COVID-19 Safety Protocols For IYR Staff and Volunteers
Revised and restated February 25, 2021
We felt this was a good time to review the COVID related safety protocols currently in effect for IYR employees and volunteers. These measures have helped keep our staff, customers, clients, and our families safe and healthy and allowed us to keep our social enterprise operations and programs open.
Although the arrival of vaccines has brought hope for an eventual end to the pandemic, we must remain focused and vigilant; now is not the time to let down our guard. We expect all employees to understand and fully comply with the following safety protocols. If you have any questions about these expectations, please speak with your supervisor or HR. Thank you.
As used in this document and for purposes of ensuring consistency in our safety protocols only, the term ‘staff’ includes all IYR employees and volunteers.
Work from Home:
Staff should be working from home whenever possible if their duties can be performed at home. Work from home arrangements must be coordinated with and approved by the employee’s supervisor.
Social (Personal) Distancing:
IYR staff will always maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from and avoid any physical contact with all other individuals in the workplace.
- Supervisors will ensure staff workspaces are organized to provide the required 6-ft physical separation.
- Staff will not congregate in work rooms, break rooms, conference rooms, or other areas where people tend to gather or socialize.
- Common and break areas will be physically spaced so individuals can maintain 6-ft separation from others.
- Use of these areas should be staggered to minimize congestion.
- Common surfaces must be disinfected by user before and after use.
In addition to social distancing, all IYR staff must wear masks at their worksite under any of the following conditions:
- When entering or leaving IYR buildings
- While working indoors (unless you are working alone in your office or in a private work area not in the vicinity of others, or in a meeting as described below)
- If you are required to be in a vehicle on IYR business with another person in the vehicle.
- Outdoors whenever you are (or likely to be) within 6 feet of another.
Travel for IYR business will be allowed when it is:
- Deemed critical; and
- Approved by the ELT member who oversees that area; and
- Compliant with social distancing expectations (e.g. two or more people driving together or air travel is not allowed because it is not possible to maintain proper distancing in those situations).
The following guidelines apply to both internal meetings (IYR staff only) and external meetings (donors, volunteers, etc.). Meetings with clients for therapeutic reasons are handled separately under guidance provided to programs staff.
- Virtual meetings remain our ‘norm’ and the preferred approach. In-person meetings may be allowed if your ELT lead determines that a virtual meeting format will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the meeting.
- If you believe an in-person meeting is necessary, consult with your ELT lead who will operate as the gatekeeper and determine necessity of the in-person format. In-person meetings without prior ELT lead approval are prohibited.
- Requirements for in-person meetings:
- A virtual attendance option must be provided for any participant who prefers to attend virtually
- The meeting coordinator must inform attendees of IYR’s safety protocols prior to attendees arriving at the meeting to ensure alignment on expectations and honor our value of transparency.
- The meeting coordinator must also re-communicate the safety protocols at the start of the meeting.
- All attendees must maintain 6-foot separation from one another during the meeting at all times.
- Masks must be worn while entering/exiting or when moving within the meeting room.
- Attendees may take down their mask if they are stationary AND maintain at least 6-ft separation from all others.
- If food or beverages are provided, they should be single-serving (avoid common utensils) and hand sanitizer and handwashing should be available.
- All common surfaces (tabletops, chair arms, keyboards, light switches, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces) should be disinfected before and after the meeting.
- The meeting coordinator must clean the space in advance, prepare for distancing, communicate our guidelines to all participants at the outset of the meeting, and disinfects the space following the meeting.
IYR’s requirements apply even if the meeting venue’s safety protocols are less stringent (e.g. the six-foot distance requirement applies even if the meeting venue does not require it).
Additional considerations for all in-person meetings:
- Outdoor open-air meetings are the best, safest choice. Large rooms or spaces that allow outside airflow are next best. If the meeting room cannot accommodate proper physical distancing for all attendees that meeting space should not be used.
- The door(s) to the meeting room should be held open if possible, to avoid touching doorknobs.
Personal Behavior & Hygiene:
Proper personal hygiene practices are the most important and effective way to prevent becoming sick or infecting someone else. Be conscientious - individual behaviors matter! Other people who are vulnerable stand to lose much more than you do if they get sick. Look out for them and help make sure everyone adopts these basic measures.
- If you feel sick stay home! If you experience symptoms of any infectious illness protect others and stay at home.
- Wash your hands! Do it often, for 20 seconds, using soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
- Wash your hands as soon as possible if you sneeze or cough into them. Scrub with soap and hot water, if available. Wash your hands EVERY TIME you:
- Enter the workplace for your shift
- Leave the workplace at the end of your shift
- Start or finish a break
- Remove your gloves
- If you must cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sneeze/cough into your arm (elbow). Wash your hands immediately after.
- Avoid touching your face, particularly after handling objects or touching high contact surfaces.
- Using bathrooms - Avoid touching the fixtures as much as possible and use a paper towel to touch the door handle when exiting if the door is not propped open.
- Disinfect common surfaces - Prevent exposure by disinfecting commonly touched surfaces in your home and work area like countertops, remote controls, keyboards, refrigerator handles, and your phone.
Other Workplace Protections: We will continue our current protective & safety practices, including:
- Regular cleaning & disinfection of our work areas (especially high-touch surfaces).
- Use of gloves for material handling, cleaning, and as otherwise directed.
- Use of installed sneeze guards or shields.
Thank you for your continued attention and dedication to keeping our workplaces safe. We will continue to do our best to provide you with the best information available to protect you, your family, your teammates, our clients and customers, and to fulfill our mission. If you have any questions about the information in this message, please direct them to HR.