Skip to content

Summary of COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocols

Updated 8-17-21

Nearby Nature Communicable Disease Management Plan Summary

(See Full Policy here.)

1– Daily Health Screening and Safety Protocols

  • Drop-off/pick-up will happen at program-specific sites where parents/guardians will sign children in and out.
  • Parents/guardians are required to wear face coverings outdoors during drop-off/pick-up. They should physically distance themselves from others not in their households.
  • Children will have COVID-19 verbal health assessments at program drop-off. Children with symptoms will not be admitted to programs.
  • Parents/guardians will not be allowed to visit programs unless there is an emergency.

2 — Record Keeping and Contact Tracing

  • Staff will keep a log for each program that will support contact tracing if needed.
  • Written records will be kept regarding any staff/volunteer or program participant who goes home sick/has symptoms of illness.

3 — Exclusion from Programs (for Sick or COVID-19 Exposed Persons)

  • Staff/volunteers should not come to work and parents/guardians should not bring children to programs if they (or anyone in their household) are ill.
  • If a child becomes ill at a program, a parent/guardian will be contacted for a pick up.
  • Sick staff, volunteers, and program participants will be asked to remain home for at least 10 days after COVID-19 symptoms onset, until 24 hours after symptoms are gone without medicine, and with COVID-19 symptoms improving. (See full policy for additional details and information about other illness symptoms.)
  • Nearby Nature will exclude from programs anyone who is unvaccinated and is known to have been exposed to COVID-19 within the preceding 14 days.
  • Staff, volunteers, or program participants who have a cough (due to asthma, allergies, etc.) that is not a new onset cough will not be excluded from programs. Documentation of such medical conditions will need to be provided prior to programs.

4 — Notification of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Program Participants or Staff

  • If any program participant, volunteer, staff member, or visitor is diagnosed with COVID-19, that person/family should immediately alert Nearby Nature administrative staff and refrain from returning to programs/work.
  • Nearby Nature will notify Lane County Public Health and the Oregon Office of Child Care (as appropriate) if anyone who has entered our site is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • If anyone associated with Nearby Nature programs is officially diagnosed with COVID-19, we should be notified by Lane County Public Health as part of contact tracing.
  • Families will be notified anyone associated with Nearby Nature programs is confirmed to have COVID-19. Nearby Nature will not, however, disclose the identity of the diagnosed person due confidentiality requirements in Federal HIPAA law.

5 — Protocol for Cessation of Program Activities If Necessary

  • Nearby Nature will consult with local health authorities regarding facility sanitation and/or possible program closure if any program participant, volunteer, staff member, or visitor is diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • If it becomes necessary to close Nearby Nature programs, a prorated refund or program credit will be offered if closure is unavoidable and permanent.

Illness Prevention & Sanitation Summary

1 — Illness Prevention Protocols

Stable Groups:

  • Each program will consist of one group of no more than 10-12 children. Interactions with program participants from other stable groups will be limited.
  • The number of staff/volunteers/visitors regularly interacting with each stable group will be reduced to the safest minimum number.


  • Program participants will be encouraged to wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Alcohol-based hand-sanitizing products (60%+) may be substituted for soap and water washing and will be provided if program participants do not have easy access to a sink.

Health and Safety Reminders:

  • Staff/volunteers will provide program participants with age-appropriate verbal health and safety reminders.

Food Service:

  • Program participants/staff/volunteers will wash hands or use hand sanitizer before eating.
  • Program participants will not share food with other program participants.
  • Students may use individual collection and food service supplies to harvest and/or prepare food using vegetables and fruits from the Learnscape.

Physical Distancing:

  • Staff/volunteers will help program participants maintain physical distancing as much as possible.

Equipment Sharing: 

  • Activities that minimize the sharing of equipment/supplies will be prioritized.
  • Individually-labeled equipment will be provided for each child whenever possible.
  • Children will wash their hands frequently or use hand sanitizer when equipment is shared.

Face Coverings:

  • As of August 23, 2021, staff/volunteers are required to wear face coverings outdoors.
  • As of August 23, 2021, program participants are required to wear face coverings outdoors.
  • Parents/guardians should send all children with at least one, and preferably two face coverings.
  • Face coverings will not be worn by anyone while eating, drinking, or when engaged in high energy or water activities where face covering wearing might be unsafe.

Important Facilities:

  • All program sites will have access to bathrooms or porta-potties, handwashing stations/sinks, tissues, paper towels, and garbage cans.
  • If indoor spaces are used, windows and/or doors will remain open for ventilation to the extent logistically possible

2 — Sanitation Protocols:

  • Frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized daily.
  • Bathrooms will be sanitized daily (and more often if needed).
  • Items that cannot easily be washed or sanitized will not be used at programs.
  • Sanitizing supplies and hand sanitizer will be used safely and applied correctly and stored out of reach of children.