Dear Scouting Families:
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 the Heart of Virginia Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both locally and through theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The following information regarding local events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information 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.
Status of Council Events
After much discussion and observations of what is happening in the local school systems, it has been decided that all in-person Council and District events, activities, and meetings between Monday, March 16 and Sunday, April 12, 2020 will be postponed or cancelled. This decision has been made out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health of our Scouts, Scouters, and their families.
Further, HOVC suggests that individual Scout units follow this policy. The final decision on continued unit activities will be the responsibility of the unit committee in consultation with their chartered organization and, in some cases, their meeting facilities until such time as new guidance is issued by the CDC.
We strongly encourage that districts, units, and council committees consider using technology to continue with as many of their normally scheduled meetings and events as possible. Free or low-cost options include Free Conference Call, Skype, and Google Hangouts.
Currently, all summer programming – day camps, summer camps, etc. – will continue as planned. We will extend the early bird rates to April 30, 2020 to allow our troops and packs to have time to get this information out to parents.
The Scout Service Center and Scout Store will be open for business. However, committee meetings will not be held in person. We encourage them to take place by phone.
We are working to reschedule events for a later date. If you are registered for an event that gets postponed, your registration will be transferred to the new date. If you are unable to attend the rescheduled event, you may request a refund according to the event’s specific policy.
BSA Polices 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 theAnnual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those important policies in place, 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. A Scout salute or wave will suffice.
- 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 your District Executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us. This message and future updates will be available atwww.HOVC.org.
Mark Cross, President Mark Larson, Commissioner George McGovern, Scout Executive
George M McGovern | Scout Executive
BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
Heart of Virginia Council
4015 Fitzhugh Ave. | P.O. Box 6809
Richmond, Virginia 23230
P 770-468-5600 | F 804.353.6109