side menu icon

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Update 8/23/2022

Updates to the Travel & Overnight Stays section below have been made.


Masks - Updated March 7, 2022

With the decrease in COVID-19 cases, removal of some local masking policies, and increase in vaccination rates, Girl Scouts of Utah is providing updated masking guidance for Girl Scout activities in our council. Our council has followed, and will continue to follow, the guidance of the CDC with regards to mask wearing. 

Girl Scouts of Utah still supports the wearing of masks, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated. However, mask wearing will no longer be mandatory. We recognize that some volunteers/girls may be more comfortable wearing a mask. With that in mind, if adults/girls would prefer to wear a mask, they are permitted to do so. If you are meeting at a business location who has more stringent policies in place than the current GSU guidance, you must follow that business’ policies.

This guidance also applies to visitors and staff at any GSU facilities. Masks are not required, but we continue to be a mask-friendly environment and are respectful of anyone who chooses to wear a mask. 

As part of the Girl Scout Law, we pledge to respect ourselves and others, and we ask that you continue to be respectful of an individual’s masking decision. As always, we ask that you continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as state and local government guidelines and restrictions as they change. Please continue to practice good handwashing, sanitizing, and social distancing practices. 

We will continue to update this COVID-19 Info page with the most current policies and procedures pertaining to this ever-evolving pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility!

How to Select a Mask

Volunteer Responsibility & Accountability

COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily in the community. Volunteers should take all reasonable precautions to limit potential exposure for girls, themselves, and families. It is an important time to be a great Girl Scout and demonstrate Girl Scout values.

Volunteer Policy Violations: Volunteers that do not adhere to our COVID-19 requirements are subject to removal from the Girl Scout program.   

Continue to follow real-time local directives and discuss all plans with your families. Regularly communicate with your families regarding their comfort level for participating in in-person meetings and activities.

Pre-Screening

Our COVID Symptom Checker is no longer required, but prior to in-person troop meetings and activities, all participants should self-screen to ensure they are healthy, have not experienced symptoms associated with COVID-19 in the previous 72 hours, not knowingly been in contact with someone with symptoms, have not received a confirmed positive test, and have not been in a high-risk geographical region that would require a 14-day quarantine period.

Note: the CDC defines “close contact” as follows:

  • You were within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more
  • You provided care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19
  • You had direct physical contact with the person (hugged or kissed them)
  • You shared eating or drinking utensils
  • They sneezed, coughed, or somehow got respiratory droplets on you

Please be sensitive to the fact that girls may be experiencing symptoms that are similar but completely unrelated to COVID-19 and not contagious at all such as menstrual body aches, headaches, allergies, or a pre-existing condition. The goal is to keep the meeting safe from contagion and do the very best to ensure our girls are educated and healthy, not to make it unnecessarily difficult or uncomfortable for girls to gather safely.

Meetings & Activities

The safety and protection of girls and adults is the top priority of Girl Scouts of Utah. Girls benefit from a safe environment that allows them to be at their best while developing critical leadership-building skills. 

These requirements must be followed for meetings and activities:

  • All girls must have a completed Troop Parental Permission for Girl Scout Year on file with the troop
  • Be aware of the transmission rate in your areas. Check your county's risk level
  • Social distancing should be observed, maintaining 3-6 feet distance
  • Outdoors is preferred to indoors, whenever possible
  • All attendees should continue to practice suggested hygiene measures
  • The appropriate adult-to-girl ratio within this larger group size must also be observed

Each troop and family can make their own determination on what they are comfortable doing at this time, with input from parents and guardians of girls in their troop. 

Thank you for your support and understanding during this time. There is no precedent for what we are currently navigating. As always, the health and safety of our girls and adults is our number-one priority, and your help in ensuring a safe environment for Girl Scouts is greatly appreciated.

Meetings in the Home
We highly encourage all leaders complete the Hosting Girl Scout Meetings in the Home training on gsLearn and take time to look over the Requirements for Girl Scout Meetings or Activities in the Home * and Meetings in the Home FAQ to determine if meeting in a home is the best option for your troop. 

After you have completed the training and reviewed the GSU requirements for meeting in the home, as with any change, you should discuss this option to meet in the home with parents. If your troop meeting location does change, you should update the troop meeting location and information on myGS. 

*These requirements were developed from the GSUSA COVID-19 Guidelines, Volunteer Essentials, Safety Activity Checkpoints, GSU’s Volunteer Policies documents, and in conjunction with the GSU COVID Task Force. If you have questions about these requirements, please reach out to GSU at info@gsutah.org or 801-265-8472.

Meetings on Council Premises
For service unit teams and troops that meet near council offices, meeting rooms are open for you to reserve.

Learn more about holding troop meetings on council premises.

Transportation

We continue to navigate COVID-19 cautiously. The situation changes daily, and we are actively monitoring all local, state, and national guidelines, which inform every decision we make as a council.

It is imperative to take all safety precautions when girls are travelling in motor vehicles.  If carpooling must occur, please use these guidelines to minimize the risk:

  • Confirm the comfort level of those that are participating. All families should be aware ahead of time if girls from different households will be in a car together.

Review GSU's Travel page

Travel & Overnight Stays

UPDATED August 23, 2022

Overnight Events
We strongly recommend COVID testing for all participants for overnight events. Visit the CDC website for more information about testing and to order free at-home test kits.

General Travel Information

  • Troops planning any overnight travel excursions or activities must complete the Trip/Travel Application. Travel approvals will be considered on a case-by-case basis, factoring in the risk associated with the specific type of travel/activity being requested. 
  • Complete Preparing for Travel in a COVID Environment Checklist to help you plan for a safe experience.
  • When making hotel reservations or other overnight accommodations, ensure that each traveler has their own bed and maintain six feet distance between the travelers’ heads while sleeping.
  • Troops are expected to research their destination’s COVID restrictions and plan to meet all safety requirements. Regardless of COVID-19 restrictions and updates, volunteers must always follow guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints.
  • We strongly recommend COVID vaccinations and COVID testing, when possible, for all travelers.
  • Although travel plans are often arranged several months in advance, recognize that COVID-19 risk is fluid; it can and will change, and contingencies should be planned for rescheduling, cancelling, or making changes as necessary.

Refer to these resources for guidance on planning your trip:
GSU travel guidance on website
CDC Domestic Travel Guidance
CDC Travel Recommendations by Destination
Educator Travel Toolkit
COVID trends for other countries Health Risk Index Report

International Travel
Girl Scouts of Utah follows all international travel safety guidance in Safety Activity Checkpoints (excerpt below). When the travel advisory level for any destination is Level 4 (as determined by the U.S. Department of State), Girl Scout travel is not allowed under any circumstances. When the travel advisory for any destination is Level 3, the steps listed in Safety Activity Checkpoints (excerpt below) must be followed.

Six months before your scheduled departure date, if any of the countries you plan to visit are Level 4, we strongly recommend canceling or rescheduling your trip. If you decide to move forward with planning an international trip, you do so knowing that Girl Scout travel will not be allowed and must be cancelled if the destination is Level 4 at the time of your trip. Girl Scouts of Utah is not responsible for the loss of any expenses related to travel. Even if EF Tours or other organizations are allowing travel to Level 4 destinations, Girl Scouts of Utah and Girl Scouts of the USA are not.

Safety Activity Checkpoints, pages 248-249
International Travel. International travel involves increased travel precautions and requirements compared to domestic travel. The following Safety Checkpoints apply to International Travel:

  • Register your trip with the U.S. government’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that you will get updates about safety, and that the State Department knows where you are traveling.
  • Read on the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention website about health concerns for the country. Make sure girls and parents/guardians review this information. Every participant traveling internationally should visit their doctor to discuss their travel health requirements and any vaccinations or medications necessary.
  • Become aware of any quarantine, vaccine, or screening requirements for return to the U.S., as well as what is required for entry into destination countries. This information will help greatly when deciding upon a destination.
  • Confirm the travel advisory level for the country via the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs. Note that the State Department now classifies travel advisories with travel alert levels as follows:
    • Level 1 - Exercise Normal Precautions
    • Level 2 - Exercise Increased Precautions
    • Level 3 - Reconsider Travel
    • Level 4 - Do Not Travel
  • Confirm that both girls and their parents/guardians have the advisory information and are aware of the travel alert level in the region you plan to visit. This can be reflected on a permission slip if your council chooses to handle it that way.
  • Read information about safety issues and concerns carefully. Pay attention to the in-country travel alerts for the specific region you are interested in. For example, a certain country may be classified as a Level 2, but a particular state or region within that Level 2 country may be categorized as Level 3.
  • Check the travel alert status periodically in the months/weeks/days leading up to your trip for any changes. For situations where there is a travel alert Level 1 or Level 2, take normal safety precautions to safeguard girls.
  • Travel Alert 4. When the travel alert Level is 4 (“do not travel”), girls are not to travel to a location under any circumstances.
  • Travel Alert 3. For situations where the travel alert is a 3 (“reconsider travel”), there are several steps that should be taken before moving forward:
    • Strongly consider selecting a different location.
    • If interest is high, have a conversation with your local safety or risk representative to fully understand the specific risk factors in play.
    • Contact the host destination facility and ask if they are aware of the travel alert level and what extra security measures are in place, if any.
    • Inform girls and parents/guardians and determine if there is still a compelling interest to travel to this location, considering the travel alert level.
    • Get parents’/guardians’ explicit approval to travel to the location, according to specific risks, in writing.
    • Have a conversation with your council and get approval from a legal perspective, from in-house legal or outside legal counsel.
    • Confirm that you have senior management approval within your council prior to moving forward with your plans. 

Finally, when traveling, be sure to follow the safety checkpoints for specific activities you plan to do on your trip.

Forms & Permission Slips

Be sure to complete the necessary forms where appropriate.

Please note that all permission slips include the following statement:

“COVID-19 is an extremely contagious virus that spreads easily through person-to-person contact. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19.  While Girl Scouts of Utah takes every safety and preventative precaution, Girl Scouts of Utah can in no way warrant that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in Girl Scouts of Utah programs.” 

Reporting & Communicating a Positive COVID-19 Test

In the event of a COVID-19 positive test result, email info@gsutah.org and follow the steps below 

Review or complete the Incident Report, and also include who was in attendance at this event/meeting.

A council staff member, NOT volunteers, will be responsible for:

  • Contacting the parents of anyone who may have been exposed (or other volunteers). This is to protect the identiy of the positive tester.
  • Notifying a facility where a troop has met

Reminder: A council staff member will notify parents and others about a positive test result and that the tester’s identity is confidential. Remember that girl and volunteer health information is private and strictly confidential and should be only shared on a need to know basis with a council staff member.

Hygiene Guidance & COVID-19 Risk Mitigation

Follow the resources developed by credible public health sources such as CDC or Utah Public Health department. Share these with girls, families, and volunteers and ensure that they are practiced during meetings and activities. 

Masks & Face Coverings
With the decrease in COVID-19 cases, removal of some local masking policies, and increase in vaccination rates, Girl Scouts of Utah is providing updated masking guidance for Girl Scout activities in our council. Our council has followed, and will continue to follow, the guidance of the CDC with regards to mask wearing. 

Girl Scouts of Utah still supports the wearing of masks, especially for those who are not yet vaccinated. However, mask wearing will no longer be mandatory. We recognize that some volunteers/girls may be more comfortable wearing a mask. With that in mind, if adults/girls would prefer to wear a mask, they are permitted to do so. If you are meeting at a business location who has more stringent policies in place than the current GSU guidance, you must follow that business’ policies.

This guidance also applies to visitors and staff at any GSU facilities. Masks are not required, but we continue to be a mask-friendly environment and are respectful of anyone who chooses to wear a mask. 

As part of the Girl Scout Law, we pledge to respect ourselves and others, and we ask that you continue to be respectful of an individual’s masking decision. As always, we ask that you continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as state and local government guidelines and restrictions as they change. Please continue to practice good handwashing, sanitizing, and social distancing practices.

We will continue to update this COVID-19 Info page with the most current policies and procedures pertaining to this ever-evolving pandemic.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility!

How to Select a Mask

FAQs - General

We continue to navigate COVID-19 cautiously. The situation changes daily, and we are actively monitoring all local, state, and national guidelines, which inform every decision we make as a council. The national guidance and a statewide mandate stressed the need to keep gatherings to household members only through the holidays.  

Each troop and family can make their own determination on what they are comfortable doing at this time, with input from parents and guardians of girls in their troop. 

Thank you for your support and understanding during this time. There is no precedent for what we are currently navigating. As always, the health and safety of our girls and adults is our number-one priority, and your help in ensuring a safe environment for Girl Scouts is greatly appreciated.

Q:  Do I have to provide face coverings for the girls of my troop?

A:  It is recommended that you have some as back up, but it should be the responsibility of your members to bring their own. You can ask parents if they have any ideas. 

Did you know the state of Utah is offering free face coverings? You can request one here. There are also all kinds of sites out there showing how to make a face mask, including the CDC's various solutions for a DIY mask with varying levels of technical skills required.

Vaccines

We actively monitor all local, state, and national guidelines, which inform the decisions we make as a council. 

Vaccine information provided by the CDC can be found here.

Each troop and family can make their own determination on what they are comfortable doing at this time, with input from parents and guardians of girls in their troop. 

Q: Are volunteers and girls required to be vaccinated? 

A: Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Girl Scouts of Utah (GSU) strongly encourages, but does not require, vaccination for members. 

Q: Can council staff members inquire about the vaccination status of volunteers?

A: Unless your council has specifically mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its volunteers, council staff should not inquire about a volunteer’s vaccination status. Deciding to receive a vaccine is a personal decision and Girl Scouts of Utah encourages our staff and members to respect the privacy of fellow members and their families.

Q: Can parents/caregivers ask about the vaccination status of volunteers?

A: While parents/caregivers may certainly ask, volunteers are under no obligation to disclose their personal vaccination status. Also, under no circumstances should a volunteer discuss the personal healthcare decisions of another volunteer with anyone.

Q: Can parents/caregivers or volunteers ask about the vaccination status of council staff and camp staff?

A: While parents/caregivers may certainly ask and Girl Scouts of Utah strongly encourages all council staff members who can get vaccinated to become vaccinated when the vaccine is available to them, council staff are under no obligation to disclose their personal vaccination status. Under no circumstances should one staff member discuss the personal healthcare decisions of another staff member with anyone. However, a council may disclose whether it has either mandated COVID-19 vaccinations for its staff or has strongly recommended COVID-19 vaccinations for its staff.

Q: Can parents/caregivers ask other parents/caregivers about the vaccination status of girls in the troop?

A: Parents/caregivers are certainly free to discuss vaccinations with other parents/caregivers when both parties are open to that conversation. However, parents/caregivers should not feel obligated to share personal medical information if they choose to maintain their privacy in the matter. Girl Scouts of Utah encourages parents/caregivers to respect the privacy of the girls and other adults in their girl’s troop.

Virtual Meetings

Virtual meetings are a great option to stay connected as a troop and service unit. Below are some helpful resources to support virtual troop meetings and virtual activities:

  • Check out our Online Support for Volunteers page on our website for things such as tips and tricks about hosting a virtual troop meeting and so much more!
  • Girl Scouts has collaborated with Zoom for year-long licenses for only $36! Request a license
Virtual Meeting Tools


GSUSA has provided councils with the ability to offer troops and service units Zoom licenses for a very low cost. Troops and service units may purchase a Zoom license and would be able to use the account to conduct virtual meetings that will benefit the girls and volunteers.

Zoom licenses are $36 for a year. Please complete a request form to receive a license.

Video and Audio-Conferencing Tools with free versions 
While all of these options have a free version, please note you may be prompted to consider their upgraded versions for a subscription fee.

Zoom – FAQ
• Note: Meetings durations maximum of 40 minutes in free version

Skype – Support
• Note: Up to 10 participants free

Webex – Help Center
• Note: Limited file and content sharing in free version

Chat and Collaboration Tools with free versions

Microsoft Teams – Support

Slack – Help Center

Facebook Groups – Help Center

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

GoToMeeting – Support

Google Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet – Support

Offices & Shops

Shops
Customer Care will remain accessible through info@gsutah.org and (801) 265-8472. 

The Salt Lake City and American Fork shops are open. For current hours, visit our Retail page.

The Ogden retail store will remain closed until further notice.

Cookie Program

GSU has created COVID guidelines specifically for the Girl Scout Cookie Season. Please review the Cookie Booth Health & Safety Tips

Previous Communications Regarding COVID-19

Previous COVID-19 communications are available on our Archived COVID Updates page. Please refer to the most recent communications above for current information and recommendations.