A reminder to 4-H families, volunteers, and supporters:
As we head into fall, we want to take a moment to thank you for remaining flexible as we work together to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. By following recommended guidance, we’re helping to keep our families and friends safer, our kids learning, and our economy going. We also want to take a moment to share updated in-person 4-H meeting requirements and a reminder to continue to follow our 4-H guidelines.
Updated information, effective as of today, September 1, 2020 includes:
- Hosting virtual meetings and events is preferred.
- If activities are critical/essential and are in-person, they must be education-focused.
- Group cannot be larger than 50 people, including adults, youth, presenters, etc.
- This directive is dependent on local health department guidelines.
- The group size may need to be reduced to 10 (or other amount), based on the directives of your local health department.
- Face masks are required.
- This includes inside AND outside at all times.
- Program participants and parent/guardians ages five and older must wear a mask.
- The exception is shooting sports where safety is a concern when on the line. Refer to the full guidance document online for additional shooting sports guidance (link below).
- Medical conditions or disability exceptions are also permitted.
- Potlucks and buffets are not permitted
Any time your county is designated a Level 4 Public Health Emergency (color-coded purple) by the Ohio Department of Health, all in-person 4-H club meetings and events must be held virtually or postponed until the designation changes to Level 3 or below.
Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System updates are at https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/publichealth-advisory-system/
All other guidance we provided July 22 is still in effect. That information, along with these new updates, is at https://ohio4h.org/families/stay-connected.
Statement on 4-H Membership Eligibility
Ohio 4-H membership begins with Cloverbuds when a child is five and ends on December 31 of the year they turn 19. Due to cancellation of activities in 2020, there have been requests to extend a year of eligibility for 4-H members. This was given strong consideration at the national and regional levels. The decision was made that national 4-H programs will follow existing age requirements and another year of eligibility will not be granted. Following conversation with our 4-H professionals, Ohio will follow that policy.
Changing the policy would set an unsustainable precedent for youth participation for years to come. It would create increased unfairness when considering competitive events with the cascading impact on those who would have aged out taking spots of current youth down the line. COVID-19 has created a loss of experiences for everyone however, I am confident in the resiliency of our youth. Over the past few months, their ability to adapt and willingness to persevere has been evidenced by their participation in virtual camps, meetings and other 4-H activities.
Ohio 4-H is proud of how our volunteers and young people have adapted in this unprecedented time.