COVID-19 Update from the Council

March 13, 2020 Announcement

Dear Scouting Family, 

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus, could affect local Scouting programs in Mount Baker Council. Please know that we are monitoring developments along with our Council Enterprise Risk Management committee regarding COVID-19 including information from our Local County Health Departments (please review their websites), the State of Washington and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). First and foremost, the decision to participate in Scouting is voluntary, and each family should make a personal decision for what level of participation, if any, it will have in Scouting meetings and activities during this outbreak.

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.  

Status of Council Events  

Last week, the Mount Baker Council announced the following Council events and activities have been cancelled or postponed through March 31st, 2020.   

  • Baloo Training – postponed 
  • IOLS Training – rescheduled – May 1-2, 2020
  • OA Lodge Spring Gathering – canceled 
  • Shooting Sports Merit Badge Make-up Day – postponed

Any of these events that required payment will be refunded or funds transferred to another council event.  If you were registered for an event that has been rescheduled your registration has automatically been transferred to the new date. Please contact the Everett Service Center for assistance or with any questions.  

As we monitor this situation, we will continue to review and make the needed decisions on activity and events in the month of April and update our communications based on those actions.   

Status of District Events  

District level volunteers are currently evaluating all district level events. Please be on the lookout for further communication from your District Executives on status of those events.   

All District Roundtables in March have been cancelled.  


Unit / Den Meetings and Activities 

Decisions about unit meetings and activities should be made by unit leadership and chartering organizations based on the unit’s individual circumstances, current CDC and local health department guidelines, and common sense. The chartered organization may have policies or protocols that have been put in place in response to COVID-19. Remember that the Chartered Organization “owns” your Scouting unit and has ultimate authority in these decisions.

If your unit’s meeting place is a different entity than your unit’s Chartered Organization, the unit leadership should consult with the meeting place as to any policies or protocols that they have put in place in response to COVID-19. For many Cub Scout Packs, this will be a school campus. Arrangements for alternate meeting locations may be needed. 

For any outside activities, contact the facility’s management to determine if that facility has put any restrictions or policies in place in response to COVID-19. 

If units cancel or postpone large group meetings and continue to meet in small groups in dens or patrols, it is encouraged that all participants understand the everyday preventive measures that are reviewed in this communication and the county health department web pages. Any den, patrol, or other Scouting related gathering, regardless of size, must adhere to the two-deep leadership rule and Safe Scouting Guidelines.   

After consulting with the Chartered Organization, unit committees should determine the most appropriate path forward in delivering the Scouting program for its families. The unit leadership should respect any family’s decision not to participate during this outbreak and make plans to help Scouts that do not participate re-engage after it is complete.   

BSA Polices to Prevent the Spread of Illness 

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at large Scouting events. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.  

Additionally, Scouting families and leaders are encouraged to share this Safety Moment to help prevent the spread of illness. 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SCOUTING UNITS 

EVERYDAY PREVENTATIVE MEASURES 

Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases: 

  • Stay home when you feel sick.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.  
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc. Stay home when you feel sick.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.  
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touc
  • Avoid shaking hands. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.  
  • If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately. 

This summary is provided as an update to MBC families, staff, and other stakeholders on preparations being considered by the Mount Baker Council. This is not a replacement for self-education through access to current information from sources such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Washington Department of Health, or your own physician. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about a specific upcoming event or activity, please reach out to our local Service Centers. We will do everything we can to answer your question using the information available to us. 

We encourage you to share this message with your Scouting families and parents through your communication channels. 

With all of this, keep in mind the Scout Oath and Law. The values there ultimately will help you do what is right for our Scouts, KINDLY letting families chose, or HELPFULLY postponing. Also, remember that a Scout is CLEAN, and that proper hygiene should be practiced for all. 

Please be sure to stay educated and informed as you continue your Scouting adventures. 

Yours in Scouting,

Mount Baker Council’s Key Three