Ag News Today
Are you covered by 4-H Insurance?
Can You Wear 4-H Green (Name and Emblem)
In the Showring
With UF COVID Policies?
By Stephanie Collins
The short answer - UF has what are called re-opening Phases. These determine whether a 4-H member can show as a member with insurance or if they must show as a private citizen and not as a member for that event/show with no coverage (this applies to volunteers too) According to Florida 4-H when showing as a private citizen, youth are allowed to wear the clothes, but remember they are not covered by insurance nor considered 4-H members at that show/event.
Stacey Ellison (2nd in charge of Florida 4-H) in regards to situations where 4-H members have to show as private citizens had a great explanation: “Just like they can wear their 4-H t-shirt to a store, they can wear their 4-H green to show an animal anywhere.”
The probability members will be showing as private citizens at some events during this pandemic is high. That is what makes this story and knowing the details so important.
Realistically, there is NO way the Florida State Fair nor most County Fairs/Events can operate with zero people allowed (UF Phase 1) , less than 10 people (UF Phase 2), maybe they can do less than 50 people indoors or no more than 250 people outdoors ( UF Phase 3), but certainly not the Florida State Fair. If your County is in the last Phase (UF Phase 4) there are no in person limits UNLESS the County you are going to compete in; is in a stricter Phase. UF Phases are known to fluctuate as virus loads jostle up and down per County making it imperative you stay in communication with your County 4-H Agent before attending any show/event.
To make clearer here are some examples:
EXAMPLE SCENARIO #1: Your County is in UF Phase 3 and your County Fair has an outdoor pavilion, are making sure no more than 250 are in attendance*, adhering to social distancing, masks, and sanitizing. Members can show as 4-H and are covered by insurance as well as the 4-H volunteers.
EXAMPLE SCENARIO #2: Same as above EXCEPT 251 people attend. You are no longer covered under the name and emblem, are considered a private citizen with no 4-H accident nor liability insurance. You can wear the clothes – but you will not have the benefits.
EXAMPLE SCENARIO #3: There is a 4-H approved event in another County that is in UF Phase 3 ( groups up to 50 indoors or 250 outdoors*) but your County is in UF Phase 2 ( 10 people or less) . In that case youth and volunteers will have to attend as private citizens, not as members of 4-H and are not covered by 4-H insurance and benefits. You are held to the UF Phase set by your home County Extension Office NOT by the UF Phase of the County you are competing in. You can wear the clothes – but you will not have the benefits.
EXAMPLE SCENARIO #4 – You go to a non-approved event. Then you are a private citizen, not considered member of 4-H at that event with no insurance nor benefits same with volunteers. But you can wear the clothes.
Warning! Do not assume a Fair/Event or even the Florida State Fair will have coverage. Ask. You may want to consider purchasing insurance for when “operating” as a private citizen.
To stay within UF/4-H policies while at an approved show/event:
“For Livestock/Equine Events – While in-ring, participants may elect to remove their mask, however, show participants must wear face coverings when not in the ring competing. During time of competition, physical distancing (6 feet minimum) must be maintained. Competitors who choose to wear a face covering during the competition may not be penalized.” Florida 4-H COVID Townhall
Shooting sports when on the firing line for safety purposes, shooting sports are mask exempt. But masks must be worn when outside the firing line.
Question: “Can animals be penned next to one another for a show, community barn, etc.? Typically, animals should be distanced as well, for the simplest reason that feeding, and watering would put youth in close proximity to others. As an alternative, a feeing schedule could be arranged such that participants are never in the same location at the same time.” Florida 4-H COVID Townhall
If you go to a show/ event that is approved, I suggest you write down the date, Phase your County is in and if necessary the Phase for the County the event is in, number of people in attendance as well as photos to show social distancing, face masks and sanitization techniques as proof if needed.
Florida 4-H said they want youth to show, but safely. 4-H is a great program. With millions of youth worldwide benefiting. If you have any questions or need more information – contact your County 4-H Agent as Stacey said, “Things are constantly changing.”
For more details on the different UF Phases go to http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/UF-IFAS-Extension-Phase-3-Event-Policies-Covid-9_14_2020.pdf
For excellent source of details watch the Florida 4-H COVID Townhall. It goes into lots of details Florida 4-H COVID Townhall Meeting. I HIGHLY suggest volunteers and members take an hour out of their day and listen. https://ufl.zoom.us/rec/play/ucIrdOippzo3Tt3HtQSDBqQtW46_La-shyAXr6YLzxnmUSUDNVWkbuMaN7PkYeiIJQ--sPIa1jDFWuT4?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=Vfot67yaTdqN4VNX9UZ4iw.1596643938391.61b29895bc8db2af7364dd86baa6667d&_x_zm_rhtaid=427&fbclid=IwAR04N6B6UXY4FxDwk-_ltMXOIC3_k_8pQXXpVdUO22rZXqBg9KftnDYLIFg
Florida 4-H COVID Policies
Must Be Followed To Avoid Possible Dismissal
By Stephanie Collins
Keeping members and volunteers safe is very important to Florida 4-H. Thus they made it very clear in their Florida 4-H COVID Townhall meeting July 28th that failure to comply with UF/IFAS/4-H COVID policies can result in a volunteer, youth member or parent “being removed from their association with 4-H” . I realize that is a strong opening statement, but this is a serious topic with serious repercussions. As a side note, they also stated Florida 4-H insurance: “ does not provide illness coverage for Covid-19”. Another important detail for members and volunteers to know.
In order to obey their policies, the first thing you need to know is what Phase your County Extension/4-H office is in. No matter what Phase UF recommends, your County Extension may choose to be in a stricter Phase. For instance, if UF recommends Phase 3, your County may choose to be Phase 1 or 2 due to the virus load in your County. Phases can jostle back and forth. Assumptions as to what Phase you are in is not an option, ask your 4-H Agent.
Below are the different UF Phases followed by some example scenarios.
“Phase 1: No face to face programs. Virtual programs allowed”
“Phase 2: One on one appointments are allowed. No face to face group programs. Virtual programs allowed.” – (NOTE: I also saw in my research that for Phase 2 “groups of up to ten can meet (for 4-H this would mean up to 8 youth and 2 adults)” if approved.
“Phase 3: Approval to host face to face programs with more than 10 people may now be requested.”
“Indoors: The total number of people for indoor events must be one half of the capacity of the facility as determined by the state Fire Marshall, must not exceed 50 and must maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from one another. Therefore, the actual capacity may limit enrollment below 50. If you have a large indoor venue, you may operate it at up to 50% of capacity while complying with the face covering and social distancing requirements. Depending on the venue layout and space available to ensure the minimum prescribed physical distancing requirement, the maximum attendance could be less than 50% of building capacity.”
“Outdoors: 250 people maximum, but venue managers have the latitude to set lower maximum attendance capacities for their venues.”
“Phase 4: Face to face programs allowed -no social distancing required; face coverings TBD.”UF/IFAS Phase 3 Event Policies Covid - link bottom of article
Now that you know the UF Phases with details you can start implementing their policies. Below are some example scenarios to demonstrate how you can apply their policies to your Club.
Example Scenario for Phase 1- You hold an in-person meeting – policy is broken, and you are NOT covered by insurance.
Example Scenario for Phase 2: You requested and have approval from your County 4-H office. Being diligent you make sure no more than 10 people are present at your Club meeting (that includes parents, family members etc.) , social distancing is adhered to and sanitizing in place. But, one person refuses to wear a mask. Policy is broken and there is no insurance coverage. The program must cease immediately, and everyone must exit if not resolved. If a youth is unable to wear a mask due to medical type issues – they must have prior approval from 4-H to be exempt, otherwise policy is broken. Do not accept verbal. Only accept written approvals.
Note: Livestock/Equine and Shooting Sports are mask exempt when in the show/practice ring or firing line for safety purposes. But masks must be worn when outside the ring/line.
Example Scenario for Phase 3: The County does not approve your request for face to face meetings stating you can do them virtually. You host an in person meeting anyhow. Policy is broken and you are not covered by insurance.
Example Scenario for Phase 3 - You attend an approved event that has a pre-registration process, social distancing, masks, and sanitization in place. The event is indoors, and 51 people are in attendance instead of 50. Policy is broken and you are not covered by insurance.
When you apply with your 4-H Agent for approval, here is what your Agent is looking for.
"Approval will be provided if appropriate safety measures are followed. For example, face coverings are required at all UF/IFAS Extension in-person events, indoors and outdoors, regardless of group size. Also, social distancing (minimum of 6 feet) must be maintained." Plus groups are to follow the policy for whatever Phase your County is in.
Question: “Are we as leaders covered if we end up in a situation that a member of the 4-H gathering contracts COVID 19 and they want to come back at us? If the volunteer was an approved county volunteer ( with an annual letter of appointment) and the gathering was approved through the Essential Activities portal and carried out as agreed upon, then yes the University of Florida will back you up.” Florida 4-H COVID Townhall Meeting
Masks and sanitizing equipment all come at a cost for our 4-H volunteers. Florida 4-H suggests County 4-H offices use some of their membership fees to help. Ask your 4-H Agent if you need help purchasing masks and/or sanitizing supplies. According to Stacey Ellison ( 2nd in charge of Florida 4-H ) "Florida 4-H did purchase bandana style facial coverings that were sent out to all Counties who did not al ready have access. Their hope is if someone shows up without one ( things happen) 4-H can provide." Note: 4-H said in their Townhall Meeting there were no protocols on how to sanitize.
Remember Florida 4-H made it very clear that failure to comply to UF COVID policies can result in a volunteer, youth member or parent being dismissed from 4-H. Be proactive. Do NOT accept verbal – get everything in writing. Know your County’s Phase. Develop a dated sign in sheet with phase # listed. Take photos showing social distancing, masks and sanitizing in place. Be proactive. You never know when you may need to prove you followed policies.
Agents - while this virus with all the changes is tough for you to navigate, it is tough for your volunteers too. Keeping youth and volunteers safe is a team effort. Good, clear communication from all our County Agents with volunteers is crucial during this pandemic.
Most of the information above was gleaned from the Florida 4-H COVID Townhall Meeting. I HIGHLY suggest volunteers and members take an hour out of their day and listen. https://ufl.zoom.us/rec/play/ucIrdOippzo3Tt3HtQSDBqQtW46_La-shyAXr6YLzxnmUSUDNVWkbuMaN7PkYeiIJQ--sPIa1jDFWuT4?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=Vfot67yaTdqN4VNX9UZ4iw.1596643938391.61b29895bc8db2af7364dd86baa6667d&_x_zm_rhtaid=427&fbclid=IwAR04N6B6UXY4FxDwk-_ltMXOIC3_k_8pQXXpVdUO22rZXqBg9KftnDYLIFg
Also here is link for the different phases http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/UF-IFAS-Extension-Phase-3-Event-Policies-Covid-9_14_2020.pdf
Other information was gleaned from emails, searches and conversations.
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