Happy spring! After a long winter of waiting, hoping, and planning, I am very pleased to announce that as of March 15th, in-person programming may recommence. We’re thrilled that we can meet in person once again—however, organizers and educators conducting these types of activities must, per the latest guidance NYSDOH and all local authorities, comply with the meeting guidelines provided below. In addition to following the guidelines, all participants (who have not previously done so) must sign the “Volunteer Assumption of Risk Form” and return it to the appropriate educator or workshop leader. Families may turn in one form per family unit, so long as they indicate each family participant on the form; each volunteer must turn in an individual form. We also request that each group engage in COVID-19 best practices for all upcoming meetings for the foreseeable future: 

1. The number of people in attendance of any meeting may not exceed twenty participants. This number includes the total number of leaders, members, staff members, parents, speakers, etc. in attendance. Attendance should be noted/taken for accountability, contact tracing, and documentation of meeting size. NOTE: We will continue to review this number on a weekly basis and may raise or lower the total headcount allowed throughout the coming weeks in response to local health trends and state and/or local guidelines. 

2. Social distancing procedures include the following best practices: 

• The wearing of masks by all participants present OR 

• Maintaining 6-foot distances between participants without touching of any kind 

• Meetings should be held outdoors whenever possible, or in a public or CCE-provided space. If a meeting must take place at a private home or residence, masks must be worn at all times. Where possible, buildings with increased airflow are preferred (barns, outdoor meeting areas, etc.). 

• Hand sanitizer should be readily available at all times (please contact us if you need a supply of sanitizer!) 

•The meeting time should be kept to less than two hours. 

• Only single serve, commercially prepared, food and drink should be provided. Participants are encouraged to eat prior to attending the meeting. 

• Participants are welcome to bring their own water (clearly labeled with their name) for hydration. 

These recommendations are based on the best available guidance at this time and are subject to change as new information becomes available. Additional guidance can be obtained from the NYSDOH, our local health department, and the CDC. We realize there will be participants and families who are not comfortable meeting in person at this time. It is critical that these decisions are respected, and that there is no pressure applied, or opportunities withheld, due to a decision not to participate. Please do not hesitate to continue to hold virtual meetings, should you wish to do so. We cannot thank all of you enough for your patience, understanding, and good humor over the winter, and we’re incredibly grateful for your support as we continue to adapt to current pandemic conditions. I hope that everyone soon gets the chance to take advantage of our programming soon, and that these new guidelines provide our participants with the necessary tools to socialize safely throughout the summer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us should you have any questions or concerns. 

Wishing all of you a wonderful spring season, Abby Griffith Executive Director

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Last updated April 5, 2021