to support the development of our youth.

We will update our 4-H community with new information as soon as it becomes available.

As COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions can change quickly, we encourage our 4-H community to visit the Alberta government website for the most recent updates. The links to AHS COVID-19 information and resources can be found under the Links & Resources heading.

4-H Alberta continues to follow AHS guidelines.  Our team is awaiting a response from AHS for additional clarity on recent health orders and how they apply to our community.

4-H Alberta has been included in the youth sport and performance category for 4-H project activities throughout the past year. Please follow the guidelines posted below and check https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx for any updates before proceeding with project-related activities.

Please ensure that everyone across the 4-H Alberta community follows any additional restrictions or requirements with any partners and/or facility providers.

The following statements are taken from the alberta.ca website on Friday, September 17, 2021.

Mandatory restriction for youth – Effective September 16 and September 20, 2021.

Youth (under 18) sport, fitness, recreation and performance activities (September 16, 2021)

  • Indoor group classes, training, and competitions are permitted, but participants are required to:
    • screen for symptoms
    • maintain 2 metres distancing, except youth while engaged in physical activity
    • wear a mask, except youth while engaged in physical activity
  • Spectator attendance is restricted to 1/3 fire code capacity, attendees are limited to a single household or 2 close contacts if living alone and must be masked and maintain 2 metres physical distance.
  • Outdoor activities can continue with no restrictions.

Mandatory restriction – Effective Sept. 16 and 20 – For Adult Groups

Indoor retail, entertainment, and recreation facilities (September 20, 2021)

The following restrictions apply to any indoor facility that does not implement the restrictions exemption program.

  • Capacity restricted to 1/3 fire code occupancy.
    • Attendees must be with household members only, or 2 close contacts if they live alone.
    • Masks and 2 metre physical distancing is required.

The situation with COVID-19 continues to evolve. The Government of Alberta is updating public health orders, guidance and recommendations continuously based on evidence and the expert advice of our public health officials. You are encouraged to visit alberta.ca/COVID regularly for the most up-to-date information.

 

On September 4, 2021, the Alberta government introduced temporary measures to reduce transmission and protect our health care system. These public health actions are required due to rising cases and hospitalizations, largely in unvaccinated Albertans.

  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces and workplaces.
  • Restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs, nightclubs and other licensed establishments must stop serving alcohol by 10 p.m.
  • Employers are recommended to continue work-from-home measures where possible, and to pause or revert plans to have staff return to work.
  • Unvaccinated Albertans are strongly recommended to limit indoor social gatherings to close contacts of only 2 cohort families, up to a maximum of 10 people.

More information can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-public-health-actions.aspx

The only measure that affects 4-H activities in Alberta at this time is the mandatory use of masks in all indoor public spaces and workplaces.

Please continue to follow AHS guidelines and recommendations.  4-H Alberta continues to follow AHS guidelines and does not create or provide its own set of guidelines or restrictions.

 FAQs Update as of May 13, 2021

What are the top three things I need to know?
1. Read these FAQs and the exemption order before picking up the phone to ask your questions.
2. 4-H Members’ safety is the number one priority at all times, and the 4-H Youth Safety Policies and AHS Guidelines must be followed when planning, implementing and evaluating 4-H activities in Alberta.

3. Everyone working together and following the rules will allow all clubs to have an in-person achievement activity if they wish.

Please remember that what we do in 4-H is for our youth, follow the code of conduct and be a positive role model for the youth watching you Lead and Guide.

GENERAL

1. What is 4-H Alberta’s current exemption? 
1. Only in regions where lower case restrictions are in effect, the exemption we received in April is still valid for essential project work (current guidelines).

2. The Youth Agriculture and Achievement Activity Exemption remains valid for the list of 4-H events in Schedule A. Please be aware that venues are not required to be open to our activities and some are closing. Communication with your venue is key.

Project work activities and achievement days are not social gatherings and are limited to essential people only. For the most current guidelines see the 4-H Alberta COVID-19 page under “Current Guidelines”. These may change at any time.

The waivers, program operating guidelines, insurance coverage and protection are valid when an organization can demonstrate they are following best practices which include adhering to Public Health Orders.

Failure to follow current guidelines can have a negative impact on the entire 4-H community and the additional support 4-H has obtained from AHS during this pandemic. As such, 4-H does not permit any breach of mandatory public health guidelines in AB.

2. The Children’s Sport and Performance Exemption indicates 4-H Members 18 years and under can participate.  How can registered 4-H members 19 to 20 participate in project activities?
1. Under the Children Sport and Performance Exemption (essential project work)  19 and 20-year-old members are restricted to acting as volunteers or demonstrators.

2. Under the 4-H Alberta Achievement and Agricultural Exemption 19 and 20-year-old members are able to participate fully.

3. I’m in charge of organizing an upcoming 4-H activity? Where do I start?

Every activity and every club is unique. The best place to start is with your facility – is it available and what rules do they have? You also need to consider whether or not you can meet AHS guidelines in terms of numbers of attendees, physical distancing, masking, disinfection, etc. Communicate and work with your 4-H families to support a safe environment for your club to operate.

4. Our community facility is NOT open to host activities. What do we do?

Check with your facility. Share a copy of the 4-H Alberta exemption order. They may be willing to work with you; they are not required to.

5. Private Property VS Public Facility

Owners of the property need to check with their insurance provider to make sure they are willing to accept the risk of having 4-H members and leaders working on their property. 4-H insurance only covers Cleaver Kids, 4-H Members, Leaders and Volunteers at a sanctioned 4-H activity. 4-H insurance does not cover private property or project items.

6. Can we “make” members wear masks inside?  If our activity is outside and distanced do they have to wear them?

As per current AHS guidelines, masks are mandatory indoors and strongly recommended outdoors, unless an exemption has been secured. Physical distance should be maintained.

7. What level of 4-H can members participate in based on the exemptions? Current Guidelines
1. Project work: At this time, only club-level activities that are critical activities that support training and learning opportunities are permitted.  No in-person interclub, district, regional or provincial activities are allowed at this time. Maximum group of 10, outside, in regions following lower case restrictions.

2. Achievement and agricultural activities: Groups are limited to a maximum of 60 essential people indoor (or 70 outdoors). If numbers within single clubs are small enough to allow for an interclub activity to remain under the maximum number, an activity plan may be submitted for consideration.

8. Can we host or invite community members or additional family members to our activities?
1. Project activities are limited to registered 4-H Members, 4-H Leaders, 4-H Volunteers and trainers.  Non-registered youth and spectators can not attend, observe or participate at this time.

2. Achievement and agricultural events are limited to a maximum of 10 spectators if outdoors. No non-essential people are allowed at indoor events.

9. Can we host an in-person club, committee or council meeting?

No, at this time, in-person club meetings, committee meetings, district or regional council meetings will continue to use virtual platforms until further notice. Meetings are not considered critical activities to be held in person.

10. Can our 4-H Club complete our community service initiative?

Yes, 4-H Clubs can participate in community service initiatives providing community facility or partner requirements are respected and followed. All AHS requirements must be met.

11. Is there a health checklist to provide families before 4-H activity?

All participants should complete a self-assessment before attending a 4-H activity or event.  This COVID Alberta Health Services Daily checklist can be used as a guide: COVID-19 Alberta Health Daily Checklist

12. Can I be part of 4-H and a local sports team or other youth groups?

Follow all AHS guidelines for group activities. Check the 4-H Alberta website for current exemption information.

13. When is an Activity Plan required?
Activity plans are required if:
  • More than one club is participating
  • Activities may be high risk (ie water sports, skiing, unusual activities for the project group)
  • The activity involves overnight accommodations or 4-H organized travel
  • Your activity requires you to sign a third-party waiver

If in doubt, reach out to the Area and Accreditation Manager for more information.

14. Where do I find the Activity Planning form?

The Activity Plan form can be found here.

15. What tools does 4-H Alberta have to help us operate?

4-H Alberta has added a new resources page to help clubs, leaders, and members operate during this challenging time.  Visit https://www.4hab.com/covid-19/

16. If a family member needs to self-quarantine from school, another youth group, or due to exposure to COVID-19, do we have to self-quarantine from 4-H?

Yes, if an individual is required to quarantine from exposure, or they exhibit COVID symptoms, they must quarantine from 4-H.

17. Can our 4-H activity or event have potlucks or serve food?

Potlucks are not permitted at this time (May 13, 2021). If your club, committee, or council wishes to serve food, you must follow all foodservice requirements and guidelines outlined by AHS: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and food safety.

18. How can club leaders manage large club membership at activities and events?
  • Have everyone RSVP or pre-register
  • Sit in family groups and physically distance
  • Whenever possible meet virtually
  • Set up ways to communicate via email, phone, a private social media page, etc.
  • Be flexible
19. What are AHS standards for facilities that 4-H clubs use?

Work with the facility that you meet at to understand their standards.

20. If someone becomes ill at a 4-H activity or event, what do we do?

The individual experiencing symptoms of an illness should be removed from the activity or event with a parent or guardian immediately.   If immediately leaving the event is not possible, the individual should be isolated from the larger group. Immediately clean and disinfect surfaces that the individual may have been in contact with. The individual should immediately mask and glove, if not already wearing these protections. Those who are caring for the individual experiencing symptoms need to take precautions. The individual is legally required to isolate for at least 10 days from the start of symptoms (fever, cough – new or worsening, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing – new or worsening, runny nose, sore throat) or until they resolve, whichever is longer. COVID Symptoms and Testing

A 4-H incident report needs to be completed and filed as soon as the event is over.

21. If a member has to quarantine, or a family is uncomfortable attending in person, will they be penalized in terms of meeting member requirements?

No, members should not be penalized for events outside of their control. (COVID-19) Clubs are encouraged to work with those members/families to find alternative activities or ways of participating to meet member requirements.

22. Will 4-H Alberta provide hand sanitizer, masks, cleaning supplies or funding to purchase?

Hand sanitizer, masks and cleaning supplies, or funding, will not be provided to 4-H clubs, districts or regions. It is recommended that clubs encourage members, leaders, volunteers, and families to support the clubs, districts, and regions by bringing and/or supplying their own supplies to help stop the spread.  At 4-H Alberta provincial events, items will be available when appropriate.

23. What happens when a 4-H Alberta Club does not adhere to the rules outlined by 4-H Alberta?

Our exemption can be pulled at any time.  Please follow the rules to the best of your ability. There may be consequences for your club, depending on the severity of the breach.

24. What happens when 4-H Clubs do not adhere to the rules outlined by Alberta Health Services?

AHS may fine the group and 4-H Alberta would not provide assistance in paying this fine. Our exemption may be rescinded and all later activities will be cancelled.

25. Who do I call in 4-H Alberta to seek assistance?

Please read the latest 4-H COVID update before making a phone call.

If you still have questions, reach out to your Area Coordinator. Your questions will be answered as soon as possible during regular business hours (8:30 – 4:30 Monday – Friday). https://www.4hab.com/contact/.

 

4-H Alberta COVID-19 waiver

26. What do I need to know about the 4-H COVID Waiver?

Every 4-H family is required to complete the electronic COVID-19 waiver, and are encouraged to keep a copy. (One per household.) The COVID-19 waiver can be found in all registered member and leader profiles.

27. Do guests who attend 4-H activities and or events need to complete the waiver?

Yes, anyone attending an event hosted by a 4-H Club, District, Regional, or Provincial level must complete the COVID-19.

28. Where do I find a waiver?

Download a generic COVID-19 waiver here. Guest COVID-19 waivers can be scanned and emailed to forms@4hab.com.  The club, council or committee must keep a copy in case the individual attends a future event.  If the guest can take a photo or keep a copy for their records for any future 4-H events they may attend would be ideal.

29. Do I need to complete the waiver for each 4-H activity or event?

No, the 4-H COVID-19 waiver only needs to be completed once.  You are asked to self-screen prior to each activity.

30. A parent and or guardian is a cross-border truck driver or an essential worker. Can their children join 4-H?

Yes. Truck drivers are considered essential workers, just as nurses crossing the border would be. They do not have to quarantine for 14 days upon each return to Canada but must use an app to update Health Canada and must monitor symptoms. We consider their risk the same as other essential workers, and we are not excluding them from our programs.

31. Where do I find the most recent information about COVID-19 related to 4-H in Alberta activities and events?

Visit AHS at COVID-19 info for Albertans. 4-H Alberta will do our best to update our community regularly, but we always defer to AHS to guide 4-H activities and events in Alberta. Our most recent COVID-19 update can be found at 4-H Alberta COVID-19 Update.

ACHIEVEMENT AND AGRICULTURAL EVENTS

32. Can a judge attend multiple club achievement activities in one day?

Yes, if they are comfortable doing so, physically distanced, and sanitize between clubs. They must be masked indoors, and it is highly recommended that they are masked outdoors. Their attendance at each event must be documented and kept on file for a minimum of 28 days.

33. What is my club responsible for at an achievement activity?
1. Read Schedule B (pg 13, 14) of the current exemption order. It outlines what your club is responsible for.
2. Your achievement activity should be listed on Schedule A before taking place.
3. Before anything can be posted online, all registered members, leaders, and volunteers are required to complete forms by logging into their profile in the Online Registration System. The forms are code of conduct, program agreement, Medication Permission, Personal Health Record, 4-H demographic information and Assumption of Risk and Waiver: Coronavirus/COVID 19.

a. General leaders and or club registrars are able to see what form has been completed but not the data on the form; that information is confidential. As a leadership team, please ensure that all members, leaders and volunteers have completed their forms.

b. Individuals can access the forms by logging in to the 4-H Alberta Online Registration System with their username and password.

34. To stream/record their ‘achievement day activity’ what would be required for allowing those to be shared out to the public/family etc?
Ensure all participants have signed the Program Agreement form in the 4-H Alberta Online Registration System and a motion is in the club’s minutes stating where and how the recording will be shared.
  • Members should only be identified with their first name and last initial.
  • If sharing posts outside of the club, identifying information (ie age, school) should not be shared.
  • 4-H Brand guidelines should be followed.
  • The perception of your post should be considered.
35. How do clubs manage the general public who may just ‘show up’ to their ‘closed’ achievement day. Who is or would be required to ‘police’ this?

Monitoring and enforcing rules for all is done by the club leadership team. All 4-H families are required to support the club’s leadership team to ensure safety for all.

Use signage to inform the public of achievement day restrictions.  Be sure that all 4-H families are aware of the expectations of those in attendance.

36. Can we sell as a district?

You may sell as an interclub or district virtually or privately but buyers cannot be invited to a show venue if they bring numbers above the maximum allowed (60 indoors or 70 outdoors). The number of buyers at an auction site is limited by the auction. Only people essential to the activity should be included. Please read the Achievement and Agricultural Events exemption order.

 

Project Work

37. How can we hold project activities safely (i.e. with animals, power tools, etc.) if parents/guardians or observers are not allowed to attend to support 4-H Members?

4-H Members’ safety is the number one priority at all times.  4-H Leaders must follow the rule of two and have an adequate number of volunteers present to ensure member safety.  No more than one parent or guardian per member can attend to assist with the learning activity. Groups are a maximum of 10 people total.

38. What project activities can we plan?

ONLY critical 4-H club project activities that support training and learning opportunities are permitted, if they cannot be held virtually.

39. How many people can we have at the project activities?

4-H Alberta’s exemption for project work (current guidelines) allows for groups of 10 people outside. At this time, as of May 8, 2021, the exemption is only valid in regions following lower case restrictions, for outdoor project work. Please monitor the AHS map for your area’s status.

40. What are the outdoor project activity limits?

Follow all AHS guidelines. Only in regions following lower case restrictions 4-H Alberta’s project work exemption is still valid. This allows groups of 10 people outside.

41. Can we meet at a home or private residence to meet or work on projects?

As of May 8, 2021, 4-H project groups in regions following lower case restrictions can meet outside in groups of 10 including all members, leaders, and instructors. See question 5.

COVID-19 Generic Waiver

 

Note: 9(e) does not reflect current AHS guidelines.  In Alberta, only the person that is deemed to be a close contact with a confirmed case must quarantine for 14 days.  If the person tests negative or shows no symptoms then the person can participate after 14 days.  This is a 4-H Canada document and we are currently working with them on amending 9(e).