COVID-Proofing Safety Measures

This summer’s COVID safety measures are an opportunity for us to embody our value of Respectful Service. Each step taken toward COVID-proofing your trip helps protect your group as well as our summer staff, our vulnerable community partners, and future groups coming to serve after you leave. As you read through the content on this page, know that we’re here to support you in every way. Use the button at the bottom of the page if you’d like additional understanding the information or sharing it with your group. 


Most Recent Updates

Your group’s COVID symptoms tracker and a request for testing is now part of your paperwork. Log into the dashboard for more information.

Policies

Our Safety Philosophy

YouthWorks has been creating summer COVID-19 safety policies by looking at CDC guidelines, state recommendations and resources from the American Camp Association. It’s easy to look at these policies as ‘restrictions’ – we understand that some things may feel more stringent than your group is used to! However, we encourage you to look at these safety policies not as ‘restrictions,’ but as a way to care for each other and communities. Our intent is that your entire trip is safe for everyone involved.

Below are some of the safety plans YouthWorks intends to implement for summer 2021 mission trips. Know that at this time these plans are based on the current climate of COVID-19 requirements and additional standards may be added or removed pending guidance from the CDC and American Camp Association. Any changes will be communicated to you prior to your YouthWorks mission trip.


Preparing For Your Trip

Make sure your group arrives healthy and ready to serve.

Participants will not be allowed to attend if they are showing COVID-19 symptoms, if they have had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 10 days or if they have been around someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

If you have been fully vaccinated and have had an exposure, you do not need to quarantine and therefore may participate. However, we do ask that you continue to monitor your symptoms and if symptoms were to develop we would treat it as we would anyone else getting COVID symptoms on a trip. 

Trip Leaders are required to acknowledge that their group has not shown any COVID-19 symptoms and have all received a negative COVID-19 test within 3-4 days of your trip. This acknowledgment is part of the online paperwork accessed through the dashboard. Log into the dashboard to view more information and download the symptoms tracker for your group.

*If you have been fully vaccinated, you do not need a COVID test unless you have symptoms. 

View Sample Symptoms Tracker

If you have been fully vaccinated, you do not need a COVID test unless you have symptoms. 

If you have been fully vaccinated and have had an exposure, you do not need to quarantine and therefore may participate. However, we do ask that you continue to monitor your symptoms and if symptoms were to develop we would treat it as we would anyone else getting COVID symptoms on a trip. 

Also, we ask that you wear your mask for all indoor activities (besides eating and sleeping) and during any outdoor activity when social distancing is not possible, even if you have been fully vaccinated.

On-Site Policies

Stay healthy as you serve, worship, and connect during your trip.

Consider your church group your “bubble.” Crews will be a smaller subset of your church—this is different than previous years where church groups mixed together. Many activities this summer will happen exclusively in your church group or crew. Trip Leaders will form these crews before their group arrives and should pay attention to vehicle needs.

View Example Diagrams

YouthWorks Mission Trip Associates are working with and listening closely to our Service Partners when determining the safest and most respectful ways to serve. This may mean that in some communities, we will be unable to serve with more vulnerable individuals directly. Before your trip, engage with your group about what respectful service could look like and how you can enter into the community with an open mind to that service.

You might experience things like…

  • Smaller service crews
  • Serving only with your own group
  • Serving at the same location all week
  • Updated vehicle or transportation guidelines and requirements
  • Specific guidelines for engaging with community members

Your Mission Trip Associate will have more specific information related to your trip.

During meals and large group gatherings (such as The Gathering and devotion introductions), crews will sit together while staying at least six feet from other crews. Because of this, we’ll utilize outdoor areas or large well-ventilated areas for large group times.

The Gathering: Elements of our large group programming, such as games, discussion groups and experiential elements, will be adjusted to ensure safety.

Dining: Groups may spread out to eat in additional rooms, eat outdoors, or in shifts. We are updating our strict kitchen safety protocols to ensure crews are safe while preparing, serving and eating meals.

View Example Diagrams

The YouthWorks Mission Team is planning and budgeting for the possibility of needing to host groups at 50% of sleeping room capacity. Alternative primary lodging facilites or secondary facilities are being sought to ensure there is plenty of room to spread out in sleeping spaces.

View Example Diagrams

YouthWorks is committed to finding showering locations that are safe for participants and that limits contact with the public. Though some shower locations will offer exclusive use for YouthWorks participants, some will not. We will continue use our COVID safety protocols to keep students safe during shower times.

Resources

Download and share these resources with your group, parents, and church leaders.

FAQ

Responses to frequently asked questions about this year’s COVID-Proofing measures.  

Plan on wearing masks for all indoor activities (besides eating and sleeping) and during any outdoor activity when social distancing is not possible, even if fully vaccinated. We are also planning on social distancing as much as possible. As YouthWorks continues to monitor the recommendations of the CDC and the COVID-19 status in our communities, we may determine to tighten or loosen our mask wearing and social distancing requirements on site.

We know that worshipping, learning and processing the day together is important – it’s one of our favorite parts of the day! We’re committed to incorporating these elements in various ways this summer, though these ways may look different than previous years.

If any participant experiences COVID-19 symptoms while on the YouthWorks site, they will immediately be isolated until their parent or guardian can pick them up. We do not have adequate facilities for quarantining participants on a longer-term basis. We request that the participant gets tested for COVID-19 and reports any positive results to YouthWorks. If we determine there is significant risk to the larger group, it is possible that more participants may need to go home if they have been in close contact with the sick person.

If a participant is diagnosed with COVID-19 during or up to 14 days post-trip, please contact our YouthWorks office. We will create a plan of action, including letting churches and ministry partners know of the situation.

While we are doing everything to COVID-proof your trip, the reality is that your group could be exposed to COVID-19 at some point in the community. Your safety is paramount, and if your group happens to be exposed to an individual with COVID-19, we would work with you while following public health guidance to determine a plan. If we determine there is significant risk to the larger group, it is possible that participants may need to go home.

With the complexities that COVID-19 brings, we ask that your group is flexible and is prepared to serve communities in ways that are both safe and needed. We are consistently communicating with our community partners, and if we hear that it is no longer safe to serve in a specific way, we will plan alternate meaningful service projects for your group.

Participants will track their symptoms leading up to the trip using their Symptom Tracker form to document that they are healthy.  They will use this same form to track symptoms during the trip. This form can be found on your paperwork page.

If a participant experiences COVID-19 symptoms leading up to the trip and believes their symptoms are not COVID-related, they would need to have a negative COVID-19 test and be cleared by a medical professional before being able to arrive onsite.

The YouthWorks Mission Team is planning and budgeting for the possibility of needing to host groups at 50% of sleeping room capacity. Alternative primary lodging facilities or secondary facilities are being sought out to ensure there is plenty of room to spread out in sleeping spaces. Click here for a diagram of what these sleeping rooms could look like.

We know that mixing with other churches is often a highlight of a YouthWorks trip. Participants are encouraged to mix with other groups during free time/downtime, provided they follow safety guidelines.

That being said, the best practice is to limit interaction between groups of people. This way, if someone gets sick, it minimizes risk to the whole group. Because of this, we will limit mixing churches during service day, transportation and in sleeping rooms.

Service Day: Plan to serve in your crews throughout the day. As a reminder, crews will be a smaller subset of the larger church group, typically around 10 people.

Transportation: In a similar fashion, you will not transport participants from other churches or community members in your vehicles this summer. This is to minimize COVID-19 risk, as it is hard to social distance in vehicles.

Sleeping Rooms: While it may not be possible that each church has their own exclusive sleeping room, we are planning for churches to be able to stay in their own areas in sleeping rooms. To the extent possible, we will provide temporary barriers between church groups, in addition to the sleeping room protocols listed above.

At this time, we are planning to give groups the opportunity to do footwashing in their church groups if they are comfortable with it. We will also give some ideas of meaningful activities, if churches wish to forego footwashing.

Having antibodies to COVID-19 may provide protection from getting infected with the virus again. However, based on CDC information, we do not know how much protection antibodies may provide or how long this protection may last. Because of this unknown, we are asking that participants still be tested even if they have had COVID-19 and believe they have antibodies.

We recommend that you look to your state and county Departments of Health for recommendation for testing. Participant’s healthcare providers may also be able to recommend testing options.

There is a small probability that a test can give a positive result that is wrong, however if a participant believes their results are a false positive, they will need to have a negative COVID-19 test and be cleared by a medical professional before being able to arrive on site.

The CDC says that people are considered fully vaccinated when they are two weeks past their 2nd dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or 2 weeks post the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

Need Additional Support?

Request additional support to help answer key questions or communicate these COVID-Proofing measures to your group.