March 25, 2020
Dear Scouting Family,
As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Pennsylvania Dutch Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local and state officials.
The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.
Status of Council Events
Currently, all council and district events or activities have been cancelled due to COVID-19 through May 9th.
We are following the CDC recommendation to not have gatherings with 50 or more people for 8 weeks. The Council Camporee is cancelled, but all other activities that fall in this window, such as the annual Council Recognition Dinner will likely be rescheduled.
Bashore Scout Reservation and J Edward Mack Scout Reservation will also be closed until May 9th.
You may monitor event updates here: http://padutchbsa.org/
Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances and current CDC and local health department guidelines.
BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness
The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.
Everyday Preventive Measures
Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
- Stay home when you feel sick.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
- Avoid shaking 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 readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.
Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to your local district executive. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us.
Yours in Scouting,
Matthew S. Adams