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February 10, 2021

UPDATED SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR VOLUNTEERING WITH KIB

By: Derek Glass

SAFETY GUIDELINES: KIB takes your safety seriously. Masks or facial coverings are required to participate in all KIB volunteer activities at this time. Gloves are strongly recommended and are provided (feel free to bring them from home also). Your group will be no more than 25 volunteers per project leader, with separate meeting sites, tools, water, and hand sanitizer from other groups. Tools are cleaned after each project. If all safety guidelines are followed, volunteers can expect a safe and fun volunteer experience!

QUICK HITS

  • Masks required all the time
  • Gloves strongly recommended
    • Volunteers can bring their own from home
  • 25 volunteers per project leader
    • Separate meeting locations, tools, water, and hand sanitizer
  • Hand sanitizer everywhere
    • Sanitizing wipes available
  • Tools set out in kits before the project
  • Tools sprayed with sanitizer after each project
  • Encourage volunteering with a household member
    • Especially at Community Forestry projects!
  • Encourage check-ins on volunteers’ personal cell phones
  • Social distancing as much as is feasible (little longer than a shovel between people)
  • Stay home if sick or if contact was made with someone who is ill
    • No onsite health screening or temperature check due to unreliability

GENERAL VOLUNTEER QUESTIONS 


What is being done to keep me safe? Several new steps are being taken to ensure the safety of our volunteers and staff. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required to participate in projects. Group sizes are limited, and physical distance is being implemented in our project design. If safety protocols are followed, volunteers can expect a safe and fun volunteer experience.

What is the current status of projects?  KIB is adhering to the Marion County Public Health Department and the CDC guidelines about group sizes. Because this is still a fluid situation, projects are currently smaller than in pre-COVID seasons. We have resumed small-scale projects with the knowledge that future projects may be postponed or canceled as the situation develops. We will resume larger public projects as soon as KIB understands that it is safe to do so. Project statuses are subject to change based on the recommendations of Mayor Hogsett and the Marion County Public Health Department. Communication about projects will be shared as soon as statuses are updated. 

If I have concerns, who do I contact? You can contact our office front desk at (317) 264-7555. If you have underlying health concerns, please consider speaking with your healthcare provider about what is right for you before attending any events, either through KIB or otherwise. 

SAFETY BEFORE THE DAY OF THE PROJECT 

Registration: Volunteers must be pre-registered. If bringing additional volunteers (e.g. colleagues or spouse), volunteers must individually register for the project.  This is to ensure group size will remain safe on the day of the project. The calendar of volunteer projects can be found here: www.kibi.org/projects. If volunteers arrive without registering, they will respectfully be asked to attend a future project that they are able to register for.

Communication: Questions regarding safety or other logistics should be directed to our main office phone number, (317) 264-7555.

Transportation: Volunteers must provide their own transportation to events, as in the past. Staff members should not give volunteers rides in their personal cars or fleet trucks unless it is a medical emergency. Only one KIB staff member should be in a single fleet vehicle at a time.

Tools: All necessary tools will be set out before the project begins to avoid congregating around the tool trailer. While the surface survivability rate of COVID-19 virus is low, it is strongly recommended that tools not be shared between volunteers. At the end of a project, volunteers should set their tools against the tool trailer to be put away by a project leader. Tools will be sprayed with sanitizer post-project by a Tree Tender, Ambassador, or staff member.

SAFETY ON THE DAY OF THE PROJECT

Masks: All staff and volunteers are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering. The facial covering must cover both nose and mouth. If needing to take a drink of water, volunteers should move at least 6 feet away before removing their mask to take a drink. Participants are expected to bring their own mask. Participants without masks will be respectfully asked to leave and attend another project when they can provide their own mask.

Gloves: All participants are strongly encouraged to wear gloves. KIB will provide a set of cloth gloves for project participants. Participants are encouraged to bring their own cloth gloves if that is an option for them. The cloth work gloves are primarily to prevent scraps and cuts from occurring, but can help limit the spread of viral or bacterial infections as well. KIB will not be supplying single-use plastic gloves, but participants may bring their own pair if desired. If participants bring a personal set of single-use plastic gloves, they may wear those underneath the cloth gloves. An addendum with a visual chart showing how to safely remove single-use plastic gloves is available at the end of this document. A step-by-step list of how to remove cloth gloves safely is available as an addendum to this document.

Group Sizes: Projects can host 25 volunteers for every staff project leader present. Each group of 25 volunteers will have a separate meeting location, separate tools, and should not intermingle with other groups. Volunteers will register for a specific group on the project calendar ahead of time, and no participants should swap groups without KIB staff knowledge and guidance. At single-site projects, such as GreenSpaces, numbered poles will be placed throughout the site to indicate meeting locations for separate groups of 25. This will enable larger groups to be spread out in different locations at the same project site.

Physical Distance: Volunteers and staff will be asked to maintain to the best of their ability a social distance of 6 feet throughout the project. A staff member or Ambassador should encourage and remind volunteers of this distance throughout the project as it is needed. Places to note physical distance are at check in, during the task demonstration, at the water station, and at the hand sanitizing station.

Demonstrations and Instructions: At the start of a project, to receive instructions, participants will loosely congregate and maintain adequate distance from each other. No more than 25 volunteers will be assigned to each project leader for a demonstration. At tree planting projects, Tree Tenders may take up to 12 volunteers and lead a planting demonstration, and the staff project leader will lead the other 12 volunteers in a planting demonstration. The tree planting demo video is included in each Community Forestry project as something to watch before volunteers arrive onsite. This video is strongly recommended for volunteers to view if they are not a Tree Tender. At the project, the demonstration will serve as a review of that video. Participants will then be split into smaller teams that will not share tools or tasks with other teams.

Working in Teams: It is strongly recommended that all tree planting volunteers attend a project with a member of their household or someone already in their “bubble” to minimize spending large amounts of time with people previously unknown to them. The project postings will encourage that approach. Those household teams will plant trees together after the planting demonstration. If volunteers come alone to a tree planting project, they will either plant alone or be paired with other solo volunteers. At GreenSpaces, Habitat Restoration workdays, and Great Indy Cleanups, tasks often are more individual and household groups may be working individually or together depending on the task.

Hand Sanitizer: KIB will provide a standing dispenser of hand sanitizer and all participants are highly encouraged to make use of this. There will also be sanitizing wipes available. In particular, please consider using hand sanitizer before touching any shared items. Please avoid congregating around the hand sanitizer dispenser. KIB to provide poles of hand sanitizer at each project

Medical Screening: At this time, KIB will not be medically screening participants on the day of the project. However, participants who have exhibited symptoms consistent with COVID-19** or the flu*** within fourteen (14) days of the project will be asked to stay home. Additionally, if participants have come into known contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms, we respectfully ask that the participant stay home. A list of symptoms is included in every project posting, signup email, and reminder email. This is included so that volunteers can make informed decisions regarding their participation in KIB projects. 

Checking-In: KIB volunteers will check-in with a staff member or Ambassador at a safe social distance (6 feet). At no time should volunteers or staff be closer to each other than 6 feet. Project leaders should use one tablet per leader to check individuals in. Tablets should not be touched or shared with anyone other than the designated person checking volunteers in. The other option is for volunteers to check themselves in with their personal smart phone at www.kibi.org/checkin. The laminated signs that direct volunteers to do that will be present at projects. If volunteers have technical difficulties with the form, they will have to check in with a project leader on a tablet. The final option is a paper back-up, and the pen must be sanitized in between uses.

Water: KIB will provide water for participants with a water jug and/or disposable water bottles. Because this is potential congregation site, KIB project participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own drinking water. KIB will still provide water for volunteers, and hand sanitizer should be used before and after handling the shared water station. 

Tool Cleaning: When the project is over, volunteers will bring their tools to lean against the tool trailer or in other designated locations. Staff will spray down all tools with sanitizer before loading them into the trailer. Tools remain in the trailer for at least 3 days before being used again. While the surface survivability rate of COVID-19 is low, a combination of wearing gloves, spray tools with sanitizer, and leaving them untouched for 3 days will further increase the safety of tools at KIB projects.

SAFETY AFTER THE DAY OF THE PROJECT
 

Gloves: The cloth gloves will be collected in a bucket immediately after the project and will be washed at the KIB headquarters. Volunteers should safely remove their gloves and place them in the designated bucket located by the tool trailer. If also wearing personal single-use plastic gloves, those should be removed safely (see chart below) and placed in a trash bag for disposal at the KIB headquarters.
•    Gloves will be washed as normal at the KIB office by a staff member

Contact Tracing: We ask that all participants staff self-report to the Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) or to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) if they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19** or the flu*** within fourteen (14) days of the project date, AND inform them that they recently attended a KIB project. The MCPHD and/or ISDH will conduct the necessary contact-tracing and will ensure that all medical information is kept secure and private. If KIB is contacted by either MCPHD or ISDH regarding someone who attended a project, we will share the complete list of participants and project leaders with them so that they may complete contact tracing to the best of their ability. KIB will only share participant contact information with either MCPHD or ISDH if requested by that same health agency.

NOTES AND LINKS
 

*Indiana Governor Holcomb’s stay-at-home order can be read here: https://www.backontrack.in.gov/2348.htm and https://www.backontrack.in.gov/files/BackOnTrack-IN_WhatsOpen-Closed-stage1.pdf. And Indianapolis Mayor Hogsett’s extension can be read here: https://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/indianapolis/2020/04/30/indianapolis-stay-home-order-extended-may-15/3054639001/.
 

**Symptoms consistent with COVID-19 are: fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.


***Symptoms consistent with the flu are: fever or feeling feverish, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue/tiredness. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/index.html.

 

HOW TO REMOVE GLOVES SAFELY
 

Gloves can protect against the novel coronavirus. However, gloves can provide a false sense of security. While wearing gloves, anything you touch with your gloved hands (e.g. phone, doorknobs, face) becomes exposed to whatever virus or bacteria you may have come into contact with while wearing gloves. Removing gloves safely and without touching your bare skin is therefore important.

HOW TO REMOVE CLOTH GLOVES SAFELY
 

  1. Grip one glove by the fingertips and pull until the glove is completely removed
  2. Place that glove in the bucket or receptacle 
  3. Place fingers from your bare hand inside the cuff of the glove that you have on, be sure not to touch the outside of the glove
  4. Peel that glove off so that it comes off inside out, touching only the inside of the glove
  5. Place that glove in the bucket or receptacle 
  6. Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
     

HOW TO REMOVE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC GLOVES
 

  1. Grip one glove on the outside of the glove near the cuff 
  2. Peel it down until it comes off inside out 
  3. Cup the removed glove with your gloved hand.
  4. Place fingers from your bare hand inside the cuff of the glove that you have on. Be sure to not touch any damp or contaminated areas of the glove.
  5. Peel that glove off so that it comes off inside out, touching only the inside of the glove you are removing keeping the other glove inside it
  6. Dispose of the gloves in a trash container
  7. Wash your hands with soap and water
     

Sources: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/14/can-wearing-medical-gloves-protect-you-from-coronavirus-experts.html, and https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-remove-gloves.pdf

Categories: Volunteers