Volunteering with Keep Indianapolis Beautiful COVID-19 Health & Safety Procedures



Note: Keep Indianapolis Beautiful is following guidance from Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Marion County Public Health Department regarding recommendations, restrictions, and workplace adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. KIB’s volunteer and project procedures are subject to change based on guidance from Mayor Hogsett and the MCPHD.

General questions from the public or healthcare providers about COVID-19 can call the Indiana State Department of Health’s COVID-19 Call Center at the toll-free number 877-826-0011 (available 24/7) or email epiresource@isdh.in.gov. To view a copy of the Marion County Public Health Department’s Public Health Orders click here. To view Mayor Hogsett’s executive orders click here.


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 and tools are being sanitized before 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.

When will projects resume? KIB is adhering to the stay-at-home order that Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has announced that extends until May 15, 2020.* KIB is also adhering to the Marion County Public Health Department and the CDC guidelines about group sizes. Because this is still a fluid and rapidly evolving situation, we have resumed a few 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? Call or email the volunteer coordinator, Esmé Barniskis at (317) 960-4347 and ebarniskis@kibi.org. You may also 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: All volunteers must be pre-registered. If bringing additional volunteers (e.g. colleagues or spouse), volunteers must register as a group.  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 be asked to respectfully leave.

Communication: Questions regarding safety or other logistics should be directed to the event organizer, Esmé Barniskis, at ebarniskis@kibi.org. If projects are cancelled or postponed for any reason, this needs to be communicated with both Esmé and other project partners. Esmé will, as is the norm, be the one to update volunteers with the status of the event.

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 for a project will be sterilized before projects. An Ambassador or staff member will remove tools from the tool trailer and wipe down the handles with the appropriate sterilization implements. Sterilization materials will be provided by KIB. Tools will be given to individual participants to limit spread of any bacterial or viral infections. It is strongly recommended that tools should not be shared by any volunteers or staff members.


Safety on the Day of the Project

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): All staff and volunteers will be required to wear a mask or cloth face covering. The facial covering must cover both nose and mouth. Masks must be worn if they are indoors or closer than 6 feet from another participant. Masks are recommended when outside and more than 6 feet apart. Participants are expected to bring their own mask. KIB project leaders may, depending on available supplies and personal judgement, have some extra masks for individuals who have forgotten theirs, but this should not be regarded as a substitute for participants’ own mask. Participants without masks will be respectfully asked to leave.

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. Project leaders should demonstrate how to remove cloth gloves safely at the end of the project. An addendum with a visual chart showing how to 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.

Physical Distance: Volunteers and staff will be asked to maintain to the best of their ability a social distance of 6’ throughout the project. At the start, to receive instructions, participants will loosely congregate and maintain adequate distance from each other. If possible, we should have two qualified project leaders conducting onsite demonstrations. Filmed instructions can be distributed ahead of time via email if it is a particularly large project. Participants will then be split into smaller teams that will not overlap in tools or duties with other teams.

Hand Sanitizer: KIB will provide a standing dispenser of hand sanitizer and all participants are highly encouraged to make use of this. In particular, please consider using hand sanitizer before touching any shared items. Please avoid congregating around the hand sanitizer dispenser.

Group Size: Depending on the project, after checking in, participants will be split into smaller teams with disparate tasks and tools. No smaller team should exceed twenty-five (25) persons. The division of teams should be decided in advance, and no participant should swap groups without KIB staff knowledge. If participants complete their tasks ahead of schedule, they should not join another small group and instead should ask the project leader for additional small group activities.

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. We will distribute via email a list of symptoms beforehand so that participants can make informed decisions regarding their participation in KIB events.  

Checking-In: KIB volunteers will check-in with a staff member/Ambassador at a safe social distance (6’). At no time should volunteers or staff be closer to each other than 6’. 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 https://www.kibi.org/checkin. If volunteers have technical difficulties with that website, 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: In the past, KIB has provided water for participants with a water jug and disposable water bottles. Because this is potential congregation site, KIB project participants will be asked to bring their own drinking water. KIB will still bring a pack of bottled water for emergency use. If someone needs the emergency bottled water, they should alert KIB staff and then get a bottle, making sure not to touch other bottles in the pack.

Phone Contact: Phone surfaces are especially likely to accumulate viral and bacterial contaminants, according to the CDC. While phone use is hard to avoid, we ask that volunteers limit contact with their personal cell phones as much as possible during the project. When using the phone, we ask that volunteers remove their gloves so as not to transfer potential contaminants from their phones to the exterior of their gloves. 

Tool Sterilization:  Immediately after the project, volunteers will bring their tools to lean against the tool trailer and brought back to KIB headquarters. When volunteers have left, staff will bring tools into the trailer. Tools will be sterilized by KIB staff or an Ambassador prior to the next project that requires these tools. Designated staff and/or Ambassadors will sanitize any surface of each tool that may have been contacted by a person’s hands, respiratory vapors, or other bodily fluid. KIB will provide necessary supplies for tool sterilization. 

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.

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, tightness or pressure in chest, difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, dry cough, headache, sore throat, new loss of smell and/or taste, muscle pain. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.

***Symptoms consistent with the flu are: fever, chills, 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