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4-H clover Safety protocols for in-person programs

MN 4-H Youth Development

Safety protocols for in-person programs

The protocols to conduct in-person programming have been adjusted based on Minnesota’s evolving health and safety guidelines. These protocols will be applied to 4-H clubs and small groups, day camps, project workshops, public 4-H showcases, and overnight camps, and replace previous protocols.


Our protocols continue to draw on Minnesota Department of Health guidances:


If guidelines change, Minnesota 4-H will adjust our protocols to align. 

Safety Protocol for all Programs

Health Practices

  • Health screening
    • Stay at home if sick. Participants screen for COVID symptoms and take temperature daily before arriving. If a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher is present or other symptoms are present, they may not attend.
    • Post health screening checklist at the event.
  • Wash/sanitize hands often.
  • Identify a location to isolate symptomatic staff, volunteers, or participants while they wait to be picked or are able to leave on their own. If they need to be isolated and must wait to be picked up, they will be alone in the isolation room with an adult available outside the door. They will not be left alone nor will they be one-on-one with an adult. 
  • Physical distancing is recommended and will be built into program design. 
  • Face masks are strongly recommended indoors for individuals not fully vaccinated. 
  • Follow COVID-19 Exclusion Guidance: Decision Tree for Symptomatic Individuals in Schools and Childcare Programs.  


  • Encourage outdoor activities.
  • Design youth program spaces to distance participants..
    • Stagger arrival and departures for large groups.
    • Separate public from youth participants during events/activities.
  • Ensure planned activities (e.g., swimming, sports) follow the MDH guidance if part of a program.
  • Follow MDH youth programs group size guidance for 4-H groups, project workshops, day camps, and overnight camps. 
  • Follow MDH youth sports pod size guidance for showcase experiences that more closely aligns with youth sports.

Cleaning, Disinfection, and PPE

  • Identify frequently touched surfaces (e.g, light switches, sink handles, water fountains, restrooms, countertops, chairs) and clean/disinfect at least daily, with more frequent disinfection when deemed necessary.
  • Ask participants to provide their own face coverings.
  • Keep an adequate supply of products on hand (e.g., spare face masks, soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, gloves for food service, cleaning supplies).


  • Communicate protocols to participants during the registration process and prior to the event.
    • Screen for COVID symptoms (fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, loss of smell or taste) and take temperature daily before arriving. If a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher is present or other symptoms are present, they may not attend. 
    • Physical distancing is recommended and built into program.
    • Face masks are strongly recommended indoors for individuals not fully vaccinated. 
  • Post signs for health screening, handwashing, cough etiquette, physical distancing and masking recommendations in premises where 4-H is present.

Additional Guidelines

Overnight Experiences

  • Adjust cabin/sleeping area capacity to encourage physical distancing.
  • Encourage head-to-toe sleeping arrangements.
  • Limit cabin/sleeping area access only to people who are assigned to the space.
  • Open windows as weather and safety permits to encourage air flow.


Transportation will be provided only when necessary and follow these guidelines due to the enclosed environment:

  • Review the capacity of the vehicle with the goal to create as much space as possible between riders. 
  • Maintain at least six feet distance in buses between the driver and riders.
  • Driver and riders will wear a mask.
  • Open windows as weather allows to ventilate vehicle, 
  • Seatbelts will be worn when available.

Food Service

  • Limit menu and number of people working during a shift to promote physical distancing.
  • Move seating outside when possible; limit indoor seating to encourage physical distancing. 
  • Disinfect kitchen surfaces at shift change.
  • Plan a break for workers to move outdoors at least every four hours.
  • Post signage for patrons to explain the traffic flow and ordering process.
  • Review the food service guidance if hosting a food stand/food wagon, drive-thru meal, bake sale, community meal or offer food at a 4-H program.

Public presentations and performances

  • Outdoor performances are recommended.
  • During indoor practices and performances, distance performers from different households as much as possible. 
  • Separate spectators from performers by at least 12 feet. 
  • Follow music activities and performances for other guidance

Approved 5.21.21

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