Best Practices for Return to In-Person Programming (Updated: June 14)

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Updated: June 14, 2021

NC State Extension is currently operating under guidelines that are in alignment with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order 215, CDC, NCDHHS, and NC State University. N.C. A&T State University employees may have additional requirements. Dr. Mike Yoder recently sent out updated guidelines for 4-H programming.

General “Best Practice” suggestions:

  • Since all participants may not be vaccinated (particularly important for participants under the age of 12), physical distancing and face coverings are still a best practice; however, we cannot ask if someone has been vaccinated or not.
  • Since COVID can be transmitted through aerosols, outdoors is safer and better than indoors.
  • Indoor programming should utilize all methods of ventilation possible (i.e. open windows to allow for as much air exchange as possible).

Suggestions for serving meals:

  • First, determine if it is necessary for the activity; if not, meals are discouraged.
  • If meals are necessary or important, consider providing boxed/bagged meals with disposable utensils.
  • Provide handwashing and sanitation stations.
  • Avoid offering self-serve food or drink (i.e. buffets, drink stations, etc.)
  • Discourage sharing of food and utensils.
  • Discourage gathering together to receive food and encourage distancing when eating.
  • For food demonstrations, provide take home taste testing with food safety information regarding temperature controls.
  • It’s suggested that you participate in the “Count On Me NC” online program before offering meals or conducting food demonstration programs in your county.

The following requirements are STILL IN EFFECT for all programming:

  • We cannot ask someone if they are vaccinated or not vaccinated.
  • Masks are required when transportation is involved (vehicles, on-farm/on-station trams, etc.).
  • Transportation is limited to 50% of capacity regardless of the mode/vehicle, field tram, etc.
  • For longer distances, travelers must stop and take a 10-minute break every 90 minutes.
  • Out-of-state travel requires testing with a negative result 72 hours prior to and after returning from the trip unless you have voluntarily submitted vaccination status online through the HealthyPack Portal.

The following requirements have been rescinded and are NO LONGER IN EFFECT as of June 14:

  • Masks are no longer required except indoors for those who have not been vaccinated or where transportation is involved; however, individual county offices and businesses can still require face coverings.
  • Masks are not required on campus for vaccinated individuals EXCEPT in classrooms, laboratories or indoor university-sponsored summer camps (regardless of vaccination status).
  • Updated university transportation guidelines: “For University vehicles not otherwise listed in this document, such as department vehicles (2 and 4 passenger trucks and sedans), SUV, Light duty cargo trucks and gators, full occupancy is permitted, as long as each passenger has an individual seat. Bench seating is limited to no more than 2 people per bench.”
  • Capacity limits and social distancing have been lifted for ALL events, including county meetings, field days, field tours, etc.
  • Travel COVID exemptions through EMMC are no longer needed for domestic travel; however, a TA will still be needed for charges other than mileage. Only international travel will require a travel exemption.
  • Exemption approval is no longer required for on-farm and on-station demonstrations and trials; however, an updated Google form will be sent out for logging in Extension demonstrations, field tours and field trials that are not located on research stations.