As COVID-19 continues to challenge our daily lives both at work and home, we wanted to reach out to the Master Naturalist Chapters. No part of the state is currently unaffected by this public health crisis, so we have been working on programmatic and operational guidance to address the varying needs across Texas.
We know that one set of guidelines cannot address all the challenges you are facing. That is why our new approach includes sending a weekly update on regional guidelines for face-to-face programming and activities hosted by Extension or our partners. Each county will be assigned a risk level based on metrics including case incidence, positivity percentage in the past 7 days, hot spots and a rapid rise in cases. That risk level will define a set of parameters that must be followed for ANY face-to-face interaction outside of office operations. The guidance in this communication is through December 6, 2020. We anticipate an updated report this week, if received an update beyond December 6 will be issued on November 30th.
NOTE: Face coverings are required at all events. All facilities of The Texas A&M University System require the use of facial coverings.
Red Level: Counties with two of three factors of positivity rate of 8% or more, or a rapid rise in cases or a hot spot (indicated in pink/red)
- No face-to-face Extension-hosted or Extension-sponsored events.
- No guest speaking or presenting at other entities’ events.
- No overnight events.
- No travel is approved to these counties.
- Essential training related to continuing education and emergency response may be approved by the executive associate director on a case-by-case basis
Yellow Level: Counties with a positivity rate of 8% or more, OR a rapid rise in cases OR a hotspot (indicated in yellow/orange)
- Group meetings with a limit of 10 people at 75% capacity of space or less are allowed only if social distancing can be practiced.
- No overnight events.
- Seek alternative methods to deliver face-to-face meetings and educational programs.
- Essential training related to continuing education and emergency response may be approved by the executive associate director on a case-by-case basis.
Green Level: Counties not listed at the Yellow or Red Level
· Group meetings with a limit of 50 people at 75% capacity or less are allowed only if social distancing can be practiced. If greater than 50 attendees, a preparedness plan must be submitted and approved by the supervisor. (Employees in large offices do not count against this max if they are not part of the meeting and remain socially distanced.)
· All overnight events require a submission of a preparedness plan that is approved by the supervisor.
· AgriLife Extension requires a screening form for each participant at day youth events and all overnight events and programs.
· Daily temperature checks are required at all overnight events.
For individuals seeking alternative methods of delivering meetings and educational programs, the Texas A&M AgriLife Digital Education unit has put together a resource on best practices and tools that AgriLife currently supports.