COVID-19 Update - November 9, 2020
Gatherings and Events
As you will likely be aware an updated Public Health Order on Gatherings and Events was released on October 30th, 2020
There are a couple of points in this Public Health Order that may apply to 4-H gatherings and events as follows:
- The gathering of more than six guests in addition to the occupants in vacation accommodation or a private residence for the purposes of an event is prohibited. "Private residence" includes areas both inside and outside.
- In line with this order 4-H meetings (youth or adult) should not be hosted in private residences. As per the definition of a private residence above, this would include both inside and outside areas of your home such as porches, patios...etc. If your private residence is on a farm property that has large outdoor spaces and may include other commercial buildings such as barns, these areas can still be considered for 4-H events as long as they meet all the requirements listed on the 4-H BC COVID-19 Activity Checklist
- The 4-H BC COVID-19 Activity Checklist has been updated to reflect this new order
- The holding of an event in a banquet hall is prohibited. "Banquet hall" means a stand-alone premises built for the purpose of holding large social events, including banquets, generally involving many hundreds of people. It does not include the premises associated with a private club, hotel, house of worship, recreation centre, sports organization or other non- profit organization with a community, educational, historical, sports or similar purpose, or owned or operated or otherwise controlled by a government;
- While most facilities typically used for 4-H events do not fall under the above definition of banquet hall, it is important to check with your venue regarding their current rental policies and COVID-19 safety expectations. Many community halls are proceeding with extra caution, and may be restricting rentals at this time. When renting facilities please provide them with a copy of your 4-H BC COVID-19 Activity Checklist and be sure to follow all their safety and cleaning requirements.
Non-Medical Masks and Face Coverings
There is currently no Public Health Order requiring the use of non-medical masks or face coverings but at her October 26th briefing the Provincial Health Officer stated "It is now the expectation that people will wear a non-medical mask in public spaces". She went on to provide examples of public spaces listing public transit, grocery stores, and public offices. While 4-H meetings are not necessarily "public" since they are for registered members of an organized group, Dr. Henry also noted that "the evidence is showing us that those are situations where we can't always keep our safe distance, and a mask can be an additional layer of protection." She went on to say that the public needs to be aware and accepting of people who cannot wear them because of a disability or medical condition.
- With that information in mind, non-medical masks and face coverings will still not be required at 4-H activities and events, but they are recommended in cases where it may be a challenge to maintain physical distancing
- Some municipalities or event venues may have their own policies regarding the wearing of masks in public spaces; please check these for your area or venue and make sure that your 4-H activity or event is compliant with local expectations
- The 4-H BC COVID-19 Activity Checklist has been updated to reflect this new recommendation
Fraser Valley 4-H Region - Regional Restrictions
By order of the PHO, all individuals, places of work and businesses within the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions must significantly reduce social interactions and travel. The order is in effect from November 7, 2020 at 10:00 pm to November 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm. The order can be viewed online:
In line with this order, no in-person 4-H activities or events are approved in the Fraser Valley Region for this time period. Additionally, 4-H members and volunteers should not be travelling to or from the Fraser Valley 4-H region for 4-H activities or events.
Reminder - When and where 4-H in-person activities are allowable, the following guidelines must be followed:
- Group size must be less than 50 including all participants, parents, and guests.
- Physical distancing must be able to be maintained (6ft between participants). Not all venues will be able to safely accommodate 50 people; outdoor venues are preferred.
- Ensure participants practice good hygiene (frequent hand washing with soap and water and use of hand sanitizers; avoid touching one's face; respiratory etiquette; disinfect frequently touched surfaces).
- Zero tolerance for participants who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19.
- Participants at higher risk of experiencing severe illness should not take part in in-person activities.
- 4-H clubs must not penalize members or families who are not comfortable participating in-person. 4-H clubs should make reasonable accommodations to continue including members virtually in club activities as needed.
- Participants must complete a 4-H Canada COVID-19 Waiver and submit to the 4-H BC office prior to attending any in-person activity. email@example.com
All guidelines are subject to change, please watch for updates at www.4hbc.ca.
- BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Management Strategy - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/bc_covid-19_go-forward_management_strategy_web.pdf
- Key Steps to Safely Operating Your Business or Organization and Reducing COVID-19 Transmission - https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/gdx/go_forward_strategy_checklist_web.pdf
4-H British Columbia Provincial Council