Template: Infectious Risk Response Agreement

Infectious Risk Response Protocol for Residents, Volunteers, and Visitors

Welcome to [IC name]! Due to the pandemic, we are taking precautions to ensure all of us are protected, especially the medically vulnerable members here. It is also a sustainability issue, because an illness within our small staff would be an extreme hardship that could jeopardize our continued operation. By joining us as a volunteer, intern, other type of worker, or as a visitor, you agree to the rules and guidelines set out below. Please understand that residents have done a 2-week isolation period while following these precautions, but currently are in the “inside bubble.” We continue to practice strict off-site protocols. We regret that it is both uncomfortable and necessary to insist on these protocols. The first section is the most relevant for short-term visitors and the newly arrived, while the second section is more relevant for long-term members. Onboarding folks should read the entire document then sign the last page indicating that you completed reading. 

Section I: For Short-term Visitors and the Newly Arrived

  • Onboarding for newcomers: Newcomers and visitors to [IC name], including those working here temporarily, are required to take the following precautions. Long-term newcomer residents will be in the established resident category after a 2-week period of isolation, but from the point of view of outside residents, they need the same precautions as residents so they are not exposed to the virus during their isolation period.
    • Keep a 2-meter (6-foot) distance from any unmasked residents at all times, to protect the vulnerable ones. With the exception of your designated residential space, no entering of any building is allowed unless pre-assigned to work in that building. 
    • Masks must be worn at all times unless at (a) your residence, (b) assigned table, or (c) a work situation for which a safe and necessary exception has been approved. The exception is that while eating at the designated visitor table, masks may be removed.
    • You will be shown assigned bathrooms and sinks for visitors. 
    • You will be gently reminded by other residents to wear your mask; please don’t take these reminders personally.
    • Remember to practice physical distancing, not social distancing. Feel free to socialize, chat, and ask questions to any of us with these protocols in mind.
  • Meals: Please adhere to the following when attending meals:
    • When you hear the ________, this means that it is time to gather up to the outdoor eating area. We will do a gratitude circle, which you are welcome to participate in with physical distancing in mind. Residents will wash their hands upon entering the kitchen and before meeting for meals.
    • You will be assigned a labeled table. Once at your assigned table, a resident assigned to this task will gather your food for you and bring it to you. Please remove your mask only after you have been served. Please let us know when you would like additional food, and we will try to be attentive to check on your possible needs. 
    • Meal times are as follows: breakfast: 8:30 am, lunch: 12:30 pm, dinner: 6:00 pm
    • We all wash our own dishes. You will be shown how and where to wash yours in the outdoor station. Please use your own gloves to wash and dry the dishes you use. As you approach the dishwashing station, residents will remove themselves so that you can maintain the required distance from them.
    • Newcomers and visitors who are invited to sit at any table other than the designated visitor and newcomer tables are asked to clean the area of the table they use, spraying it down with sanitizer at the end of the meal, or their accompanying resident host will do so. These exceptions should be rare, such as for meetings that require work in closer proximity, which should be with masks. 
  • Pets: For the safety of visitors and residents pets are not allowed. Onsite pets should be avoided if not wearing a mask. 
  • Children: Child visitors should follow the same protocols, with their parent or guardian’s help. If unable to maintain this requirement, they should remain in the driveway area under their parents’ supervision with a 2-meter distance from residents and pets. 
  • Changes: As the global pandemic evolves, so will our response change. Therefore, these rules are subject to change on short notice.
  • Boot dip: Anyone who may bring on their shoe soles any micro-organisms in caked-on soil from another farm or greenhouse should alert their resident host. A hydrogen peroxide solution will be provided in which to dip the outer soles to prevent contamination, or you will be offered a pair of on-site gum boots so that you can leave your footwear in your vehicle. This practice protects the sustainability of our operation.

Section II. For Longer-term Folks (Residents, Onboarding Folks, Long-term Workers, and Regular Visitors)

  • Restricted areas: Onboarding residents may move freely about outdoor spaces at [IC name] with the above practices in place, with the following exceptions: 
    • For your safety, do not enter the barn, paddock, or any animal pens or spaces unless accompanied by long-term residents who are authorized to bring workers into these enclosures [names].
    • Please ask before entering [another restricted area].
  • Meetings:  Onboarding residents and longer term resident volunteers (i.e., interns) are expected to join us each morning for group check-in…. To practice physical distancing, we will either use Zoom or telephone to call you in, or as an exception to the general rule, in some buildings you may sit at a 2-meter distance with a mask. This entry to buildings is limited to the meeting time.
  • Showers and toilets: In order to maintain physical distance,individual spaces will be assigned for these purposes.  You may be asked to purchase your own outdoor shower bag if your assigned area does not have its own private-use bathroom. Most likely we will have one to borrow.
  • Interns: When you arrive, a 3-day “landing” period is offered to you. During this time, while keeping the physical distancing with mask and glove protocols, you are invited to walk the land, attune yourself to [IC name] culture, and ask questions! After this period, you are expected to follow your work schedule while continuing the safety protocols.In general, you will work with your own tools or be assigned some. However, if sharing, be sure to sanitize tools and equipment after using or touching them.
  • Liability: Any expenditures incurred by the newcomer are to be borne by that newcomer.
  • Residents’ cleaning protocol: Dinner helper (second) or cook must use a sanitizer to clean all common door handles, facets, and eating or food serving tables after the meal.
  • Residents’ need for masks: Residents will wear a mask when they need to be or are likely to unintentionally find themselves within a 2-meter distance from off-site folks or from residents in isolation. When an agreed-on exception is needed for unmasking of outside workers, residents will avoid the unmasked work area during and for 3 hours following the work, with a sign indicating the timeframe. 
  • Residents’ offsite protocol: Residents have agreed to leave site only for (a) essential services such as grocery trips (grocery delivery is preferred), medical visits or prescription pickup, mail (one assigned pickup); (b) necessary employment; (c) outdoor recreation in areas with low public use; and (d) infrequent social visits with family or close friends, where 6-foot distancing will be maintained.
    • All trips will be discussed during community meeting to coordinate and “stack functions” to ensure the minimum number of trips.
    • When offsite at indoor locations, such as picking up the mail or going to a store, the following protocols must be followed:
      • Mask must be worn at all times. 
      • Showering is required upon return, with care taken to avoid cross-contamination of clothing. The ____ shower can be used. 
      • Clothing worn to an indoor off-site location must be immediately removed and either laundered or left outdoors for 48 hours. The agreed-on best practice is to wear a double layer of clothing so that the outer offsite clothing can be left in the vehicle upon return. Alternately, residents returning may strip off used outer clothing inside the shower stall, place it in a bag, then either launder or leave outdoors for 48 hours.
      • Items such as phone and keys that are used both on and offsite should be disinfected.
      • All purchased or newly procured items, bags, and all items in the bag must be either sanitized or left in the vehicle (or outside) for a period of 48 hours before being used or brought into any common spaces. 
    • When leaving the site, masks must be worn outdoors when doing necessary common tasks that bring one in contact with the general public. An example would be pumping gas, which should be done using masks and sanitizing items the general public touches.
  • Deliveries: Items delivered are placed outside the eatery doors. These should be either left for 48 hours or sanitized before moving. Valuables or perishable items can be moved with gloves to a secure or cooler outdoor location.
  • CSA: Members should wear a mask when leaving their vehicle. The box will be deposited near the member’s car by a masked resident, then the CSA member may load it into their vehicle. 
  • Washing masks: According to the CDC, you can include your mask with your regular laundry. Dry it completely in the dryer or line dry in the sun. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wash-cloth-face-coverings.html

Tips: To minimize waste while outside [IC name], some keep several pairs of re-usable gloves and leave them to sit for 48 hours. After a potential contamination, these can be temporarily discarded. Then personal items in the car without potentially passing the virus to these objects. The same can be managed with elbow-pressing of the sanitizer dispenser.