Extension Update for Phase 2.5
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Here is what you need to know as we enter the Governor’s Phase 2.5:
General: Please note that individual county governments, research stations and other venues may choose to be more restrictive than what Extension Administration is allowing. For example, while we have allowed non-youth in-person programming for several weeks now, only about half the counties have restarted in-person programming.
Indoor and outdoor person count: We will follow the new guidelines which will allow up to 25 individuals in an inside setting and up to 50 for an outside setting. As per the Executive Order, masks are required if a 6’ foot distance cannot be maintained. However, we strongly recommend that you require masks at all indoor events, regardless of social distancing.
Food at Extension meetings: View guidelines for providing food at Extension meetings. It is our preference that food not be served whenever possible but we also realize that there are times where we will need to offer food.
Youth livestock shows: View the current protocol for any youth livestock shows that Extension employees participate in. These include those sponsored by NCDA&CS, 4-H, Circuits, etc. As many of you are aware, this is a special circumstance allowed by the Executive Order and all the rules need to be followed, including masks and the event must be broadcast (live or delayed). NC State is still reviewing the waiver document. Once it is approved it will show up on the link.
4-H in-person restart: We are discussing the restart for in-person 4-H programming. The restart will be preceded by training for 4-H agents, Program Assistants, and volunteers. As with all other in-person programming, the restart for in-person 4-H programming will only take place in counties that have started in-person programming in agriculture, FCS, etc.
Fall agent training: As you all know, we will not have an in-person state Extension conference this year. However, we have been talking with both Department Extension Leaders and Program Teams about this. We are suggesting a weekly fall series of webinars in different disciplines aimed at agent training similar to what we do at the Conference. 4-H, FCS, CNR, and the Livestock Program Team are well on their way to providing great training. Please let us know how we can help. Extension IT is also eager to help make this successful. See this animal ag agent training series handout as a great example.
Winter grower meetings: Many are already planning winter meetings. While we do not know what meeting size and guidelines will look like in the coming months I want to offer the following as you plan. We are aware that there are many pressures on agents, staff, and specialists. If you feel comfortable planning or attending an in-person meeting then do it. However, if you do not, then we are fully supportive of your decision to provide training in alternative formats. These include a live Zoom, a recorded presentation, providing a PPT to an agent to share, etc. Any of these can be followed by a live Q&A session. I know that some discussions have already started among DELs, agents, commodity groups, and specialists. What is important is that we provide needed training and that everyone feels safe and comfortable in the way we accomplish it.
CALS people-per-vehicle travel policy: CALS is looking at possibly modifying our current vehicle travel policy. This may include allowing more than one person in a vehicle. As soon as we can discuss any changes and have the University weigh in, we will let you know.
Overnight and out-of-state travel: This is just a reminder that approval is needed to be reimbursed for overnight travel in-state, mileage out of state, and overnight travel out of state. Please click Extension on the form, if applicable, or Research, if that is more applicable. If you do not know the exact date of travel, then provide a range.
If you have to make a quick decision to travel overnight or out of state, please submit the form before you leave: NC State University – Travel Request