Timely notification of serious incidents enables scene investigation, evidence collection, and proper notification required under our insurance agreements.
It also helps us to make sure mandatory reporting requirements are met. While the safety of our youth is our top concern, when incidents do occur, we all need to help mitigate other potential impacts.
What should I do if a Scout or leader comes to a meeting with COVID-19 symptoms?
Scouts or leaders who have symptoms when they arrive at a meeting or event or become sick during the day/event should immediately be separated from other participants and sent home.
Sick Scouts or leaders should follow CDC-recommended steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They should not return to future meetings or activities until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.
What should I do if a Scout or leader is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?
Close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:
- Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other Scouts or leaders being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:
- Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
- To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
- Be sure to follow the instructions on the product labels to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
- You may need to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using.
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, unit leadership should determine which meeting/event participants may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions:
- If a Scout or leader is confirmed to have COVID-19, the unit should inform fellow members of their possible exposure to COVID-19 at the Scout meeting/event but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Scouts or leaders who test positive for COVID-19 (using a viral test, not an antibody test) should be excluded from Scouting and remain in home isolation if they do not need to be hospitalized. Scouting units should provide education to members and leaders on what to do if they are sick.
- The unit committee chairperson may need to work with local health department officials to determine which Scouts and leaders may have had close contact with the Scout or leader with COVID-19 and who may need to take additional precautions, including exclusion from Scouting activities/meetings and remaining at home.
- Unit leadership should follow the Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure and instruct potentially exposed Scouts or leaders to stay home for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms.
- The unit leader or committee chairperson must inform the local council by completing and submitting a BSA Incident Report.
A Scout or leader have been exposed but aren’t showing symptoms, should I allow them to participate in the Scouting event or meeting?
Scouts or leaders may have been exposed if they are a “close contact” of someone who is infected, which is defined as being within about 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time:
- Potentially exposed scouts or leaders who have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended steps.
- Potentially exposed Scouts or leaders who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.
All other Scouts and leaders should self-monitor for symptoms and wear cloth face coverings when in public. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their unit leader, seek medical attention if necessary and stay home.
See Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure for more information.
If we find out several days later, after a Scout meeting or activity that a Scout or leader was diagnosed with COVID-19 what should we do?
- If it has been less than 7 days since the sick Scout or leader used the facility, clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick Scout or leader following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.
- If it has been 7 days or more since the sick Scout or leader used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.
- Other Scouts or leaders may have been exposed to the virus if they were in “close contact” (within approximately 6 feet) of the sick Scout or leader for a prolonged period of time.
○ If a Scout or leader is confirmed to have COVID-19, unit leadership should inform fellow unit members of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in at the Scouting meeting or activity but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
○ Those who have symptoms should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended steps.
○ Those potentially exposed but with no symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.
- Scouts or leaders not considered exposed should self-monitor for symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their unit leader, seek medical attention if necessary and stay home.
When should a Scout or leader suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 be allowed to return to Scouting meetings or activities?
Sick Scouts or leaders should follow steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Scouts or leaders should not return to Scouting until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.
Unit leadership should not require a sick Scout or leader to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to Scouting. Scouts and leaders with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation and return to work when they have met one of the sets of criteria found here.
Incident reports can be submitted to the following email address: Audrone.Tarleton@scouting.org