The safety of our volunteers, hosts, and partners is our most important concern. We have established the following safety precautions and hygiene practices that we are asking all volunteers to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We also encourage everyone to get vaccinated if you are able to and eligible. Please also abide by all state and local regulations.
- AHS is currently limiting trip size to 10 people. This will sometimes be set lower, depending on the location of the trip.
- Not allowing volunteers to volunteer out of state if that state has a required quarantine for out-of-state travelers.
- Individuals must make their own decision using their best judgment and risk tolerance about whether to participate.
- AHS or any of its partners can neither be held responsible for potential transmission of nor exposure to COVID-19 on the trip and during travel to and from the trip.
- Be observant and mindful of the location and region you are traveling from and will return to- if it is a hotspot of COVID-19 cases, consider not participating in the trip.
BEFORE THE TRIP:
- Assess your current health and potential exposure to the coronavirus- People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Do not travel or participate in a volunteer vacation if you are sick with or tested positive for COVID-19, were recently exposed (within 14 days) to someone with COVID-19 (even if you don’t have symptoms), or just don’t feel well (see symptoms above).
- Travel (More guidance on travel)
- We encourage travel with as few stops along the way as possible. We will not be offering airport pickups for any trips unless social distancing within the vehicle can be provided.
- Practice social distancing, mask-wearing, and proper personal hygiene (hand washing) for your entire trip. Whenever possible along the way, eat outside, in the car, or in the hotel room.
- You must bring your own cloth face mask, work gloves, and hand sanitizer
- If you are eligible and able to, get vaccinated. We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more. (More on vaccines)
DURING THE TRIP:
- Clean and disinfect (Hosts will do this before the trip starts and crews will need to continue throughout the week)
- Clean AND disinfect (with wipes and/or spray) all frequently-touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap-and-water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
- Practice and encourage the following Hygiene
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat, after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Have plenty of extra sanitizer available for volunteers.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Practice and encourage social distancing- remain 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household
- Stay 6 feet apart on the trail, indoors, and in camp
- Limit close contact with others outside your household in indoor and outdoor spaces. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you—or they—have no symptoms.
- If you are not able to maintain 6 feet of space between yourself and another person outside of your household, wear a mask (even if outdoors).
- Camp in separate tents spaced out by at least 6 feet
- Face Masks (More guidance on face masks)
- All volunteers must wear a mask when they are indoors and around others, if they are not eating or drinking.
- You must wear a mask, even if you do not feel sick. This is because several studies have found that people with COVID-19 who never develop symptoms (asymptomatic) and those who are not yet showing symptoms (pre-symptomatic) can still spread the virus to other people. Wearing a mask helps protect those around you, in case you are infected but not showing symptoms.
- A mask is NOT a substitute for social distancing. Masks should still be worn in addition to staying at least 6 feet apart, especially when indoors around people who don’t live in your household.
- Meals/Food Sharing
- People should take turns in the kitchen preparing meals and cleaning up after meals, limiting the number of people gathered inside at one time. Everyone should be wearing masks while preparing/distributing food.
- No personal food or utensils should be shared.
- All need to eat at least 6 feet away from anyone who is not a member of their household.
- Tool Sanitation
- Gear and tools should only be used by one person throughout the week and cleaned and disinfected daily.
- Volunteers must bring their own work gloves and PPE and should not share with others.