COVID-19 Update

MENTORING PROGRAM

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have updated their COVID-19 guidelines for in-person interactions, including recommendations for persons who have been fully vaccinated (defined as being more than two weeks out from receiving either the single-dose vaccine or their second dose of a two-dose vaccine). Accordingly, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central MN (BBBS) has updated its guidelines and recommendations for in-person match meetings.

When considering whether or not to meet in person, or what to do together, BBBS asks you to consider the following:

  • Is everyone in agreement and comfortable with meeting in-person? If not, please continue to meet virtually, BBBS is not requiring in-person meetings at this time.
  • Have you talked with your child’s Big or your Little and their parent/guardian(s) about masking expectations and what types of activities and locations are acceptable? 
  • Is the Big or the Little, or anyone in their household, at increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19? If so, please practice the highest level of caution when deciding where/how to meet, including wearing a mask at all times. 
  • Is the Big, Little or anyone in either household sick or have had recent direct exposure to COVID-19? If so, please delay your in-person match meeting until it is safe and appropriate to get together.
  • Have you signed the BBBS COVID Waiver?  If not, please sign this waiver.  If you have already signed this, you DO NOT need to sign this again.  If you are unsure if you have signed it please check with your Program Coordinator.

If you’ve passed the above checks, below are BBBS’ guidelines for in-person match activities and meetings:

All matches are encouraged to carry face masks with them on any match outing in order to comply with different masking requirements throughout our community. 

For Fully Vaccinated Matches:  If the Big and the Little are both fully vaccinated, then they can gather outdoors or indoors without wearing a mask, including in vehicles. If anyone in the match is more comfortable with masking, please respect that and wear a mask.

For Non-Vaccinated Matches and Partially Vaccinated Matches: An important part of mentoring is modeling healthy behaviors and establishing good boundaries to keep oneself and others safe. As part of this, we are strongly encouraging and recommending that everyone wear a mask while indoors in public spaces, including vaccinated adults, as long as any member of the match or outing is not fully vaccinated.  

  • Outside: Masks are encouraged but are not required to be worn outside if everyone is able to maintain 6 feet of social distancing. 
  • Inside Private Locations with Less than 2 Households Present: If adults are fully vaccinated, masks are not required.
  • Riding in a Vehicle: Masks are required if all adults in the vehicle present are not fully vaccinated.  We also encourage limiting the number of passengers and ventilating the vehicle.

As a reminder, it is important that all participants respect one another’s decisions about meeting in person, including location (indoors/outdoors), protective measures, and activities. These guidelines are minimum expectations. If someone wants more COVID-related protections than CDC/MDH and BBBS are requiring (for instance, everyone wearing a mask outdoors when on a match outing,) please respect that, or continue to meet virtually.  If you have concerns or need support with these conversations, please let us know.

Please continue to follow recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota’s COVID-19 requirements to help lower risk of transmission. 

YOU are making THE difference for kids during these challenging times. Thank you for caring about and standing with kids!

Ann Matvick
Program Director

Contact information:
Ann@BigDefenders.org,  320.258.4517
Mary@BigDefenders.org, 320.258.4538
Rebecca@BigDefenders.org, 320.258.4519
Jamie@BigDefenders.org, 320.258-4532
Kayla@BigDefenders.org, 320.241.7996

OFFICE OPEN BY APPOINTMENT
BBBS of Central MN team members are continuing to work from their homes. Our program continues to offer you support, via technology, email, and phone, as we’ve always done. If you need to meet in person or visit the office, we ask that you make prior arrangements directly with that person or you may call 320.253.1616. As you know, this situation continues to evolve. We’ll continue to monitor information from health experts, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, local schools, and program partners as we adapt our mentoring services to fit the current situation.

COVID 19 RESOURCES
Visit our Resources for Littles and Bigs webpage for resources and activities.

Please watch your email, visit BigDefenders.org, or follow us on Facebook for up-to-date announcements. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Jackie Johnson, Executive Director, at (320) 258-4510.