COUNCIL UPDATE: MARCH 19, 2020
The U.S. Department of State has classified any travel outside of the U.S. as “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” GSUSA recommends that:
- All troop/group international travel planned for the next 90 days (through June 30, 2020) is immediately rescheduled or cancelled
- All troop/group domestic travel planned for the next 60 days (through May 31, 2020) is immediately rescheduled or cancelled
- Reach out to your affected groups immediately to provide them with guidance on making their postponement or cancellation decisions and troops/groups who have planned extended travel for the remainder of the Membership year to discuss their contingency plans.
- Travel Tips for Troop/Group Leaders
COUNCIL UPDATE: MARCH 18, 2020
As federal guidelines currently limit gatherings to fewer than 10, GSUSA is advising that all Girl Scout in-person activities, including troop meetings, be canceled effective immediately.
Since 1912, we have used the Girl Scout slogan, "Do a good turn daily," as a reminder of the many ways girls can contribute positively to the lives of others. Please help your Girl Scouts, family, friends, and neighbors stay healthy during this unprecedented situation, and cancel all in-person Girl Scout activities, including troop and service unit meetings, field trips, and overnights, through April 30. Practicing good hygiene, limiting social gatherings, and embracing social distancing will help to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.
GSUSA is in the process of creating a library of virtual Girl Scout activities and resources for girls to explore at their own pace—we'll share more information once it is available. In the meantime, we encourage you to take advantage of free technology options, such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype, to hold virtual meetings and activities.
In addition to canceling troop meetings, Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida is suspending all council-sponsored activities beginning March 16 through April 30. This includes council programs, trainings, property or facility rentals, etc. Refunds will be issued accordingly.
All council properties, including Girl Scout Houses, Camp Caloosa and Camp Honi Hanta, the Gulfcoast Event and Conference Center, the council shop, and council headquarters, will also be closed to the public from March 16 through April 30.
Mission-critical business will continue as planned, and our staff will still be available to assist you via phone or email during our regular administrative business hours, Tuesday-Friday, from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Shop orders may also be placed via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (941-923-5241).
Note that the cancelation dates may be extended, dependent upon future updates from the CDC and other authorities. We appreciate your patience and understanding and ask that you regularly monitor our website, social media channels, and email for further updates and directives. Please be sure to check your email "spam" boxes as well.
If we can be of further assistance, please contact customer care at email@example.com, or 800-232-4475 during our regular administrative business hours.
Note: we will keep this page updated as situations change, so please check back if you are looking for the most up-to-date information.
First and foremost, we advise that everyone follow the steps outlined by the CDC:
- Clean your hands often- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact- Overall, it’s good practice to avoid handshakes and hugs with anyone over the next few weeks. It is especially crucial to avoid close contact with people who show visible signs of sickness (sneezing, runny nose, cough, red eyes, etc.).
- Stay home if you’re sick- Though we will certainly miss you, please stay home if you (or your girl) are sick and make getting well your top priority. It’s important that we all take personal responsibility and err on the side of safety for the benefit of our friends, family and community
- Cover coughs and sneezes- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them with soap and water before using a commercial disinfectant (like Lysol wipes). Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
What about plans for girl travel and Destinations?
GSUSA is issuing regular guidance to council CEOs regarding travel, as this situation is developing. For travel with girls scheduled within the next 60 days, they strongly recommend that you examine each scheduled trip and determine on a case-by-case basis whether the trip should be cancelled or rescheduled. They recommend daily monitoring of updates from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and state/local authorities. For any trip that does proceed, ensure to take every suggested precaution recommended by the CDC and U.S. Department of State in conjunction with all of our council's Travel/Trip guidelines in Safety Activity Checkpoints. Important: please note that if there is any girl travel scheduled in the next 60 days to a U.S. Department of State Level 3 location due to COVID-19 risk, the trip should immediately be cancelled or re-routed. The Department of State is also advising against travel on cruise ships, due to increased risk of infection.
For additional information and resources about COVID-19, we recommend the following:
- CDC website – The CDC is publishing its latest updates, health tips, and country-specific travel information.
- WHO coronavirus Q&A – The World Health Organization has published a helpful Q&A addressing many of the common questions about this virus.
- Florida Department of Health – Latest developments in the sunshine state.
- How to Talk to Your Girl About Coronavirus – Tips from the GSUSA Raising Awesome Girls page about how to talk to girls not by avoiding the topic, but by tackling it head-on. Tambien en Español: Cómo Hablar Con Su Niña Sobre El Coronavirus