COVID-19

March 19, 2021

To Our Scouting Family and Friends,

Over the past week the California Department of Public Health has published and announced future publication of guidance that will affect Scouting activities in Orange County. This new and updated guidance comes as Orange County returned to the Red, or Substantial Tier, in the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This has prompted renewed questions from our units as well as opportunities for Scouting to continue to reengage.

First and foremost, we need to consider the safety of our Scouts, Leaders, Staff, and their families. The activity plan for your unit should involve discussions with the Scouts, parents, leaders, and your chartered organization. Even as restrictions continue to relax, we continue to live in a hybrid world of online and in-person activities. Guidance on how to return your unit to in-person Scouting Activities can be found in the Unit Restart Guidebook and the Covid Guidelines for Scouting Matrix.

Updates to the Covid Guidelines for Scouting Matrix

A number of updates were made to the Scouting Matrix that with new guidance will shift a number of industries from Virtual to In-Person and from Day Only to Overnight. Please review the matrix as your activity may have shifted or will be shifting soon. The changes include:

  • Overnight Sleep Away Camp: Guidance will be published by April 1 and will open June 1 regardless of the trigger being met. This will also shift many training events and camporees from Day Only to Overnight. This provides the needed guidance for Schoepe Scout Reservation at Lost Valley to be able to operate a summer camp in 2021.
  • Live Events: Effective April 1, guidance allows for In-Person Meetings at the unit, district, and council level, such as unit committees, roundtables, fundraising events, Courts of Honor, lodge meetings, etc. See details in the Unit Restart Guidebook on Page 14.

Updates to the Unit Restart Guidebook

A number of updates are included in the Unit Restart Guidebook and noted with a diamond in the left column including among others:

  • Updated definition of a cohort
  • Distance between tents
  • In-Person Unit Meetings (parents/committees etc.)

OCBSA Staff and Volunteers now eligible for COVID-19 Vaccine
Orange County Council Staff and Volunteers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine during Phase 1B-Tier 1 (Education and Childcare) as defined by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Staff and Volunteers may sign up for vaccination appointments now by registering online through Othena.com (specifically for Orange County) and myturn.ca.gov (for California in general); you may register on one or both sites. When you register, make sure to select “Education/Childcare” for the industry. You will then be guided through the appointment process. Of course, we encourage Scouts and their families to assist those who may have challenges in registering to receive their vaccine. We are all in this together! Download a Verification Letter that you may need at your appointment in addition to your membership card or paystub.

As vaccine distribution continues to ramp up, we ask all of our members and their families to use extreme caution and to follow all guidance from our state and local health departments. We encourage you to utilize the five simple things to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Wear a mask consistently and correctly
  2. Avoid crowds
  3. Stay six feet apart
  4. Opt for the outdoors
  5. Wash your hands

Thank you again for your partnership, flexibility and patience as we navigate this challenging and unprecedented chapter in our council’s history together. As we have since the onset of COVID-19, we will continue to closely monitor this situation and follow guidelines from expert health agencies, while keeping our Scouting community informed.

Please continue to visit ocbsa.org/covid19 for COVID-19 updates, information and resources.

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