Coronavirus (Updated 1/5/22)
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Longhorn Council Statement on COVID-19
The safety of our Scouts, volunteers, employees, and communities is our top priority.
Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be informed by expertise from agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the local health departments and agencies within our service area.
On March 2, 2021, Gov. Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34, relating to opening Texas 100% and the removal of the statewide mask mandate. On May 18, 2021, Gov. Abbott issued Executive Order GA-36, prohibiting government entities from mandating masks. On Dec. 27, 2021, the CDC updated its recommended isolation and quarantine period for the general population. In part, it reduced the required quarantine from 10 days down to 5 days, provided no symptoms exist and there is strict adherence to wearing a mask days 6 through 10. It also highly recommended completing a COVID test on Day 5 of quarantine. While the State of Texas has lifted the mandate for mask-wearing and the CDC has altered its guidance, these guidance changes do not eliminate personal responsibility, nor the responsibility of Longhorn Council employees and volunteers to protect the health, safety and well-being of the youth placed in our charge. For this reason, combined with feedback and guidance from our Health and Safety team and our program staffs, we are reducing the quarantine period after exposure/close contact to 10 days and updating all COVID-related forms. This change allows programs and events to continue without masks required while outdoors. Our policies and protocols collectively make up a disciplined, multi-layered approach to safety while conducting Scouting activities at all levels.
We expect everyone in Scouting to follow the measures listed below, which are based on CDC and State of Texas guidance. Members, staff, and volunteers must also follow all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. In addition, Scouting units of all program types must consult with their charter partner for any special rules, both on and off charter partner properties.
Unit meetings and unit-based Scouting activities:
- Isolate if you are sick, and do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you, anyone you live with, or anyone you have recently been around feels unwell.
- Do not attend any activity/meeting/event if you or anyone you live with has been tested for COVID-19 or another illness and does not have the results back yet.
- If you are not fully vaccinated, including any recommended boosters, while indoors wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth and stay at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Until further notice, international travel is not considered an official Scouting Activity.
Units are encouraged to continue using the following forms in conjunction with their meetings and activities, which have been updated effective Jan. 3, 2022:
- COVID-19 Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist<< click/tap rev. 01/03/2022
- COVID-19 Event Arrival Screening Checklist << click/tap rev. 01/03/2022
- COVID-19 Participant At-Risk Statement<< click/tap rev. 01/03/2022
Units attending a District or Council event or an event at one of our council camps will be required to use these forms. The forms will be provided to you along with your reservation confirmation.
District and Council committees may meet in person, provided all members follow the guidelines listed above. Committees are encouraged to provide a hybrid meeting option to accommodate those individuals who cannot attend in-person. If assistance is needed providing a hybrid meeting setting, please contact your assigned staff partner or District Executive.
District and Council Events:
Given the geographically diverse attendance and the nature of the programs offered, District and Council events have additional requirements. Spread of any communicable disease, including COVID-19, could jeopardize the ability of our camps to remain open and provide the great outdoor experience for all registered to attend. Until further notice, the protocols listed below will be enforced for all District and Council events, and all events with multiple units at a Longhorn Council facility, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS:
- Masks will generally not be required while outdoors. There are several exceptions in programs where staff will be working individually with participants or in close, small groups. Participants in these programs should listen to and follow the directions of staff regarding any modifications to the general rules. Program areas with outdoor mask requirements include, but are not limited to:
- Rifle and shotgun ranges while on the firing line
- Archery while on the firing line
- Other program areas as marked and identified during the event(s)
- Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors, including in the dining hall, trading post(s), museum and other enclosed facilities, unless eating. While eating, units should remain within their assigned group(s) and be mindful of physical distancing requirements.
The mask policy above is just one layer in a multi-layered approach we have instituted to ensure the safety of the youth entrusted to us at camp. The use of modified cohorts/groupings, our enhanced cleaning and sanitation protocols, our pre- and during-camp screening processes, and the diligence of our Scouts and Scouters will allow our programs to remain open and available to all the registered attendees.
Longhorn Council does not require a COVID-19 vaccine to attend one of our events. However, we may ask whether you have been vaccinated and record proof of vaccination to aid us in contact tracing, should exposure occur during camp.
All are expected to be Courteous and Kind to Scouts and Scouters who choose to wear a mask in any setting.
As always, please embody the Scout Oath and Law as we all continue to navigate a safe return to the activities we enjoy.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Summer Camp Guidance05/28/2021
State of Texas:
- Day Youth Camp Operators and Staff05/24/2021
- Day Youth Camp Families05/24/2021
- Overnight Youth Camp Operators05/24/2021
- Overnight Youth Camp Families05/24/2021
National Council COVID-19 FAQ updated 12/29/2021