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Council/district events postponed-Service Center closed, staff working from home

Updated May 8, 2020 by resolution of the REC-BSA Risk Management Committee

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the Coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Redwood Empire Council.  Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally with our County Health Supervisors and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)External Link.

The National BSA website contains official guidance regarding program and advancement guidelines during this pandemic:  National BSA - COVID-19 Frequented Answered QuestionsExternal Link

The following information regarding local council events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance, and decisions regarding council and district gatherings being made by the REC-BSA Risk Management Committee with the support of council officers.  As this continues to be an evolving situation, this information below is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

"Curbside Pickup" now permitted for purchase of Trading Post items -- Council Service Center continues to be closed to visitors

On March 17, the Sonoma County Health Officer issued a Health Order directing residents of Sonoma County to Shelter in Place, with the order amended on March 31 and again on May 7 (link Sonoma County Health Order Amended May 7 2020External Link  As a consequence, the REC-BSA Service Center continues to be closed to visitors, with the 4 staff members working remotely from home and limited access to the service center itself.

However, the May 7 Sonoma County Health Order amendment permits our council to offer a limited level of customer service known as "curbside pickup".  Effective Monday, May 11, the Council Trading Post will be available for morning-time orders by telephone or e-mail, with curbside pickup on weekday afternoons.  Details regarding placing orders and picking up purchases can be found on this page of our website Redwood Empire Council Trading Post.  Note that for this time period, all such items purchased will be non-returnable.

Status of Council/District Events (March 15 to ongoing)

Currently, the following events are being POSTPONED (not "cancelled") to new dates, some still to be determined:

  • Miwok District Recognition Dinner (was to be held on Friday, April 3, new date Friday August 14)
  • Pomo District Camporee and Cuboree (was to be held April 17-19, new dates August 21-23)
  • Pomo District Recognition Dinner (was to be held in May, new date Thursday, August 6)
  • Order of the Arrow Induction Weekend (was to be May 1-3, new dates Oct. 23-25)
  • Pomo District Introduction to Outdoor Skills Training (new dates Oct. 2-4)

Final decisions regarding camp programs in July have not yet been made, but will be announced no later than July 17.  We recommend that units be prepared now to bring extra tenting for those who become ill and require solitary sleeping arrangements.

Our council will reassess the above schedule as the community health situation continues to unfold, and we will extend the time period of similar actions until the county health orders are modified.

BSA Policies to Prevent the Spread of Illness

The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical RecordExternal Link and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist

Scout Oath and Law – Everyday Preventive Measures

Being that we are striving to remain “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight” as well as the 12 points of the Scout Law, especially “courteous” and “clean”, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. 
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. 

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to any of us. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to our council.

Please forward this message to other members and parents in your unit(s).

Yours in Scouting, Redwood Empire Council Risk Management Committee

Duncan Flett (chair), Peter Carlson, Dr. Robert Hickman MD, Gary Kitchen, Keith Schoenthal (members), Charlie Howard-Gibbon (staff advisor)

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