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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

UPDATE 1/14/21
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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance.

We are still allowing troops to meet in these small groups of 10 or fewer. 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.

What does this mean for Girl Scouts?

We want to be extremely clear with all members regarding Girl Scout programs and meetings:

  • In-person Girl Scout activities are limited to 10 people (8 girls and 2 adults) regardless of the risk level in your county/community.
  • Our retail shops are open with strict guidelines in line with the state recommendations.

What can I do for my Girl Scout?


Girl Scouts of Utah may, but is not obligated to, modify its guidance, from time to time, in its sole discretion.

GSU has provided COVID-19 safety and health guidance for our volunteers, recognizing that the timing of resuming in-person troop meetings and activities will vary from county to county. This guidance is intended to be used in conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints and according to our state COVID-19 circumstances which remain fluid. The guidance does not supersede more recent government guidance or restrictions.

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.

Guidelines for In-Person Troop Meetings & Activities

UPDATE 1/14/21

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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance. 

We are still allowing troops to meet in these small groups of 10 or fewer. 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.

The state of Utah regularly updates their COVID-19 guidance and uses a Transmission Index. The Transmission Index clarifies the public health metrics used to determine which counties are in which transmission level. Counties will be placed in High, Moderate, or Low levels based on the index. Review the Transmission Index by County and the Health Guidance Levels for county details and expected actions for individuals and businesses. Troops are allowed to meet in person if there are 10 people or fewer in any risk level at this time. GSU will continually monitor risk levels and will update this status when they can. Watch your Volunteer Newsletter for updates

We ask all volunteers, girls, and parents to exercise extreme caution and stay up-to-date with the latest CDC and local health department guidelines.

Here is a short list of requirements for meeting in person:

  • Pre-Screening and Symptom Check forms
  • All participants must complete a Council COVID Assumption of Risk, Release, and Waiver before their first participation with a troop
  • Girls and adults must wear masks
  • Outdoors is preferred to indoors, whenever possible
  • Always maintain 6 feet distance
  • Wash hands often
  • No touching the face
  • Carry disinfectant and make sure girls are using it as appropriate
  • Girls bring their own snacks and supplies whenever possible
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 Guidelines are subject to removal from the Girl Scout program.   

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and infection rates fluctuate in different areas, there may be regional differences or developments that occur after this edition is provided. 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 & Symptom Check

Prior to in-person troop meetings and activities, all participants should be screened 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

When troops resume in-person meetings, all troops must ask their families to complete the COVID Symptom Check and bring with them to each troop meeting or in-person gathering. Troop leaders are expected to collect these at the beginning of the meeting and hold these forms with their troop records until June and submit with their Financial Reports. If a COVID case develops, these will help in the implementation of contact tracing. If an attendee answers a question that would indicate a likelihood or a known possibility that they could be a carrier of the virus, they should plan to not attend the meeting. Attendees include both girls and adults.

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.

Troop Meeting Size

UPDATE 1/14/21

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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance. 

We are still allowing troops to meet in these small groups of 10 or fewer. 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.

GSUSA’s current maximum is ten people (eight girls and two unrelated adult volunteers). As local restrictions for small gatherings update, GSU will reevaluate and adjust according to changes in areas. Until further announcements are made, all in-person activities should remain at 10 people or less. Troops must continue to maintain Safety Activity Checkpoint girl/adult ratios as well as the following:

  • Face masks or face coverings are required
  • Utilize social distancing practices
  • Follow strict hygiene measures and symptom monitoring
  • Girls and adults should stay home if they are sick

Have a large troop? That’s great! We encourage you to keep all of your girls connected with virtual meetings. Stay connected while you wait for a safe time for everyone to gather:

  • Host virtual troop meetings
  • Gather in smaller groups – such as age-level, patrols, or special interests they would like to work on
  • Have a virtual check-in party and girls can share what they have been doing on any of their badges or projects
Troop Meeting Space

GSU does not recommend or condone meeting in public spaces at this time. This includes retail stores, restaurants, malls, clubhouses, and other high-traffic community spaces.

Outdoor Spaces
Outdoor spaces where social distancing can be maintained are strongly recommended for meetings when the weather permits. Get advanced permission from the property owner or the jurisdiction that provides the location. 

Public Facilities
For meetings held in public facilities, contact the facility ahead of time and ask:

  • Is the space cleaned, and touch surfaces (i.e., tabletops, light switches, chairs, etc.) sanitized, at least daily?
  • Who else uses the space (how often, what size is the group)? Is the space cleaned between groups?
  • What type of faucets/soap dispensers are available in the restroom (sensory or manual)?

Then, consider whether you can supplement any practices for situations in which conditions are less than ideal. For example, if you will arrive after another user group, plan to bring sanitizing wipes to get the space ready for your troop. Another example: if faucets are manual, take some time to show girls how to shut them off with a paper towel. Use paper towels for doorknobs whenever possible.

Meetings may not be held in fitness centers or gyms, where a greater risk for contracting the virus may exist. Schools or churches may not permit outside groups on the premises, so always check and confirm ahead of time.

Follow these guidelines for ensuring your meeting space is safe:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, especially of high-touch areas (e.g. door handles, buttons/switches, handrails, shopping carts, check-out counters, restroom surfaces)
  • Don’t use toys or items that can’t be washed and disinfected
  • All individuals should wash hands with soap and running water upon arrival; provide hand sanitizer for individuals
  • All participants should bring a completed COVID Symptom Check
  • Girls and adults should stay home if they are sick
Troop Meetings in the Home

GSU does not currently allow meetings in the home out of concern that there would be greater risk of exposure to or from other family members. This includes attached and detached garages, screened-in porches, and other outbulidings on the property.

This decision to not use a home for troop meetings during this time is mainly about safety of everyone, including members of the household. The virus can be brought into the home unknowingly and infect the household just by touching door knobs, sitting at the dining table, or using the bathroom. It is a safety precaution for the household of the member hosting the troop.  If locating to a new meeting space is not optional, we urge you to meet virtually until our environment has changed.

Troop Meetings on Council Premises

UPDATE 1/6/21
For service unit teams and troops that meet near the CRC (Salt Lake City) or CUSC (American Fork), we are opening meeting rooms for you to reserve. 

For troops that meet near a council service center or camp, we are making some of our facilities available for troop use. All safety guidelines must be carefully adhered to, such as CDC hygiene and COVID-19 risk mitigation and Safety Activity Checkpoints (in terms of two unrelated adult volunteers, adult to girl ratios, etc.). Troops will be required to plan for time to clean before and after each troop meeting.

Responsibility of Adult Volunteers
Adults reserving the meeting rooms are responsible for:

Meeting Room Reservation Details (Specific to Service Centers)

  • No deposit or fee needed.
  • Limit of one meeting room reservation per week per location per adult.
  • There are set time blocks for meeting room reservations. Groups may arrive and depart anytime during their reserved time block.
    • Monday-Friday, 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. | 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
    • Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. | 5:00 - 8 p.m.
  • Group size is limited to 10 people (min. of 2 adults when girls are present).
  • Cleaning and disinfecting supplies along with PPE provided by GSU.

Making a Reservation at a Council Property
Search room availability and register by location:

Items to note when making a reservation:

  • Facility reservations are housed in UltraCamp. If you do not have an account, you can create one during the registration process.
  • Registration for January 18-February 28 meetings will open Monday, January 11.
  • Moving forward, registration will open on the first Monday of the month for the following month.
    • Monday, February 1: registration opens for March 1-31
    • Monday, March 1: registration opens for April 1-30
    • Monday, April 5: registration opens for May 1-31
    • Monday, May 3: registration opens for June 1-30
  • Registration for the current week ends on Monday at 12:00 p.m. After registration closes, volunteers may contact us for availability.

Information for reserving space for meetings at Trefoil Ranch is coming soon!

Questions? 
Contact us at info@gsutah.org or 801-265-8472.

 

 

Cookie Program

GSU has created COVID guidelines specifically for the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie Season. Please review the Interim COVID-19 Cookie Guidelines.

Transportation for Troop Activities

UPDATE 1/14/21
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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance.

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.

Individual parents should drop off and pick up their own girls. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing. 

Public transportation (buses, trains, etc) should be avoided and is not encouraged to maintain social distancing. 

Day Trips & Activities

UPDATE 1/14/21
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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance.

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.

In conjunction with Safety Activity Checkpoints, follow the same guidance for Troop Meetings and Hygiene and COVID-19 Risk Mitigation on this page. Call ahead to the facility or vendor to confirm that they are following CDC and state health department guidelines. If activity of sporting equipment is being provided, ask the provider if they wipe down equipment in between uses, similar to equipment at the gym. Make whatever appropriate accommodations that are necessary. For example, bring extra sanitizer and sanitizing wipes if none will be provided for public use at the activity location (or just plan to bring it with you regardless!). 

Travel & Overnight Stays

We know troops are eager to travel and we want you to be able to travel too!  Overnight trips and trips out of state are not currently permitted due to the pandemic. You are welcome to plan troop trips, but we advise you to be cautious in your planning as you may have to postpone or cancel. Closely review cancelation policies and purchase travel insurance, making sure cancelations due to the pandemic are covered. We commit to you to share updates on our website and in our council newsletters as soon as they are available. 

Forms & Permission Slips

GSU has added new permission forms. Be sure to complete the necessary forms where appropriate to acknowledge COVID risk:

Council COVID Assumption of Risk, Release & Waiver
Parent/Guardian Permission Form for Troop Use
COVID Symptom Check

Please note that all permission slips will require 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, do NOT contact the parents or troop members.  Promptly contact Ruth Strawser, Chief Operating Officer, at 801-716-5157, in this situation.  

When you call please be ready to provide the facts. You should review or complete the Incident Report to ensure you will have the right information ready.

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

  • Confirming and tracing the positive tester
  • 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
  • Alerting the state department of health. 

Reminder: A council staff member, NOT volunteers, 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. 

Navigate this section:
Guide the Girls
Food and Snacks
Craft Supplies
Personal Contact
Singing
First Aid Supplies
First Aid/CPR Training
Disinfectants and Disinfecting
FDA Warning
Face Coverings
Restrooms

Guide the girls
Place signs in the meeting or activity space to remind girls and volunteers to engage in everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Signs should include:

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, and wash or sanitize your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Did you know if you sing “Make New Friends” three times that is 20 seconds?
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Wash hands if you do touch.
  • Volunteers, girls and parents should be reminded to make sure temperatures are taken prior to group interaction to confirm the individual is not running a fever and temperature is a normally 98.6 degrees. Members with a fever or temperature higher than 100.4 F should skip the in-person gathering until their temperature is normal.  According to the Mayo Clinic, a thermometer reading that indicates a fever from your ear or forehead is generally 100.4 F or higher, an oral temperature is 100 F or higher, and temperature taken from your armpit would be 99 F or higher. 

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Food and Snacks (UPDATED 7-20-20)
In this environment, we need to rethink how we do snacks. Of course, healthy snacks are always important, but disinfecting an apple or carrot sticks is a little more complicated in this new environment. Be careful when handling and serving food; have girls be careful with each other when eating. Safety recommendations for food, dining, and snacks include:

  • Encourage girls to bring their own foods to eat (bag lunch or dinner).
  • Encourage girls to NOT share their food after having touched it, such as a bag of chips.
  • Individually wrapped items are recommended.
  • If providing snacks, especially if unwrapped, have one person, wearing gloves, hand out items to each person, such as with cupcakes or cookies.
  • Use a serving spoon or scoop rather than reaching into a bag or bowl of snacks.
  • Public dining only as permitted in your local jurisdiction.
  • If serving family style, have one person, wearing clean gloves, serve everyone on clean plates.
  • Use disposable plates, forks, napkins, etc. when possible.
  • Encourage girls to bring foods they can easily cook themselves, like a prepared foil pack or hotdog for outdoor cooking.
  • Ensure everyone handling food, those serving, girls, and adults, wash their hands (even if they will be wearing gloves) prior to any food prep or meals, following CDC handwashing guidelines.
  • If sharing outdoor cooking utensils (roasting forks), they should be washed and sanitized between each use or you should bring enough utensils so that each person gets their own.
  • Continue the recommendation for 6-foot spacing during meals.

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Craft Supplies
What can you do minimize contamination in your craft supplies?  Could the girls each have their own pair of scissors? Dollar Tree has girl size as well as adult size scissors! Could you provide prewrapped kits for projects? Many craft stores have prepackaged kits on a variety of projects.  Giving each girl her own set of supplies for a project will minimize cross-contamination until you are able to wipe/disinfect everything before the next meeting. Consider having a tub or container to collect used items in for disinfecting before throwing them back into the communal box, or better yet stay away from communal supplies until COVID-19 passes. Have a box with each girls' name on it and direct them to use only supplies from their box. You can email a list of supplies to your parents and have them send the girls to the meetings with their own box. See disinfectants  for ideas on products to use. Every little bit we can do will help to flatten the curve. Consider having the girls wear gloves and have that bottle of disinfecting wipes ready!

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Personal contact
Hugs, handshakes, “high-fives,” and even activities like the friendship circle or squeeze can transmit COVID-19 from person to person. Refrain from these gestures for the time being. Here is your chance to be creative with your girls! Create a safe way for girls and volunteers to greet and end meetings instead, like tapping elbows or sharing the Girl Scout salute. Be sure to share what you came up with other leaders, we are all looking for great ideas!

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Singing
If you normally close your meetings with a song, make certain girls and adults are all wearing masks. Singing and shouting both project germs farther than talking. Ask your girls to either hum their closing song, or sing quietly, with their masks on.

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First Aid Supplies
Troop first aid supplies should include COVID-19 prevention items including hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol), tissues, disposable facemasks, and disinfectants. Trash baskets or bags should be supplied for meeting and activity spaces, if not already available. Make sure that the trash baskets (or bags) are easily accessible for girls. Disposable or no-contact thermometers may be added to supplies if available and not cost-prohibitive, however, parents should be checking temperatures and allowing their girl(s) to join group activities only when temperatures are normal.

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First Aid/CPR Training
Keep your skills up-to-date for any emergency. Talk to our council Training and Development Coordinator about alternative methods of training that may be available during this time.

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Disinfectants and Disinfecting
Routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched (i.e., table tops, markers, scissors, etc.). Use a household cleaner, or see the EPA’s list of effective cleaners approved for use against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).

Household bleach is effective against COVID-19 for up to 24 hours when properly diluted. Check that the bleach is not expired and determine if it can be used on a given surface. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. 

To prepare a bleach solution, mix 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water.

See the CDC’s website for more on cleaning and disinfecting community facilities.

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FDA Warning
The FDA advises consumers not to use any hand sanitizer manufactured by Eskbiochem SA de CV in Mexico due to the potential presence of methanol (wood alcohol), a substance that can be toxic when absorbed through the skin or ingested. FDA has identified the following products manufactured by Eskbiochem:

  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01) 
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01) 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04) 
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01) 
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10) 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03) 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01) 
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01) 
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01) 

Methanol is not an acceptable ingredient for hand sanitizers and should not be used due to its toxic effects.  Stay completely away from sanitizers containing methanol. 

Consumers who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol should seek immediate treatment, which is critical for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning. 

Read all updates from the FDA about methanol in hand sanitizer.

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Face Coverings
Based on the CDC guidance published August 7, masks that have exhalation valves and/or vents are NOT allowed as it allows virus particles to escape.

Volunteers should remind girls that Girl Scouts wear face coverings (masks) not only to protect themselves but to protect others. Face coverings are a civic responsibility and a sign of caring for the community.  Girls can bring their own face coverings. Have disposable masks on hand for those who need them. Volunteers can teach girls how to handle their face coverings so that the coverings are effective. Some girls or volunteers may not be able to wear masks, due to medical conditions such as asthma which may be restrictive. We recommend that you evaluate the situation with the individual and/or their guardian. Face coverings should be used as protection for everyone.  

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Restrooms
Be very careful in public restrooms. Most public restrooms will regulate the number of people using the restroom at the same time depending on the size. If there is no regulator or signage, ensure girls take appropriate turns to maintain social distancing and that they wear their masks in the restrooms. While it is ideal that restrooms have automatic flushers and sensory faucets for sinks, not all public restrooms are that equipped. If these are not available, instruct the girls to get in in the habit of using tissue or a paper towel to open doors and latches and touch as little as possible. If the restroom is large, have girls use every other stall and avoid using stalls with a person in the stall next to them at the same time. Restrooms and toilets are fraught with germs normally, and more so now considering the contagion of coronavirus.

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Virtual Meetings

Meeting options need to be flexible based on the fluid nature of COVID-19 risk. Troops that are able to run online meetings as needed (or wanted) should continue to do so. GSUSA recommends maintaining a virtual to in-person ratio of at least 20/80 when troops are permitted to meet in-person. This means to maintain virtual troop meetings at least 20% of the time to keep technology skills and virtual meeting habits fresh and on the ready, should a second wave occur or shelter in place restrictions resume. Use the Safety Activity Checkpoints for Virtual Meetings to guide your meeting plans.

Other 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!
  • Join our GSU-Hosted Virtual Troop Meetings. Are you nervous about hosting a virtual meeting? Let us help you out. Check out this page for more details and the interest form.
  • Girl Scouts has collaborated with Zoom for year-long licenses for only $36! Request a license
FAQs

UPDATE 1/14/21
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.  

We recently announced that troops can meet in groups of 10 or fewer (2 adults, 8 girls). Even though our daily case counts are not always necessarily high, it was reported on January 11, 2021, that Utah’s positive rate is fourth-highest in the nation. Our decision to allow for small troop meetings was the result of the GSU COVID Task Force evaluating the information that was available during the week of January 4, 2021, as well as the safety guidelines we developed based on GSUSA, CDC, and state guidance.
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.

Q:  What if the area we meet in is high level, but the majority of my troop lives in an area that is in a moderate level?

A. Talk to your troop or leader committee. What things can you do that is within safety measures? Your meeting place that is located in the moderate level may not be open for meetings either. Where else can you meet that is within the area that your troop members reside and is in low level? Look through the safety guidelines on this page, talk to your families and leadership team, and if you still need guidance, please contact your volunteer support specialist.

Please refer to the state guidelines and the transmission index; your county risk level will determine your approved group size and availability to meet in person

Q:  Can we use the Girl Scout service center in our area for troop or service unit meetings?

A:  Yes! Not only are our stores open in Salt Lake City Service Center and Central Utah Service Center, but we now have meeting space open for meetings for groups 10 and under. Please click here to learn more.

Q:  We do not have access to a public or outdoor facility for our troop that doesn’t require us to pay. We have met at the home of one of our leaders for most of our time together, why can’t we continue if we feel it’s safe to do so?

A:  Meetings in homes are not allowed at this time. This decision to not use a home for troop meetings during this time is mainly about safety of everyone, including members of the household. The virus can be brought into the home unknowingly and infect the household just by touching door knobs, sitting at the dining table, or using the bathroom. It is a safety precaution for the household of the member hosting the troop.  If locating to a new meeting space is not optional, we urge you to meet virtually until our environment has changed.

Thank you so much for your support during these ever-changing times. We truly appreciate your patience as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on all council activities, product programs, and our business offices. 

Safety and health remain our top priority. We are closely monitoring updates from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, local public health departments, and school districts within our council boundaries. We are continuing to make decisions about gatherings and workplace closures based on the guidance of local officials. Our plans and guidance are based on the CDC’s suggested mitigation strategies. We plan to post updates through newsletters, our website, and across our social media to keep you informed. 

BELOW IS A COMPLETE LIST OF UPDATES REGARDING PROGRAMS, COOKIES, EVENTS, OFFICES, SHOPS, TROOP & SERVICE UNIT ACTIVITIES, MEETINGS, CAMP, AND TRAVEL.

Our current decisions, based on the Utah Coronavirus Task Force, are summarized below. If you have specific questions about any of these programs, events, or meetings, please email: info@gsutah.org.

Camporee 2021 Update

Update 12-09-2020

Camporee is a large Girl Scout gathering featuring fun, singing around the campfire, and other outdoor experiences held every three years at Trefoil Ranch, with the next gathering scheduled for June of 2021. We have made the difficult decision to postpone Camporee until summer 2022.

Our camps are accredited by the American Camp Association, who provided us with robust guidance on ways to safely hold summer camp. That guidance emphasizes small groups of campers, which is why we will not be able to hold our traditional large Camporee in 2021. By postponing until summer 2022, we are hoping we will be in an environment where it is safe to hold this popular event, which typically includes nearly 1,000 participants.

We are preparing to run resident camp, family camp, and troop camp with adaptations to ensure the safety of campers and staff, such as reduced group sizes, masks, enhanced wellness checks, and enhanced cleaning and sanitation. Our girls need camp now more than ever, and we are doing everything in our power to make that happen!

Resident camp and family camp registrations open December 14. Troop camping registration opens February 11, 2021. Activity scholarships are available.

For Camporee FAQs, please visit our camp page.

Council Programs & Property Reservations

Updated 1/6/21
Based on CDC recommendations and GSUSA guidelines, in-person meetings and activities may resume for groups of 10 (8 girls and 2 adults) or fewer beginning January 11.

Trefoil Ranch

Information coming soon.

Camp Cloud Rim

Camp Cloud Rim is closed for the season

If you currently have a reservation for a council event, NTSW, or camp rental for troops, we will contact you directly to answer questions and to support you in making decisions about your event.  If you would like to make a reservation, please email info@gsutah.org.

* Please note, as situations change and information continues to evolve, we will update these as necessary.

Offices & Shops

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

The Salt Lake City Retail Shop is open for in-person shopping (one person or family at a time) and curb-side orders and is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. and the second Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Face masks are required in the store. The SLC store has bridging kits, badges, and all your membership needs for the end of the year. Call 801-716-5141 for the Salt Lake shop for all in-shop purchases, curb-side pickup, and shipping orders.

The American Fork Retail Shop is open for curb-side orders Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and the second Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The American Fork store will open for in-person shopping (one person or family at a time); face masks will be required. For the American Fork shop, call 801-716-5107 for curb-side pickup.

We will continue to provide shipping orders at no expense from the SLC store only. The Ogden retail store will remain closed until further notice.

Office Visitors
In accordance with CDC guidelines for workplace safety, our GSU offices are closed. Most of our staff is working from home, and will be available to provide consistent customer care. If you have an urgent need to meet with a staff member, please send your request to info@gsutah.org.

Training

We will continue to provide virtual training to our volunteers and service units. Scheduled trainings will be constantly evaluated in order to provide the safest environment for all participants. The format in which a training is scheduled may change and any person registered will be notified of the change as soon as possible. 

Summer Camp
Highest Awards

Due to restrictions surrounding COVID-19, we were not able to hold our traditional large, in-person event in the fall. We will recognize the recipients of individual awards within the guidance provided by the state and the transmission index. We will celebrate these amazing contributions in ways that resonate their work and dedication to supporting the Girl Scout mission of building girls of courage, confidence and character. 

Destinations & Council Trips

At this time, all council trips and travel, as well as troop trips and travel, have been canceled. No overnights until further notice. Day trips are permissible as long as guidelines for the county are followed.  We will continue to monitor state health and government guidelines and will keep you posted on updates. Individual parents should drop off and pick up their own girls. Carpooling and public transportation should be avoided to maintain social distancing. 

Virtual Meeting Tools

It is unfortunate that COVID-19 is interfering with Girl Scouts’ ability to meet and learn together. Thank you all for taking steps to ensure the safety of girls in this difficult time. 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. We encourage troop leaders to look at these and alternative options and discuss with parents and girls to determine what the best solution is for your troop’s needs. 

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

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.