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COVID Action Plan (Parents)

6th Gosport Covid Action Plan

Last updated 28/03/2021

Outline

Outlined below is a shortened version of our Covid Action Plan, edited with just the information that you as parents/guardians need. The full version for the Leadership and management team can be found here.

Please have a read through and ensure you are fully aware of the expectations and your requirements in preparation for us all to return to the face-to-face Scouting we all love and miss, in a Safe and controlled manor for everyone involved.

NYA/Scout Framework

The NYA and Scouts UK have been working very hard behind the scenes to set the guidelines for us to follow at a local level to ensure that everyone is as safe as possible. The way they have done this is to evaluate the latest guidance released by the government and set a corresponding response in the form of a ‘Readiness Level’. The latest readiness level for us can be found here.

The readiness levels are split into 4 tiers. Red, Amber, Yellow and Green. Each of the tiers can be seen below.

As we move forward and back into the Amber tier it is vitally important that we all refresh ourselves with the information below to facilitate a safe return to face-to-face Scouting.

To enable us, as a group, to return to scouting safely in any of the changing readiness levels, many changes to our normal routines will have to take place. Outlined below are the factors that as a Leadership Team and as Scouting families we will all need to work together on to ensure that we keep ourselves and our communities safe.

The Plan

Group Sizes

Group size has previously been a key factor in battling the current pandemic. However, under the latest guidelines, this is no longer a restriction. Due to this, all sections will return after Easter break allowing all YP to attend every week. This will mean that the batch system will no longer be in use.

Even though all YP can attend each week, this does not negate the requirement for the Section Leader to keep an accurate register of who was in attendance.  After each meeting, the attendance register will need to be updated on OSM. Here the information will be held for future reference should it be required for track and trace.

Distancing

To maintain social distancing and to remain within government guidelines the Group will outline the following distancing policy.

  • All meetings are to be conducted outside until 12th April when it is expected to change allowing indoor meetings. This will be reviewed as required.
  • Post 12th April if allowed, where meetings have to take place indoors the windows are to be opened to ensure a good airflow within the building.
  • All young people and adults are to maintain social distancing of 2 meters at all times.
  • Scouts/Explorers (Young Leaders are also included due to their ages) are to wear masks/face coverings at all times.
  • Adults/Leaders are to wear masks/ face coverings at all times.

What Happens if a Young Person Breaks the Distancing?

The Section Leader should ensure that the young people in question separate as soon as possible.  Those involved should then wash their hands immediately and if there are no toilet facilities then those involved should sanitise their hands.  The incident will also need to be recorded by the Section Leader using the Incident Report Form.  A copy of the form will be emailed to the parents of those involved and a copy sent to the Executive Committee.

If a young person repeatedly breaks the minimum Social Distance rules they will not be allowed to return to face-to-face meetings for a period of a minimum of 14 days and possibly further if deemed necessary by the Group Scout Leader, the Section Leader and/or Executive Committee.

Face Masks

As highlighted above, whilst indoors all Scouts/Explorers are now required to wear a mask/face covering for the duration of their troop meetings. Exceptions as per national guidelines are permitted.  More information on this can be found here at the Gov.uk Website.

Leaders whilst delivering an activity are not required to wear face-coverings whether indoors or outdoors. This is to ensure that safety instructions and control can be maintained at all times. However, all Leaders are encouraged to wear a face-covering at all times and only to remove it when absolutely necessary, e.g, when delivering safety-critical instructions/directions. When Leaders/Adults are not delivering activities, they will wear a face mask/covering for the duration of the meetings. 

Beavers and Cubs have the option to wear a mask if they choose but are not required to wear a face mask/covering.

Section Meeting Times, and Locations

Changes to normal times and routines

Under the new guidance, a return to the hut is now permitted, providing we follow the guidance outlined in this document. However as previously mentioned, all Parents are to ensure they check their emails for the most up-to-date meeting dates, times, and locations.

Every section has made changes to its meeting times and may make additional changes as the weeks go on. The meeting times have changed to allow for the number of young people involved, multiple meetings on the same evening for different batches, and for the cleaning and sanitising routines required pre and post each meeting. Due to this everyone is to check their emails frequently and especially prior to departing to drop off your YP.

A strict hand hygiene policy will be put in place, however, there could be a lack of toileting or handwashing facilities at some of the public locations we may choose to use. As such, sanitiser will be used in place of handwashing facilities.

Although the toilets will be accessible during the meetings, we request you remind your young people to go to the toilet before leaving their home. Thus reducing the risk further.

As we are required to conduct all activities outside where possible for the time being, additional considerations such as ‘What are the weather and lighting conditions?’ ‘What items of clothing do they need?’ ‘Do they need a coat?’ should be considered. Please ensure your YP attends each session with suitable and adequate equipment, clothing, and footwear.

Transport to and from meetings

Meetings at the Hut

Now we can return to meeting face-to-face, there is a significant risk of the potential transfer of the Virus during the busiest period, Drop off, and Collection. To minimise the potential for spreading the virus a strict Drop Off and Collection Policy has been put in place.

UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ARE VEHICLES TO PARK DOWN ACORN CLOSE FOR THE DURATION OF MEETINGS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY PRIVELANT WITH THE STARTING OF AIR EXPLORERS AT THE HUT FROM APRIL 2021. ALL PARENT AND YOUNG PEOPLE MUST PARK THEIR VEHICLES ON TICHBOURNE WAY AND WALK DOWN IF YOU ARE REMAINING AT THE HUT FOR THE DURATION OF A MEETING. 
ONLY LEADERS ARE TO PARK IN THE HUT GROUNDS.

Drop-Off Routine

  1. A one-way system will be put into place.
  2. Cars will proceed down Acorn close and will line up down the left-hand side of the road waiting at the sign that will be located on the left-hand side of the road (as per the diagram below), ensuring you do not obstruct the local residents. The stop point has been moved slightly further up Acorn Close, this allows more room for exiting vehicles to manouver safely around the corner.
  3. One by one the cars will be called forward to the gates.
  4. Once at the gate a Leader will be ready to receive your child.
  5. Only at this point is the child to get out of the vehicle and only the child.
  6. Should the Parent/Guardian wish to speak to a leader please do so before drop off where possible. If this is not possible, please lower your window 3-4 inches (7-10cm) and inform the Leader of your request to speak with them. (Please keep this as short as possible to minimise disruption.)
  7. Once your child has left your vehicle you are free to turn around in the garage area and make your way back up acorn close and continue on your way.
  8. The YP will then proceed to the Leader to sanitise their hands before proceeding into the grounds.

Collection Routine

  1. The same one-way system will but put into place.
  2. Cars will proceed down Acorn close and will line up down the left-hand side of the road stopping at the sign that will be located on the left-hand side of the road (as per the diagram below), ensuring you do not obstruct the local residents. 
  3. One by one the cars will be called forward to the gates.
  4. Once at the gate a Leader will be ready to sanitise your child’s hands before returning your child to you.
  5. Your child will get back in your vehicle.
  6. No one is to get out of your vehicle at any time during collection.
  7. Once your child has got back into your vehicle you are free to turn around in the garage area and make your way back up acorn close and continue on your way.

For this to work successfully, whilst causing minimal disruption to our neighbours, it is essential that we all follow the procedure outlined above and arrive on time. Please arrive as close to the stated finish time as possible. This will prevent large amounts of vehicles parked down Acorn Close for extended periods of time.

Parents are encouraged to walk/cycle to the location of the meeting in order to avoid traffic build. Please maintain social distancing whilst queuing outside of the gates and stay clear of the moving vehicles.

Away from the Hut

If and when we meet in public places away from the hut, parents are requested to maintain social distancing at all times and where possible do not get out of your vehicles. When this is not possible parents are to ensure that a face covering is worn and only approach the Leadership team when absolutely necessary. All communications are to take place prior to the meetings where possible and a reminder to parents that lift shares should be avoided at all costs.

First Aid Policy

The first aid policy has been adapted to meet the demands of the current situation. Each leader has completed training on this and is fully aware of the new requirements of this. This covers items such as the revised CPR and PPE requirements due to Covid. Each section also holds its own brand new First Aid Bag.

Before dealing with any incident, first aiders will need to ensure they wear a mask and apron along with disposable gloves, as distancing will be broken.  Sanitiser should also be used prior to and after treating the injury. This is all located in the First Aid Bag

If it is possible and sensible, the person being treated should also wear a mask. The masks should not be removed until the care of the person injured is transferred to either a parent and/or ambulance service. Should it be the latter then follow any instruction given by them.

In accordance with The Scouts policy full detailed records need to be kept of any incident in case an outbreak occurs, this information will be needed by the Track and Trace System. The first aider should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and if symptoms present they are to isolate and book a test on the Gov website.

Cleaning

Regular cleaning is another important job that must be carried out before and after each face-to-face session.  Equipment sharing is not encouraged and activities should aim to give each young person their own equipment which others will not have contact with.  Minimal items will be sent home and minimal items are to be brought in from home where possible.  All of these measures help to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  

Hut Cleaning

The Scouts guidance in relation to keeping the Scout Hut safe and secure can be found here which is the bare minimum.

As a group we have just purchased an industrial fogging machine and sanitising solution (the same chemical used in operating theatres). Each day that the hut is in use, a full fogging of the hut will be conducted by the leadership team prior to the young people arriving for their session. Once this chemical has been applied, it will give protection (killing COVID, MRSA, + many more) for the next 24 hours.

We hope that will give you all as parents/Guardians the confidence that we are fully committed to providing a safe setting for your young people, the leadership team, and the local community.

Legionella Control

What is legionnaires’ disease?

Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria. This includes the most serious legionnaires’ disease, as well as the similar but less serious conditions of Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever. Legionnaires’ disease is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia and everyone is susceptible to infection. However, some people are at higher risk, including:

  • People over 45 years of age;
  • Anyone with an impaired immune system.
  • Smokers and heavy drinkers;
  • People suffering from chronic respiratory or kidney disease;

Due to the prolonged period that the hut has not been in use, there is a substantial risk that legionella could now be present in the dead/stagnant legs of the water systems.

To overcome this, prior to any face 2 face scouting, every outlet has been run for a minimum of 10 mins and had a full deep clean using a Bleach solution and sanitised using D10

Hand Sanitising

Hand sanitising stations will be located around the Hut. These are also to be used at the start and the end of each meeting. It will also be actively encouraged for everyone in attendance to wash and sanitise their hands frequently.

A hand sanitising station will be put on the wall outside the access to the toilets. Anyone using the toilets are to sanitise prior to using the facilities, and then wash their hands and sanitise again prior to re-joining the group.

For those meetings which will be held outside and away from the Hut, sanitiser will be made available by the leadership team.  As with handwashing everyone who is in attendance must use it at the start and finish of the meeting, as well as using it frequently throughout the meeting. It should be noted that sanitiser should be alcohol-based as this has proved effective against COVID-19. Parental consent is required for the use of alcohol-based sanitiser. A consent box has been added to the personal details section of OSM for all sections for the parents to grant this consent. This is one of the pre-requisites for any YP restarting.

Communicating with Parents

As a Group we wish to engage with Parents as much as possible in the process of returning to face-to-face meetings. It is appreciated that in view of the seriousness of COVID-19 that they may have additional concerns which will need to be considered. As such usual Communications should be sent to parents via the email system on OSM, however, it may be necessary to cancel a meeting at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances such as a change in the alert level. In such circumstances, the Section Leader will email all parents via OSM.

All COVID-related communications to the parents will come via OSM from “6th Gosport Covid Committee” and the email address “Covid@6thgosportscoutgroup.org”. Please ensure that this email address is saved as a trusted sender to avoid the emails going into your spam folder.

OSM (Online Scout Manager)

(click here for a link to OSM)

All parents are to ensure that they have read and agree to abide by this covid policy, and updated OSM, prior to the 5th April!

In view of the seriousness of the current pandemic, it is imperative that all parents have logged back onto OSM and ensured that all information contained within OSM is up to date.  There is now a button on all sections at the top of the Personal Details page to allow you to “confirm these details are correct”. It is not necessary to click this continuously but any YP who has not had their details confirmed as correct post 1st January 2021 (and subsequently moving forward after each break (I,e Half term)) will not be able to return until this has been done. It so important now more than ever that we have all the correct medical and contact details.

In addition to the above we have also added a series of ‘COVID Fields’ at the bottom of the Personal details page. These new Covid fields are essential to confirm that as parents you have read, understood, and sat your young person down and explained the relevant and important parts of this action plan.  These need to be answered Yes or No in the text box.

NO YOUNG PERSON WILL BE ABLE TO ATTEND UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT IT IS RECORDED ON OSM, THAT DETAILS HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED AND ALL COVID FIELDS ANSWERED AND CONSENTS HAVE BEEN GIVEN BY A PARENT/GUARDIAN.

It needs to be made absolutely clear that if someone within a batch tests positive for COVID-19 then the Group will have no alternative but to provide contact information to the Track and Trace System.  Consent for this will be sought prior to re-starting as one of the fields on OSM. For everyone’s safety, No consent no scouting.

At the very bottom of the personal details page, there is also a new field requesting consent to share personal details. This is solely for the purpose of setting up a WhatsApp group. This is something still under discussion with the groups section leaders and executive committee. We would like to see what the response is from parents and we can make a more informed decision from there.

COVID Code of Conduct

As a result of the new framework, it is clear that the existing code of conduct didn’t fully cover all aspects required. This is why we have drawn up the Covid code of conduct bellow. Please ensure that you have read this to your YP, and agreed to it on OSM prior to their first meeting. 

  1. I will always maintain a minimum of 2 meters distance (or any other such distance introduced by the Government) from the closest person where possible unless it is an emergency.
  2. I will not attend a face-to-face meeting if I am presenting with any COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. I agree that if unfortunately, another member of my batch or group tests positive then I will follow the guidelines set by the Government in relation to self-isolation.
  4. I consent to the Section Leader providing my contact details to the Governments Track and Trace System if unfortunately, another member of my batch or group tests positive.
  5. I understand that if I breach any of these rules then I may be suspended from the group for a period of 14 days.

It is acknowledged that Code 4 may breach GDPR, but any parent/guardian accepts this by allowing their Young Person to attend any face-to-face meeting.

Actions Required

Parents /Guardians Actions

Parents and guardians, firstly thank you for taking the time to read this far. This document has taken an enormous amount of time and I hope that by you reading this, you fully understand how serious the safety of your children means to us at 6th Gosport.

Due to the complexity and the severity of not following the information involved in this document we require yourselves to sit down with your young people and discuss the more important parts. To help you do this we have generated a checklist for you, covering the key points you need to discuss and also the key parts that you need to know. This can be found below:

Checklists

This has been a lengthy document with lots of information. Below I have created a checklist for you to sit down with and ensure you as the Parent fully understand what is expected of you, but then also that you have explained to your Young Person everything they need to know.

As always, any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on covid@6thgosportscoutgroup.org.

Parents:

  • You are required to regularly check your emails for up to date meeting times and locations
  • Sections will only be able to take small groups (Batches) of 15 so keep an eye out for what batch your Young Person (YP) is in and what their session dates and times are.
  • Parents of Scouts and Explorers ensure your YP attends every session with a face mask or covering/or have updated OSM with the reasons for the exemptions prior to the session. Beavers and Cubs do not require this.
  • Be fully aware and agree to fully abide by the Drop off and Collection Policy as outlined above.
  • No parking is to take place in Acorn Close.
  • Parents must maintain social distancing when dropping off/collecting their YP.
  • Add Covid@6thgosportscoutgroup.org to your email address book or as a trusted sender to prevent important emails from being lost to your Junk folder.
  • Log onto OSM (https://www.onlinescoutmanager.co.uk/login.php) and ensure ALL personal details fields are filled in, accurately, and in sufficient detail.
  • Ensure all COVID consent fields are correctly filled in on OSM also.
  • Finally, sit your YP down and go through the following items with them, explaining what is expected of them.

Young People

  • Sanitising routines. (Immediately on arrival, frequently throughout and prior to going home).
  • They must maintain social distancing of 2 meters from all other children at all times.
  • They must maintain a distance of 2 meters from all Adults at all times.
  • Scouts and Explorers (THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO BEAVERS OR CUBS) must wear a mask at all times.
  • If they breach social distance routines, they will be given 1 warning. Should they break it again they will be sent home.
  • Agree to abide by the Code of Conduct
  • Agree to abide by the Covid Code of Conduct.

Thank you again for your continued support and looking forward to seeing you all soon.

Team 6th