COVID-19 Safety Protocols For IYR Staff and Volunteers

Revised and restated May 3, 2021

IYR Teammates: Since the beginning of the pandemic, IYR has based its decisions on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As the pandemic evolves and the CDC updates its guidance, IYR will re-evaluate its COVID-19 safety protocols. The updates we have made today reflect new CDC guidance for what fully vaccinated people can now safely do and include a new, more relaxed meeting option for fully vaccinated employees.

We expect all employees to understand and comply with the following safety protocols. If you have any questions about these expectations, please speak with your supervisor or HR. Thank you.

‘Staff’ defined: 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.

“COVID Safety Protocols” means the information contained in this document or otherwise communicated by IYR leadership.

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 (physical) Distancing: Except as otherwise allowed in these COVID Safety Protocols, 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 workrooms, 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.

Masks: Except as otherwise allowed in these COVID Safety Protocols, 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 within 6 feet of another.

 Travel: 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.

Meetings: 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 with two exceptions:

  1. 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 the necessity of the in-person format. In-person meetings without prior ELT lead approval are prohibited.
  2. If cleared by HR in writing, fully vaccinated employees can meet with other fully vaccinated employees without prior ELT approval. See the heading below “Option for Fully Vaccinated Employees” on page 3 for additional details.


Requirements for in-person meetings that are approved by an ELT member under exception 1 above:

 Virtual attendance options must be provided for any participant who prefers to attend virtually.

  1. The meeting coordinator must inform attendees of IYR’s safety protocols prior to attendees arriving at the meeting to ensure alignment on expectations.
  2. The meeting coordinator must re-communicate the safety protocols at the start of the meeting.
  3. Attendees must always maintain a 6-foot separation from one another during the meeting.
  4. Masks must be worn while entering/exiting or when moving within the meeting room.
  5. Attendees may take down their mask if they are stationary AND maintain at least 6-ft separation from all others.
  6. If food or beverages are provided, they should be single-serving (avoid common utensils) and hand sanitizer and handwashing should be available.    
  7. All common surfaces (tabletops, chair arms, keyboards, light switches, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces) should be disinfected before and after the meeting.
  8. The meeting coordinator must clean the space in advance, prepare for distancing, and disinfect the space following the meeting.
  9. IYR’s requirements apply even if an external meeting venue’s rules are less stringent (e.g. 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.

 Option for Fully Vaccinated Employees

Based on CDC guidance, IYR has approved an option that allows fully vaccinated employees to meet with other fully vaccinated employees without masks or physical distancing in a private space provided they are cleared by HR. This is a completely optional program. Additional conditions apply as detailed in the Application. No employee should be pressured to participate.

Instructions: If you are a fully vaccinated employee and would like to be cleared by HR to meet with other fully vaccinated employees without a mask and physical distancing, complete the Application for Fully Vaccinated Employees to Meet without Masks and Physical Distancing located on this site and email the following two documents to IYR’s HR department at

  1. Copy of your completed Application; and
  2. A copy of your vaccine card.

Do not disclose any other medical information when submitting this information.

HR will review your application to determine your eligibility and inform you of its determination. You must continue to follow masking and physical distancing requirements in meetings until you receive written confirmation from HR that you have been cleared through this process.

Cleared employees who meet under this option must clean ALL common surfaces (tabletops, chair arms, keyboards, light switches, door handles, and other high-touch surfaces) should be disinfected before and after the meeting.

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 and leave the workplace at the end of your shift
    • Start or finish a break
    • Remove your gloves
  • If you must cough or sneeze, cough into your mask or 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 the 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. If you have any questions about our COVID Safety Protocols, please direct them to HR.


Click here for a printable version of this information

Got A Question, Ask HR