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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.

Yakima County 4-H COVID-19 Response

Posted by alison.white | March 13, 2020

March 1st UPDATE

Dear 4-H Community,

Washington State 4-H can now allow for some in-person 4-H activities!

What does this mean for Yakima 4-H?

  • Virtual or at-home learning is still our first choice for all activities that can be conducted virtually, independently or at-a-distance.
  • A club or group may seek approval to offer an in-person participation option for activities that cannot reasonably take place virtually or through at-home learning.
  • Please note: A club or group cannot host in-person activities without prior approval from the 4-H office.

Interested in applying to host a 4-H activity in-person? Here are a few important points to keep in mind:

  1. You may apply for approval to run a single activity in-person or series of activities in-person. Just email or call Jennifer Loyd at Jennifer.loyd@co.yakima.wa.us or 509-574-1574 (9 AM – 4:30  PM) to get started.
  2. Approving an in-person activity takes time and creative planning! Please notify the 4-H office at least four weeks prior to the activity. We’ll work together to develop a safety and participation plan, which then has to be approved by the County Director, Washington State 4-H, and WSU.
  3. An in-person activity must meet several conditions in order to be approved. The most notable (as of March 1st, 2021) include:
    1. The activity cannot reasonably be completed virtually or through at-home learning.
    2. The nature of the activity allows for all safety procedures to be followed (e.g., physical distancing, masks, proper sanitation).
    3. The activity doesn’t mix participants in groups larger than five.
    4. There are at least two certified volunteers (or a combination of certified volunteers and staff) present.
    5. All key personnel/participants have completed safety training.
    6. The plan includes a virtual or at-home option to ensure the opportunity to participate isn’t limited by safety or health concerns.

Examples of recently held in-person activities include:

  1. A community service event where youth in small (five or less), physically distanced groups helped ready the yard of a family dealing with tragedy for the holidays (at-home option: youth could create or donate holiday décor). Approximately ten youth participated within the two staggered groups.
  2. An equine clinic where youth in small (five or less), physically distanced groups rode their horses at an open-air arena to receive feedback and support from a clinician (virtual option: youth could submit a riding video and receive clinician feedback). Approximately 20 youth participated within four staggered groups.

Would you like to work with us to create an in-person plan for future activities? Or would you like support in running virtual meetings or at-home activities? We have lots of ideas and resources to share! Please reach out!

We recognize that there is still much uncertainty to navigate as we began to plan for in-person activities this spring and as public health measures changes so will our policies. We are thankful for your dedication to 4-H and the perseverance you have modeled for our youth. We love seeing the ways our 4-H community is staying connected virtually and through porch pick-ups — you are so creative!

RESOURCES:

OFFICE & STAFF ACCESS

Since March 16th, the WSU Extension Office has been closed to the public, and personnel are teleworking. We are available via phone, email, or by scheduled video-conference.

If you have questions about the status of an upcoming event, please contact Jennifer Loyd at Jennifer.loyd@co.yakima.wa.us or 509-574-1574 (9 AM – 4:30  PM).

If you have questions about our response to COVID-19 please contact Alison White, 4-H Regional Specialist (alison.white@wsu.edu or 509-707-8066 10 AM – 6 PM), or Jennifer Loyd at Jennifer.loyd@co.yakima.wa.us or 509-574-1574 (9 AM – 4:30  PM).

Pledging our health to better living,

PROGRAM GUIDANCE
We are closely following guidance from the Yakima Health District, and are modeling activity-adaptations, postponements, and cancellations on their recommendations for youth and community programs. We are also following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WA State Department of Health (DOH) regarding youth and community programs.

All Yakima 4-H clubs have access to a county-shared Kahoot Premium account now until the end of the school year.  Leaders, teens, and staff can create fun quiz games for clubs to use via Zoom or independently by members. Login at https://create.kahoot.it/ — user name: Yakima4H — password: 4Hrocks (Check out ideas for using Kahoot here and here). You can play games others have created! For example, select Discover on the top menu, then type “4-H” or “horse breeds” into the search bar to see numerous games pop up—we can use them as is or duplicate them to our shared account and adapt them.

4-H FROM HOME
Please check out our new 4-H From Home page for resources to support club activities, independent project learning, families learning activities, and more.

MORE INFORMATION
For information and prevention strategies, please visit the ​CDC and the DOH websites for additional information and individual prevention strategies.