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COVID-19 Updates

 

Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Update August 26, 2020 5:30 p.m (last update posted August 24, 2020)

COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease and continues to pose a high risk for vulnerable populations.

Girl Scouts of the USA and Girl Scouts of Citrus encourage virtual troop meetings as the most effective way to provide a safe Girl Scout experience until we have successfully completed the Center for Disease Control's Phase Three benchmarks. However, based on the comfort level of Girl Scout troop members and families, we have finalized the details for troops to begin meeting in-person as long as they adhere to the COVID-19 safety guidelines. Please see these details in the Troop Meetings, Events & Camporees tab below.

All guidelines will be based upon recommendations from GSUSA, the CDC, local health officials, the Federal Government and informed by State of Florida and County Government(s). 

It is imperative that we keep a nimble and flexible mindset as the situation with COVID-19 continues to rapidly change. Regular updates will be posted as the situation evolves.

Staying Safe and Girl Scout Property Restrictions

Girl Scouts of Citrus (GSC) will be implementing a phased reopening of its business offices with safety protocols in place. In order to adequately provide a safe environment for staff and visitors, the offices are now open to a limited number of staff members. The offices will remain closed to visitors at this time. While everyone would prefer to get back to normal as soon as possible, we must put the safety of our girls, volunteers and staff first.

The rise in reported COVID cases emphasizes the importance of continuing to follow CDC guideline for social distancing.  

 

Customer Care and Council Shop
The Citrus council Shop is now offering a personal shopping experience with a retail expert. It's the next best thing to being at the shop in person!
 
Just fill out the appointment request which you can find here. One of our staff members will reach out and coordinate your very own virtual shopping experience.
 
**Please note that we are currently offering Personal Shopper Bookings only on Wednesdays from 10a.m. to 4:30p.m.**
 
  • The Girl Scouts of Citrus Service center and Citrus Retail Shop was closed to the public as of March 18 and will remain closed until further notice.
  • Orders can still be placed through shop@citrus-gs.org and these will be processed and shipped out.
  • The Council Shop will be offering curbside pickup (starting in June) on Tuesdays from 1pm – 5pm and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm and by appointment.
    • Orders must be submitted by email at least 48 hours prior to the order pick up date.
  • While the office is closed, several staff members continue to work remotely. You may reach out to our Customer Care team for any inquiries at customercare@citrus-gs.org

 

Online Activities for Kids of All ages

Troop leaders and parents are encouraged to embrace online opportunities to keep girls engaged with their sister Girl Scouts through virtual troop meetings. Girl Scouts can continue working toward goals, earning badges and completing service projects to help neighbors who may be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Troop Meetings, Events & Camporees

Each troop/family should weigh their participation based on their own health concerns. As with any social activity, participation in Girl Scouts could present the risk of contracting COVID-19. While Girl Scouts of Citrus takes every safety and preventative precaution, Girl Scouts of Citrus can in no way warrant that COVID-19 infection will not occur through participation in Girl Scout activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change as infection rates rise and fall in different areas. There may be regional differences or developments since this guidance was published. Continue to follow local and national directives. Discuss plans with families.

As we begin to phase into certain in person activities, please keep in mind that these guidelines can change daily based on information from the CDC, GSUSA, and other governing bodies. Citrus Council’s website will have the most current information. 

Please see the full details of the guidelines in the link below:

In-Person Meeting and Activity Guidelines

 

Meeting Virtually

While we cannot endorse or support specific online meeting tools for your use, see below for a list of free and low-cost tools that could be useful to you.

Please be sure to follow the GSUSA Virtual Meeting Guidelines found here

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

Additional low-cost tools for collaboration and conferencing to consider if the above options do not meet your group's needs.

Summer Residential and Day Camp

Despite the challenges posed by COVID during the summer of 2020, girls enjoyed a variety of online and home-based activities through GSC’s Virtual Summer Camp.

At this time, GSC is planning to reopen all summer and residential day camps in 2021 provided it is safe to do so. We are also considering adding virtual camp sessions as they were very popular with girls and families. 

Drive-Thru Bridging Ceremonies

Drive-Thru Bridging Guidelines

Effective: Monday, August 24, 2020

Effective immediately—GSC guidelines for drive-thru bridging activities:

  • Girls must remain in their parent/guardian’s vehicle.
  • Masks must be worn during interactions between those inside the vehicle and those outside the vehicle.
  • The bags containing bridging materials should be cleaned with sanitizing wipes or cloths prior to handoff.
  • Major thoroughfares should not be used as drive-thru bridging sites.
  • It is recommended that troops work with local churches, community centers, neighborhood associations, etc. to identify and secure appropriate locations for their drive-thru bridging ceremonies.   
  • Any and all interactions should adhere to recommended CDC guidelines.
  • Please send activity request forms for Drive-Thru Bridging (only) to Customercare@citrus-gs.org for approval by the Program Team.

 

Further guidelines on other in-person activities are under review and will be released later in the week. 

Resources to Help Adults Cope

Parents are under a great deal of stress as they manage a new normal – working remotely, home-schooling, cooking more and pleasing finicky palettes. It can all add up. To help our adult members cope, we have compiled a number of resources on All Things Girl Scouts.

Many families are experiencing financial stress brought on by layoffs and furloughs. According to the Orlando Sentinelthere is help for families finding it difficult to make mortgage payments. “The federal CARES Act, signed by President Trump last month, gives borrowers of federally backed loans the right to contact their mortgage loan servicer and demand what’s called forbearance — in other words, skipping their mortgage payments — simply by attesting that the coronavirus crisis has resulted in financial hardship. No documentation of the hardship is required, regardless of how many questions your servicer asks about your financial situation.”

Talking with Girls About the Virus and Social Unrest

Sometimes a parent could use a little help, especially when it comes to speaking with a child about a serious issue. The Coronavirus, and now issues surrounding racial prejudice, are currently taking top billing in the media. GSUSA published an article that provides some tips on how to talk with your daughter about the disease. They also have some good insights on how to teach your daughter about the value of diversity and inclusion.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) also has some good advice for talking with kids about COVID-19, including ways they can avoid getting or spreading the disease and reminding them that health and school officials are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.

According to the CDC, children have not been shown to be a high-risk group for serious illness from this virus. 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. The CDC regularly updates information on how to keep children safe

The Facts about COVID-19

We ask that everyone – volunteers, parents and families – pay attention to the facts. The most important thing you can do is remain flexible and follow CDC recommendations for reducing risk.

In addition to routine environmental cleaning, there is a lot we can do to minimize the risk of catching and spreading the virus. Tips from the CDC include:

  • Keep your environment clean – routinely clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, remotes, sinks and countertops. Find more cleaning tips at the CDC online.
  • Practice good personal health habits like washing your hands frequently and covering coughs and sneezes. Make sure your home and family have a plan of action – these CDC guidelines are helpful.
  • Know what to do if you or a family member gets sick. The CDC specifically advises to call your doctor and stay at home. Get more information here. It is also important to take special care with family members who are more vulnerable to infection.
  • Avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
  • wear a mask and make sure it covers both your nose and mouth.
  • Practice social distancing - stay six feet apart.

 

 

We recognize that the uncertainties surrounding the virus are causing a great deal of stress. We will continue to monitor the situation and will continue to adjust girl activities as recommended by GSUSA, the CDC and local Health Department.