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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Council Update
March 26, 2020

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, the Cookie Program, and our business offices. 

In light of the recent announcements to extend statewide school closures, we have decided to keep our GSU offices closed until May 10.

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 at minimum weekly updates through newsletters, our website, and across our social media to keep you informed. Our current status as of March 24, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. is:

  • In-person council programs have been canceled, rescheduled, or offered virtually through May 10, 2020.
  • All service centers and shops will be closed completely (to employees and the public) through May 10, 2020. Employees in these areas will be working remotely. Customer care will remain accessible through info@gsutah.org and (801) 265-8472.
  • Please suspend, cancel, or postpone all in-person troop meetings, service unit meetings and events, troop travel, and other Girl Scout-related gatherings through May 10, 2020. We recommend using virtual platforms (available here).
  • In some cases, programs and events that depend on partners for delivery have also been canceled beyond May 10. Programs will be officially canceled and refunds will be provided.

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.

Council Programs & Property Reservations

UPDATED 3-26-20

All in-person programs have been canceled through May 10. Program registrants will receive individual emails regarding cancelation, reschedule, or virtual opportunities. New virtual program opportunities will be promoted to members via social media, newsletters, and the website as more become available. Next week's Volunteer and Girl/Parent newsletters will feature registration links for virtual programs.

Available Now: Please visit our Girl Scouting at Home page on our website, where you can find links to our council patch programs and partner programs! Make sure to visit the page often - we are frequently adding great new content!

Coming Soon: A brand-new national resource for Girl Scouting at Home will be launching soon from GSUSA. Please check your emails and social media for announcements!

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

Program Cancelations & Updates

Registered participants will receive individual emails regarding cancelation, reschedule, or virtual opportunities. 

  • All Never the Same Weekends through May 10 – Canceled
  • March 27 – Arches Girl Scout Ranger – Canceled
  • March 28 – Rosie’s Petal Party – Canceled
  • March 28 – STEM Exploration Day – Canceled
  • March 28 – Writer’s Workshop – Available Online (details to come)
  • April 3 – Girl Scout Night with the SWE – Canceled
  • April 4 – Think Like an Engineer – Reschedule pending
  • April 14 – STEM 101 – Available Online (details to come)
  • April 17 – Roar & Snore – Canceled
Cookie Program

March 26, 2020

GSU made the decision to cease all cookie sales effective March 14.  As communicated on March 16, we are in this together and are doing right by our girls and troops, regardless of the financial implications to our council. Troops were presented with three options in regards to their cookie sales: keep existing inventory and participate in a re-launch of the sale, return remaining inventory, or report that they have completed their cookie sale for 2020. Thank you so much to the troops who provided this information. It has been incredibly helpful as we finalize our plans for the remaining inventory, as well as calculate girl rewards and troop proceeds.

To date, 2/3 of our troops have completed their sale for 2020, with 1/3 of our troops opting to participate in a re-launch with their remaining inventory.

We know we have leaders who feel that they are healthy and safe and have secured permission from parents, and we also understand troops’ enthusiasm and desire to sell remaining inventory. We must, however, require that everyone cease cookie sales until further information becomes available. It’s the right thing to do during this health crisis, when everyone is asked to take extreme caution and stay home. 

Please be patient as we work through this. We are currently trying to reconcile the initial portion of our cookie sale, and do not have the bandwidth to contact individuals or troops who may be selling. We want everyone to be safe, but we are asking everyone to act like a Girl Scout, and be responsible for themselves and those they lead.

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

Event Updates

UPDATED 3-26-20

We are making decisions in response to public health authorities’ current guidance. GSU will be canceling or postponing all council-led programming events March 16 through May 10 and may cancel later events closer to their scheduled dates based on the COVID-19 situation at the time. Registered participants will be contacted about cancellations and refunds as quickly as possible when decisions are made.

As always, if council-led programs or events need to be canceled, registered participants will receive refunds. Due to the evolving nature of this situation, cancellations may have to be made with short notice, for instance in the case of a public health directive. We will do our best to contact all those affected as quickly as possible.

Event Cancelations & Updates

  • April 25 - Annual Meeting – Rescheduled until August 22
    • More information coming soon, delegates receiving emails
  • April 27 - GSU Staff Inservice - Canceled
  • May 8 - Centennial Celebration & Donor Celebration – Canceled
  • May 9 - Centennial Bridging Event – Canceled
Offices & Shops

UPDATED 3-25-20

Shops
Our retail shops will be closed to in-person visitors March 16, through May 10. If you would like to place a retail order and have it shipped directly to you you at no charge, you can call our shop between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday at (801) 716-5141. 

Office Visitors
In accordance with CDC guidelines for workplace safety, we are remaining open for business but will be closing our offices to visitors March 16 through May 10. If you have an urgent need to meet with a staff member, please send your request to info@gsutah.org.

We are prepping the staff to be prepared in case of an office closure, requiring the need to work from home. 

Troops & Service Unit Activities

UPDATED 3-25-20

Effective March 16, we are recommending that troops cancel in-person troop meetings, activities, and travel now through May 10. 

Service Unit-Run Programs and Events: We are requesting that all Service Units cancel their planned programs and events, including the use of council resource centers now through May 10.

Adult Meetings (Council & Service Units)

UPDATED 3-25-20

We are canceling or postponing all council-organized Girl Scout in-person business and in-person recruiting meetings March 16 through May 10. We are asking service units to cancel or postpone in person service unit team and troop leader meetings and in-person trainings.

CANCELED Upcoming Road Tours:

  • Salt Lake City Area - April 7 & 22
  • Cedar City - April 28
  • St. George - April 29
  • Ogden Area - May 26 & 28
  • Logan - May 27 

 

Training

UPDATED 3/26/20

All in-person trainings have been canceled through May 10. Training participants will receive individual emails regarding cancelation, reschedule, or virtual opportunities. 

  • April 1 – New Troop Leader Training (SLC) – Available Online 
  • April 3 & 4 – Program Aide Training (Ogden) –Reschedule pending 
  • April 8 – Troop Leader Boost –Reschedule pending
  • April 15 – New Troop Leader Training (Ogden) – Available Online 
  • April 21 – Camping 101 – Available Online 
  • April 30 – CPR/First Aid (online & in-person) (Ogden) –Reschedule pending
  • April 30 – Extended Overnight Training (SLC) – Available Online  
  • May 6 – New Troop Leader Training (SLC) - Available Online 
  • May 7 – CPR/First Aid (online & in-person) (SLC) - Reschedule pending 
  • May 8 & 9 – Program Aide Training (American Fork) - Reschedule pending 
Summer Camp

At our council-run resident summer camps (Camp Cloud Rim, Trefoil Ranch), we are gearing up for summer camps and will be following all CDC and American Camp Association guidelines.

Please know that GSU will issue full refunds if it becomes necessary to cancel any of our council resident camps. In the meantime, we encourage you to look at our camp options with your girls and dream about future fun at summer camp.

Destinations & Council Trips

All of our vendors and sponsors are closely watching the progression of COVID-19 locally and in the countries we are traveling to. At this point we are moving forward with council trips and will inform participants directly about changes.

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. While we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, we are aware of several tools troops and Service Units are using for virtual meetings. See below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you. 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. 

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

Recent Communications Regarding COVID-19

Please note, the earlier communications listed below are out-of-date. Please refer to the most recent communications above for current information and recommendations.

3/18/20 Email to Members About Earthquake & Resources for Talking to Your Girl

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members, 

I want to take a moment to let you know that the staff and board of Girl Scouts of Utah are always thinking of our entire Girl Scout family, but especially after today's earthquake. Some of you have may have experienced physical damage to your homes, some are without power, and everyone is experiencing a higher level of uncertainty as we were already dealing with increased caution during this worldwide crisis.

The best thing we can do for our girls is to be a source of calm in this new, and hopefully temporary, normal. 

Girl Scouts of the USA has published numerous articles to help talk to your girls during these challenging times. We have included a few topics below that may help after the events of this morning and our current COVID-19 crisis:

After the Disaster: 7 Tips to Help Girls Heal in the Weeks and Months after a Natural Disaster

7 Ways to Deal When the World Is Just So Overwhelming

How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus

Please take care of your families, and know that we are thinking of everyone during this challenging time.

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

3/16/20 Email Update to Members

COVID-19 Fifth Communication to Members 

March 17, 2020

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members, 

We appreciate your patience as we manage the impact of COVID-19 on our council activities, Cookie Program, and our business offices. On behalf of every staff member and volunteer involved in the decision-making in this rapidly changing environment, we can assure you that YOU are front of mind in every decision we make. We are in this together and will do right by our members in regards to the Cookie Program, regardless of the financial implications to our council. 

We suspended the Cookie Booths effective March 14, 2020

What does this mean?

It means you must discontinue all public activity, including booths. We know many troops have already wrapped up their sale. The only way to sell cookies at this time is Digital Cookie (ship only and Gift of Caring). 

Troop Inventory & Sales

We understand many of you are concerned about your troop inventory. Please trust that our troops and members have been at the forefront of every decision we have made. 

At this time, we are requesting information from troop leaders/troop cookie managers, which can also be found here (deadline has passed). These are questions regarding remaining inventory, the decision to participate in a re-launch of the cookie sale, or whether your troop is done with your cookie sales. We need each troop to make their selection by Friday, March 20, at noon. This will be incredibly helpful as we finalize our contingency plans for remaining inventory, troop and SU proceeds, and girl rewards.

Business Operations

Beginning March 17, we will be expanding our virtual work capabilities for staff, and moving to a remote work from home reality through April 3. Although we don’t anticipate a reduction in service levels, we ask that you be patient with us as we employ new tactics to ensure business continuity.

GSU will be using a number of platforms to keep our members informed during this period. In addition to email, website and social media, we will be using the phone number (801) 265-8472 to distribute voicemail messages. Please be sure to note and save this number as a recognized, trusted contact. 

We also encourage the use of our email, info@gsutah.org. Our website has the most up-to-date information regarding events, programs, activities, and more.

Be a Source of Comfort and Calm for Girls

Girl Scouts of the USA has developed a helpful resource for How to Talk to Your Girl About COVID-19 to help minimize stress and worry in your Girl Scout’s life and give her a sense of calm and control.

Thank you so much for your patience, and continued support of Girl Scouts in Utah.

Sincerely, 

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

3/14/20 Website Update

Following recent developments in our state, GSU is requesting that all Girl Scout Cookie Booths be suspended effective immediately (March 14). As mentioned in yesterday's updates (see below), GSU will continue to evaluate the situation and follow up on the next steps of the Cookie Program as they become available.

Girl Scouts can still participate in the Digital Cookie online program where customers can have cookies shipped directly to them or donate to the Utah Food Bank through our Gift of Caring program. 

3/14/20 Email Update to Members

COVID-19 Fourth Communication to Members 

March 14, 2020

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members, 

Following recent developments in our state, GSU is requesting that all Girl Scout Cookie Booths be suspended effective immediately. As mentioned in yesterday's updates (see below), GSU will continue to evaluate the situation and follow up on the next steps of the Cookie Program as they become available.

Girl Scouts can still participate in the Digital Cookie online program where customers can have cookies shipped directly to them or donate to the Utah Food Bank through our Gift of Caring program. 

As a reminder, we are continuing to monitor the expansion of the coronavirus outbreak. We will be posting updates as they become available here on our website. You can also access this any time by clicking the blue link bar at the top of our home page. 

Girl Scouts of Utah will communicate further changes as new information is released by the State of Utah. 

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Team at (801) 265-8472 or info@gsutah.org

Sincerely, 

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

3/13/20 Email Update to Members

COVID-19 Third Communication to Members 

March 13, 2020

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members, 

We have posted urgent new updates on our website, and urge all members to review them as soon as possible, as they address cookie booths, events, activites, programs, retail shops, and our offices.  

As a reminder, we are continuing to monitor the expansion of the coronavirus outbreak. We will be posting updates as they become available here on our website. You can also access this any time by clicking the blue link bar at the top of our home page. 

Girl Scouts of Utah will communicate further changes as new information is released by the State of Utah. 

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Team at (801) 265-8472 or info@gsutah.org

Sincerely, 

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

3/13/20 Website Update

At Girl Scouts, there is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our members. As Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be of growing concern in Utah. Girl Scouts of Utah will take all possible and appropriate measures to ensure girls continue to have a safe, fun, one-of-a-kind experience at Girl Scouts.

Gov. Gary Herbert and the Utah Coronavirus Task Force is recommending gatherings of more than 100 people be canceled for two weeks beginning March 16 to slow the spread of COVID-19. (See website here). Some local governments have also closed many public services, including recreation centers, libraries, and senior centers.

3/12/20 Cookie Update

We are hearing concern from some of our families and volunteers regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our area. The safety and welfare of our girls and families is Girl Scouts of Utah's top priority. We are monitoring public health updates, plus the Center for Disease Control and World Health Organization. We are making decisions in a rapidly evolving environment.

We encourage families to make the best decision for their entrepreneur and her cookie business during these last 10 days of the 2020 Cookie Season. Please remember, Digital Cookie ship-only options are still available through March 22.

Booth safety:

  • Hand sanitizer for girls and adults to use between each customer
  • Disposable gloves in booth kits
  • Adults should handle money
  • Social distancing – set up a table with girls standing behind the table
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Cancel booth(s) in eBudde if not attending
  • Help girls leverage their online business to meet their goals
3/12/20 Website Update

In adherence with the State of Utah’s preventative measures released March 12, 2020, regarding COVID-19, Girl Scouts of Utah will be rescheduling or canceling events over 100 people until March 30. State of Utah Recommendations:

  • No large events or mass gatherings over 100 people
  • Anyone over 60 years old or who is immunosuppressed should not attend gatherings of more than 20 people
  • There are currently no restrictions on going to the grocery store

How does this affect GSU council-sponsored events, activities, and programs?

  • Any council-sponsored events scheduled between now and March 30 for over 100 people will be canceled. 

How does this affect cookie booths? 

We encourage families to make the best decision for their entrepreneur and her cookie business during these last 10 days of the 2020 Cookie Season. 

Cookie booths can proceed as scheduled, while exercising good judgement and recommended hygiene.

Stores are extremely busy right now, so please follow the guidelines below to stay safe:

  • Make sure to have hand sanitizer at your booth
  • Do not distribute or display sample cookies at your booth
  • You may use plastic gloves if you choose
  • As a reminder, refrain from eating and drinking at the booths
  • Avoid shaking hands – this is a great opportunity for girls to learn how to say “Thank You” in different ways.

What about Program Partner & Service Unit events offered exclusively to Girl Scouts?

  • Program Partners and Service Units offer events that are exclusively for Girl Scout members (like a badge workshop, journey workshop, etc.). Ultimately, it is up to the discretion of each Program Partner/Service Unit to determine if they will cancel or reschedule. If we receive word that they have been canceled, they will be listed with other canceled events and programs, and participants will be notified directly.

Girl Scouts of Utah will communicate further changes as new information is released by the State of Utah. 

3/12/20 Email Update to Members

COVID-19 Second Communication to Members 

March 12, 2020

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members, 

We are continuing to monitor the expansion of the coronavirus outbreak. Out of an abundance of caution and for the safety of our members and staff, GSU is taking the proper precautions in regards to meetings and events. We will be posting updates as they become available here on our website. You can also access this any time by clicking the blue link bar at the top of our home page. 

In adherence with the State of Utah’s preventative measures released March 12, 2020, regarding COVID-19, Girl Scouts of Utah will be rescheduling or canceling events over 100 people until March 30. 

State of Utah Recommendations:

  • No large events or mass gatherings over 100 people
  • Anyone over 60 years old or who is immunosuppressed should not attend gatherings of more than 20 people
  • There are currently no restrictions on going to the grocery store
  • How does this affect GSU council-sponsored events, activities, and programs?
  • Any council-sponsored events scheduled between now and March 30 for over 100 people will be canceled

How does this affect cookie booths? 

Cookie booths can proceed as scheduled, while exercising good judgement and recommended hygiene.

Stores are extremely busy right now, so please follow the guidelines below to stay safe:

  • Make sure to have hand sanitizer at your booth
  • Do not distribute or display sample cookies at your booth
  • You may use plastic gloves if you choose
  • As a reminder, refrain from eating and drinking at the booths
  • Avoid shaking hands – this is a great opportunity for girls to learn how to say “Thank You” in different ways

Girl Scouts of Utah will communicate further changes as new information is released by the State of Utah. 

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Team at

(801) 265-8472 or info@gsutah.org

Thank you for your part in ensuring Girl Scouts is a safe, fun space for everyone! 

Sincerely, 

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah

3/11/20 Program, Activity, and Event Updates

As much as possible, children should be allowed to carry on with their education and normal activities. We understand that some children have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk, and caregivers of children with underlying health conditions should consult with healthcare providers about whether their children should stay home.

Will you be canceling any programs? How much notice will you give if you cancel any programs? Will we receive full refunds?

Registered participants will be contacted about cancellations and refunds as quickly as possible when decisions are made.

As always, if council-led programs or events need to be canceled, registered participants will receive refunds. Due to the evolving nature of this situation, cancellations may have to be made with short notice, for instance in the case of a public health directive. We will do our best to contact all those affected as quickly as possible.

Non-health-related cancellations must be received by the published registration deadline to get a refund or to transfer to a different course. Cancellations received after the published registration deadline are not refundable

3/11/20 Email Update to Members

What is Girl Scouts of Utah doing in response to the Coronavirus?

Girl Scouts of Utah is monitoring the situation closely.  The Council has convened a task force which is actively monitoring guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local health departments to respond quickly to any shifts in their recommendations.  Based on public health authorities’ current guidance, we are operating as usual but also working on contingency plans as needed.

Will Girl Scouts of Utah be cancelling any programs?

Public health authorities’ current guidance does not include closures or cancellations of functions at this time.  All planned activities are going on as scheduled.  Decisions regarding participation in Girl Scout activities are left up to the good judgement and discretion of parents and caregivers.  We are operating as usual but will be prepared for changing circumstances and will share updates as they become available.

How much notice will you give if you cancel any programs?  
Will we receive full refunds?

While we do not anticipate canceling programs or events, due to the evolving nature of this situation, cancellations may have to be made with short notice, for instance, in the case of a public health directive. If GSU-sponsored programs or events need to be cancelled, registered participants will receive the opportunity to sign up for a future event, opt to donate to GSU, or request a partial or full refund, if applicable. We will do our best to contact all those affected as quickly as possible. Please be sure that your contact information is up-to-date in your myGS and UltraCamp profile.

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. About 2% of people with the disease have died. People with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

What steps can girls, volunteers, and staff take to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Please follow all of the steps recommended by the CDC (see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf). The same simple steps that prevent the spread of ordinary flu viruses work against coronavirus and other illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 
  • Cough into a tissue or your elbow (not your hand). Then throw tissue away and wash hands. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick, with temperature above 100.0 F or do not feel well, appear weak or ill.
  • Consult your health care provider if you have special health conditions that put you at increased risk.

Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date suggest that the virus that causes COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?

The main way the disease spreads is through respiratory droplets expelled by someone who is coughing. The risk of catching COVID-19 from someone with no symptoms at all is very low. However, many people with COVID-19 experience only mild symptoms. This is particularly true at the early stages of the disease. It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill. World Health Organization (WHO) is assessing ongoing research on the period of transmission of COVID-19 and will continue to share updated findings.

What is the CDC doing about COVID-19?

This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available. CDC works 24/7 to protect people’s health. More information about CDC’s response to COVID-19 is available online.

Where can I go to learn more about COVID-19?

Resources from the CDC and Salt Lake County Health Department 

CDC Guidance & Updates

CDC Coronavirus Prevention

CDC Coronavirus Travel Information

Salt Lake County Health Department Information

Girl Scouts has also created a way to talk to girls not by avoiding the topic, but by tackling it head-on. 

Help Her Be Happy and Healthy (Raising Awesome Girls Blog)

Since COVID-19 is spread through contact with others, is it still safe for our girls to be selling cookies in public places?

The safety and well-being of girls and volunteers is of paramount importance during all Girl Scout activities, especially the Girl Scout Cookie Program. We encourage all girls and volunteers to follow all safety and health protocols and are actively disseminating information from the CDC and other sources as it becomes available. Currently, we encourage girls and volunteers to continue with their cookie sales, exercising caution and discretion. We will keep our volunteers updated on any change in our recommendation.

Does Girl Scouts have any medical expertise?

While Girl Scouts strives to be a resource for girls and their caregivers, we want to ensure that official guidance of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other official sources reach our members in a timely and efficient manner.

3/05/20 Email Update to Members

Dear Girl Scouts of Utah Members,

We understand that you have a concern about Coronavirus, and we take the health and safety of our girls, volunteers, and staff seriously. GSU, along with our national organization, GSUSA, will be following the CDC’s guidance and updates, including their information about prevention and travel.

We encourage volunteers, caregivers and girls to use their best judgement when determining cookie booth locations, and to follow all health and safety guidance from Girl Scouts and other official sources, which we will continue to make available as we learn more.

Please review the information from the CDC and Salt Lake County Health Department regarding preventative measures below. 

If things change or escalate, we will make a decision as a council based on information from local health departments, schools, and the CDC. We will communicate on how to proceed in managing overall business, including cookie booths and programs.

How concerned should we be about COVID-19 in Salt Lake City?  

According to the Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCHD), the risk of Utahns contracting COVID-19 locally is still low, but they still encourage everyone to practice good hygiene, including thorough and frequent handwashing, avoiding contact with those who are sick, and staying home from work if you have symptoms of flu-like illness.  

Who is at risk of severe illness from COVID-19?

Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and consist of a fever and cough that goes away on its own, especially in otherwise healthy children and adults. Those over the age of 65 years and people with underlying medical conditions are at highest risk for developing severe illness. If you or your children have a fever and cough or shortness of breath, it is important to avoid coming into contact with these vulnerable populations.

What can we do to prepare for a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in Utah?

SLCHD is encouraging community members to keep on hand at least a two-week supply of food, as well as prescription and nonprescription drugs (in case of quarantine). They’ve also admonished that “While it is always good to ensure your 72-hour kits are stocked, it is not necessary to purchase water or most other emergency supplies in response to COVID-19; this is not a natural disaster and our utility systems, including water and electricity, will continue to function normally during an outbreak.”  

What should I be doing?

Please remember that the best protection is self-protection and self-monitoring, especially in this flu season. Health officials recommend the following measures to minimize your risk of contracting any virus: 

  • Wash hands frequently especially after sneezing, shaking hands/bodily contact with another individual, and before eating. Use soap and water for 20 seconds or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. 
  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick - health officials call this “social distancing” and recommend staying about three feet away from someone who is sick. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like your phone or computer. 
  • Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing then throw the tissue in the trash, or as a last resort cough into the elbow.
  • Stay home when you are not feeling well. 
  • Get plenty of sleep, good nutrition, stress-relief, and exercise – a healthy body is the best defense against illness.

In regards to Girl Scout Cookie Booths:

Stores are extremely busy right now, so please follow the guidelines above to stay safe, as well as booth-specific details below:

  • Make sure to have hand sanitizer at your booth.
  • Do not distribute or display sample cookies at your booth.
  • You may use plastic gloves if you choose.
  • As a reminder, refrain from eating and drinking at the booths.
  • Avoid shaking hands – this is a great opportunity for girls to learn how to say “Thank You” in different ways. 

Girl Scouts has also created a way to talk to girls not by avoiding the topic, but by tackling it head-on. 

Help Her Be Happy and Healthy (Raising Awesome Girls Blog)

Resources from the CDC and Salt Lake County Health Department 

CDC Guidance & Updates

CDC Coronavirus Prevention

CDC Coronavirus Travel Information

Salt Lake County Health Department Information

If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Team at (801) 265-8472 or info@gsutah.org

Sincerely,

Lisa Hardin-Reynolds
Chief Executive Officer
Girl Scouts of Utah