We have turned a corner! Spring is imminent (I’m ignoring that nice snow dumping we got over the weekend…) AND the Minnesota Department of Health has updated their COVID Guidance’s! Masks are no longer required at events where youth are present (with some exceptions). What does all that mean for you and your units, refer to some of the responses below:
Q: When will this go into effect?
Q: Is it still ok to wear a mask?
A: Yes, individuals can and should still feel comfortable wearing a mask if they prefer. In fact, the CDC recommends it for those who are or live with someone who is immunocompromised or at higher risk for illness. We should continue to do our part to ensure that all feel welcome in our activities regardless of their choice to wear a mask or not.
Q: Why did this take so long? My kid’s school ditched masks weeks ago!
A: Our practice over the past two years has been to follow the guidance from both the CDC and MDH regarding school and youth group settings. MDH made its revisions just this week.
Q: What will happen if our facility or program works with outside organizations that still require its participants to wear masks?
A: We will follow the lead of the home organization. For example, if a school attending Base Camp still requires its students to wear masks we will have our Base Camp staff follow suit. This practice will be under continuous review as we monitor the trajectory of illness in the coming months.
Q: Will we adjust sleeping capacities in our camp buildings?
A: Yes, now that masks are no longer required indoors, our facilities used for sleeping will be back to 100% capacity.
Q: Could some folks feel uncomfortable with this change?
A: Yes, and it’s ok to acknowledge that feeling because we’ve certainly learned that everyone has a different comfort level with our prevention measures implemented over the past two years. To the best of our ability we should help units if they are struggling to find a way to conduct program for people with vastly different feelings on this issue. If needed, share the following:
- At this point, our community health agencies are allowing for this to happen. People are seeing similar loosening in their schools, businesses and communities.
- Our website continues to list general best practices that folks should follow, including screening tools, sanitation, handwashing, etc.
- Individuals can still choose to wear a mask if they want to do so with surgical and N95/KN95 being more effective.
Q: Could this change?
A: I certainly hope not but, as we’ve learned, COVID continues to surprise us.
Be sure to check the Council’s COVID website for any changes or further updates: https://www.northernstar.org/news/enavigator/covid19-and-northern-star-camps-meetings-more