Recently, 4-H Alberta, with the support of every Regional 4-H Council Chair and Provincial 4-H Committee Chair, prepared and sent a proposal to the Government of Alberta asking for 4-H activities to be included as part of STEP 1 of the Alberta Health Services’ “Path Forward Plan.” With the easement of restrictions on February 8th for sports and activities such as hockey and dance, we felt it prudent to propose having the same easement for 4-H activities in Alberta. We are pleased with the response we received from the government.
The response from Alberta Health Services is as follows:
“We have determined that youth interest groups like 4H can meet in person under Order 02-2021 with masking and distancing maintained, although only in facilities that are not currently prohibited.
Specific rules, including any participant cap, would vary by activity. If 4-H is having a regular meeting with some crafting, then attendance would be limited by spacing restrictions as opposed to the number of participants. If 4-H is hosting physical activities for children or youth, then 4-H would need to abide by measures for youth group physical activities outlined below. Group performance for youth continues to be prohibited for non-school purposes (i.e. group singing a club song).
Children and youth are now able to participate in limited school and team sport activities. Lessons, practices and conditioning activities are allowed for indoor and outdoor, team-based, minor sports/activities and school athletics. For details on public health measures in place related to youth sports and fitness, please visit our website.
Virtual meetings are still encouraged.”
4-H Alberta is using this new information to guide the re-introduction of in-person club activities for 4-H clubs in Alberta, based on AHS restrictions and 4-H Alberta’s guidelines. In combination with Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines, 4-H Alberta is providing guidelines and restrictions for club-level activities aimed at providing a safe environment for our youth.
4-H Alberta is doing its best to keep our community informed and provide direction for your clubs’ next steps. Along with the information below, we have added some FAQs to the 4-H Alberta website to address questions you may have relating to these changes – FAQs – COVID-19.
Please be respectful of 4-H Alberta staff time over the weekend when seeking clarity as we are currently experiencing high call and email volumes. A member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible. 4-H Alberta business hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm unless stated otherwise.
Easement for 4-H Clubs, Effective February 19, 2021:
- 4-H club level activities are being included in the category of “Children’s sport and performance activities” that were added to the STEP 1 restriction easements by AHS on Feb 8th.
- As per the easement restrictions, all participants must be 18 years old or younger, except Leaders, Volunteers and trainers.
- 4-H Club level activities only. No inter-club, district and or regional activities are permitted at this time.
- 4-H members can participate in limited group activities.
- No observers permitted.
- Only registered 4-H members can participate in activities with adequate supervision.
- No parents are allowed to remain in the arena unless required for animal supervision and safety.
- All participants must follow Alberta Health Services’ health and safety measures and abide by AHS mandatory restrictions. For a list of current restrictions, please visit the AHS website as 4-H Alberta can not ensure we provide accurate information as the Government of Alberta is updating public health orders and regulations continuously.
4-H Club Activities
- Activity is limited by spacing restrictions as opposed to the number of participants.
- 4-H Rule of Two applies at all times.
- Activities are limited to facilities that are not currently prohibited. Check with your local facility to find out if they are open or prohibited from opening. The 4-H community is not to participate in lobbying activities to open facilities. Facility restrictions may change in STEP 2 so please check the AHS website for the latest guidelines.
- Please continue to operate virtually whenever possible or feasible to do so. It is still the safest method of program delivery, and the safety of our community is our top priority (monthly club meetings, committee meetings, council meetings, etc.)
- All guidelines and restrictions for any 4-H physical activities are provided on the AHS website related to “Children’s sport and performance activities.” These guidelines and restrictions must be strictly adhered to by 4-H clubs and participants.
- Maximum of 10 individuals, including all Leaders, volunteers, trainers, and Members.
- An activity surface (for example, arena, field or court) may be occupied by more than one youth group, as long as 3-metres of physical distancing can be maintained between groups of 10 and the groups do not intermingle.
- Physical distancing must be maintained between participants at all times:
- 3-metres physical distance for indoor activities
- 2-metres physical distance for outdoor activities
- All participants (members, leaders, volunteers, and trainers) must be masked at all times.
- Access to change rooms must be limited, including accelerated arrival and departure, emergencies (for example, first aid) and washroom use.
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.
AHS current public health measures – Enhanced public health measures | Alberta.ca
Resource page – COVID-19 Response Resources
Updated COVID19 FAQs page – FAQs – COVID-19