Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update
Updated May 6, 2021
Please note that there have been several prior MAC updates. With the evolving situation with coronavirus (COVID-19), this notification supersedes and replaces any prior information.
Health and safety are always our first priority in Scouting. We want to keep you informed, but do not want to overwhelm with too much information and too frequent updates. We will strive to make updates timely, relevant, and responsive to the changing situation.
We are moving into a phase of the pandemic where increasing vaccination rates will be decreasing disease risk. However, many Scout-age youth are not yet eligible for vaccination, so we must remain vigilant that Scouting events do not become a source of disease spread.
MAC is following the recommended guidelines of the CDC, the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources, and any directives from the Governor or President. The general guideline is that if school is not in-person, indoor unit meetings and indoor activities should also not be held in-person.
- Council Service Center (Fairmont) – open for normal hours, mask required
- Scout Shop (Fairmont) – open for normal hours, mask required
- Camp Mountaineer – open for unit reservations in buildings or campsites; district or council-led activities will be held following state guidance on camps and guidance from council’s health supervisor
*Council Service Center & Scout Shop will continue to operate under the recommendations of the WV and Marion County health officials. Camp Mountaineer will continue to operate under the recommendations of the WV and Monongalia County health officials.
Unit (Pack/Troop/Crew) Operations:
Following the West Virginia Strong – The Comeback executive orders, West Virginians are encouraged to follow several guidelines, including engaging in outdoor activities, with social distancing and crowd size rules.
Units should remain in contact with their chartering organization and follow the chartering organization’s policies and guidance on meetings and gatherings. If a unit (pack, troop, crew) is permitted to have in-person meetings, at-risk individuals who have not been fully vaccinated should be strongly encouraged to stay at home, and units should be careful to include members who should not attend in-person meetings in their plans.
Risk Reduction Efforts for all activities:
- Encourage vaccination, noting that completed vaccination makes disease risk almost non-existent*
- Staying home when you do not feel 100% well
- Conduct activities outdoors
- Masking for indoor activities, plus for large outdoor gatherings or when spacing cannot be maintained outdoors
- Frequent handwashing or hand sanitizer use
*Vaccination is currently available to anyone age 16 and older, and will soon be available to those 12 and over. All Scouters and eligible Scouts are encouraged to get vaccinated for their own health and that of the community and fellow scouts. West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965 or vaccinate.wv.gov
To keep groups small, it is recommended to focus on patrol/den activities and to limit troop/pack activities to brief times, maintaining spacing between patrols/dens, and conducting as much activity as possible outdoors, where risk of viral spread is much less, and maintaining social distance is easier.
Although this will be less common as more people get vaccinated, units are discouraged from holding in-person, indoor, activities or meetings if their county is in an orange or red status on the statewide covid map.
What is still happening?
- Membership, advancement, and award applications are still being processed as normal.
- Whenever possible or appropriate, meetings are being rescheduled or held via a virtual platform (ie Zoom) or held outside. The online calendar at www.macbsa.org will have the most up-to-date information.
- Many Scouters, including staff and volunteers, are working on innovative program ideas that would allow Scouts to participate remotely when necessary. Continue to monitor our Facebook page for posted ideas. If you have an idea for something to share, send it to email@example.com.
- Camp Mountaineer is open for reservations as outlined above.
- Our council staff are all available to assist you via phone, text, and email.
- For more information on the coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the CDC website to review their guidelines.
- Here are 9 tips for speaking with young children about their concerns about coronavirus.
- And, here is information about coping with the many changes and stress that we all will be coping with in the weeks ahead.
- View the Scouting At Home Resources webpage for upcoming virtual events and program ideas
Safety at all levels is our priority. All of us need to work together to help to keep everyone safe and healthy. Let’s remember that “A Scout is Clean” and that means frequent hand-washing and keeping social distance!
Of course, this is an evolving situation and this guidance will change as more information becomes available. For any questions, please contact us at 304-366-3940 or firstname.lastname@example.org.