In-Person Outings: Phase Five
Please review the guidelines listed here and discuss with each person in your match. Each match must decide when it is appropriate for their match to resume in-person contact - the timing will vary based on each match’s needs and considerations. Please know the agency will continue to monitor data, and our guidelines will be informed by the CDC, State and Local guidance. The agency may choose to revise or revoke guidelines around in-person contact, as needed.
First, acknowledge the following when deciding if you should have in-person contact:
- Relationships can continue to grow and be meaningful in the absence of in-person contact. We also know that in-person contact is important for connection, mental health, and overall well-being. Whether virtual or in-person, remember that consistent contact is important.
- Any in-person contact carries a risk for COVID-19 transmission. A person with no symptoms can be a carrier and infect others. Please follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to help lower risk of transmission.
- Deciding whether or not to have in-person contact will be an ongoing personal decision and may change repeatedly. This is a decision that will need to be assessed each time when planning an outing.
- Each person needs to make a thoughtful choice about what is the best decision for themselves and their own health. Members of the match need to respect each other’s needs and put safety first.
- Do not pressure each other into having in-person contact.
Protocol for Determining if In-Person Contact is a Good Fit for Your Match:
- Wellness: Each person in the match needs to assess their health directly before each outing and discuss with each other to determine if an outing should occur or be a virtual visit.
- COVID-19 Exposure: Share with your match if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or had exposure to a large amount of people. We need to be open and honest with each other so we can protect each other and work together to make an informed decision about an outing. Ask this question each time you plan an outing. If you have had an exposure, you must take a 5-day break from any in-person visits, and you must mask for 5 additional days if you have a planned visit. If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must take a 10-day break from in person visits, and be symptom free for 72 hours prior to your next visit.
- Vaccines: As immunizations increase and are becoming more available, we understand that a lot of our participants have received one of the vaccines. We also understand that not all BBBS participants are eligible for the vaccine. We encourage discussing vaccination status between Big, Little & Parent/Caregiver as this will help you navigate your comfort with outings.
- Masks: Masking is optional for program participants and we believe strongly in meeting our participants at their place of comfort. In that spirit, the following expectations are important for all to uphold:
- It will be necessary for you to discuss how your match wants to proceed with masking.
- You always have the option ot keep a mask on.
- It will be important to understand the level of comfort for each individual within your match so that you can create your masking plan.
- Remember to keep a mask handy in case comfort level changes in different circumstances.
- Please note: All matches are responsible for following local ordinances, in addition to the BBBS guidelines.
- Overnight Visits & Out of Town Travel are Allowed: As always, discuss plans for overnight and/or out of town travel with the Parent/Caregiver and discuss with your contact at BBBS.
- Activity Choice: As always, discuss activity choice with all parties. Please consider that all of us have a different level of comfortability with activity choices (for example: indoor vs. outdoor; public events or venues vs. at home activities,). Please understand –that some activities may not be a good fit for your match, yet.
Work through the following steps to plan your outing:
- Each time you plan an outing, please ask each other if you have had an exposure to COVID-19 or been diagnosed with COVID-19.
- When you get together, remind each other about rules for the day. How will we help keep each other healthy? Check in throughout your outing. For example, maintaining 6 feet of distance.
- Outdoor activities are best. Consider time of day – morning activities will help beat the heat and the crowds. Consider bathroom needs – where is there access to a restroom?
- How will you minimize contact with other people on your outings?
- Wash/sanitize hands frequently – remind each other during the outing.
Please note: If your match introduction was done virtually, you must seek approval for in-person meetings in consultation with your Relationship Specialist. All match participants must consent to in-person outings before approval will be given by the agency.
Questions? Please contact your Relationship Specialist with any questions or concerns.
STAYING CONNECTED WHILE SOCIALLY DISTANT: A GUIDE YOU CAN USE RIGHT NOW
You’ll find great tips, tricks, and links in this handy resource guide created just for you, just for these times.
Staying Connected While Socially Distant is chock-full of practical How-To’s on:
- leveling up your texting game;
- using photo/video features of apps/social media platforms; and
- planning distanced match activities that aren’t solely online.
It’s also got age-appropriate/sensitive suggestions for
- communicating with a quieter Little;
- relieving stress through various exercises; and
- making space for honest talk about frustrations or anxieties.