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Current COVID-19 Guidelines for Girl Scouts Heart of Central California

Updated as of 3/28/2022

Our goal as Girl Scouts is to model leadership by prioritizing the health and safety of our members and communities, keeping kids in school, and reducing community spread of COVID-19.

GSHCC continues to follow public health guidance and requirements regarding vaccination, masking, testing, distancing, and quarantining, referred to as “COVID Mitigation Layers”. As shown in the Swiss cheese graphic (inspired by the Cleveland Clinic’s version), layers of protection mitigate risk in the community, and for individuals.

COVID Protection Layers Image

GSHCC supports troop leaders, SU volunteers, event staff, and partners in using their judgment to establish even greater protection than GSHCC’s requirements based on planned activities or current local conditions.

GSHCC values inclusion and recognizes that some members of our community are at greater risk than others and need enhanced COVID Mitigation Layers to be safe. We will work with members, and where possible, identify appropriate modifications and alterations that will not increase the risk of COVID-19 exposure for Girl Scout participants. 

Staff members are required to follow Cal OSHA requirements, as well as state and county guidelines. This means they may be masking at times when it may seem unnecessary to do so, however, please understand these guidelines may vary for them.

It is important to note that if individuals are feeling ill, they should stay away from all in-person meetings or gatherings (see Isolation and Quarantine section below)

Thank you for your help in keeping Girl Scouts a safe, fun space for everyone! If you have any questions about how COVID-19 may impact Girl Scouts activities, please contact us at or (800) 834-9899—we’re here for you.

  • As of March 12, masks will be optional at Girl Scout meetings and activities unless gatherings are being held in school districts, communities, or counties that still require the wearing of masks. 
  • Masks are still required on public transit, e.g. buses and BART, etc., in health care settings, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, and long-term care facilities, a consideration for Girl Scouts who might be using public transit to get to and from their activities or might be participating in community service events at these facilities.
  • Although not required, the State of California strongly recommends that masks continue to be worn indoor in public settings, including K-12 schools.



Masks are optional, except in these circumstances, where masks are required:

  • When required by the county, school district, school, or other organization where the activity is taking place.
Hand-Washing and Sanitation

Wash hands frequently with soap and water. Spend at least 20 seconds.

Use hand sanitizer when hand-washing facilities are not immediately accessible. It's smart to sanitize before and after touching surfaces or items others have recently used.


Six-Foot Distancing

Stay six feet from others when you can.

This is especially important when unmasked, whether indoors or out. Currently, quarantine guidelines rely heavily on distancing. The more distance you maintain, the less likely you'll be exposed or need to quarantine.

  • Arrange large-event seating by household, cohort, or pod, leaving space between each.

Screening Questions
  • Ask attendee screening questions at every meeting or event. Screenings provide a reminder about COVID symptoms and help make decisions about attendance.
  • Refer those with symptoms (not attributed to a prior health condition) to their health care provider. The provider will evaluate the need for testing or isolation. Those with symptoms may not participate in the Girl Scout activity.
  • Tip: Ask screening questions before guardians leave. If a Girl Scout needs to go home, her adult will still be there.
Small, Stable Groups

Often called cohorts or pods, small groups of youth can limit infection and reduce the need for quarantine. The best practice is to:

  • Keep your troop, or special-interest group separate from other groups.
  • Keep the group size to 14 Girl Scouts and 2 adults. If your troop is slightly larger, include all girls. Do not combine troops. Break very large troops (20+ girls) into smaller groups for meetings.
  • Limit the number of adults to the minimum needed for safety. Invite guests only when needed for program quality.
  • Keep a roster of all participants, in case contact tracing is needed later.
  • Plan carefully for mixed-group activities, such as badge workshops or service unit events, where participants are not part of the same stable group. Make a defined participant list and arrange seating so that groups don't mix. Take additional time and space.
Vaccinations and Testing
  • GSHCC strongly recommends, but does not require, vaccines for all eligible youth and adults.
  • GSHCC supports troop leaders, SU volunteers, event staff, and partners who choose to require proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test (within 72 hours of an event) as a requirement of in-person participation.
    • GSHCC recommends that troop leaders, SU volunteers, event staff and partners notify participants in advance if proof of vaccination and/or a negative COVID test will be required for participation in an event.
    • Participants who develop symptoms of any illness while participating in an event will be isolated and arrangements for sending them home to recover will be made as quickly as possible.  Parents/guardians are asked to pick their participant up from the event as soon as possible.
    • Follow the “Swiss Cheese Model” (above image) of mitigation no matter your vaccine status.
  • Read our latest FAQs about vaccination requirements.
Ventilation/Outdoor Spaces
  • Hold meetings and activities outdoors whenever possible. Indoor spaces are permitted but discouraged. If indoors, optimize ventilation by opening windows and doors, and use child-safe fans. Use air filters, if possible.
  • Consider a space to be "outdoors" if three sides are open.
  • If carpooling, keep vehicle windows open. Even a little bit improves ventilation.



Overnight camping is allowed in outdoor settings. Girls may share sleeping structures under the following conditions:

  • Parents/guardians and troop leaders agree that girls may share sleeping structures.
  • Sleeping structures (tents, cabins, dormitories, etc.) are well ventilated with open windows or other ventilation systems in use.
  • Campers are distancing as much as possible (sleeping head to foot in ground tents, cots, or sleeping mats separated in buildings, etc.)

Carpooling is allowed, under the following conditions:

  • If parents/guardians and troop leaders agree that girls may share a carpool while on a Girl event or activity.
  • These guidelines are consistent with public transit guidelines.
Meals and Snacks

  • Weather permitting, eating and drinking should be done outdoors.
  • When eating and drinking outdoors is not an option, use these guidelines:
    • Physical distancing should be practiced.
  • Girl Scouts should follow local county, community, and gathering place protocols if eating and drinking are not allowed indoors.

Isolation and Quarantine

If you feel sick, have COVID symptoms, and/or have tested positive, isolate and DO NOT attend any in-person meetings, events, or activities.

Refer to the CDPH (California Department of Public Health) Isolation and Quarantine Recommendations (updated January 8, 2022) for up-to-date guidance if you test positive for COVID or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. 

If troop leaders, SU volunteers, event staff, or partners learn that an event participant has tested positive for COVID-19, please notify GSHCC customer care,


Whether your travel is domestic or international, follow CDC travel guidelines for testing, masking, and quarantine:

  • Delay travel until you’re fully vaccinated.
  • If you’re not fully vaccinated, but choose to travel, get tested before and after.
  • No matter your vaccination status, wear a mask indoors while on public transportation or in a transportation hub.
  • Wearing a mask outdoors while traveling is no longer required, but still recommended for unvaccinated individuals.
  • Whether you’re vaccinated or not, it is recommended that you get tested 3-5 days after returning to California.

The Trip/Activity Notification Form should be completed for all domestic or international travel that is more than 250 miles one way and/or three or more nights.

Additional COVID Resources
Public Health

California Department of Public Health COVID-19 Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2021-2022 School Year: (January 6, 2022)


Guidance for Face Coverings: (January 5, 2022)

California “Masks in Daily Life” Mandate: (January 10, 2022)

CDC Your Guide to Masks: (October 25, 2021)

Vaccines (January 11, 2022)

Isolation and Quarantine (January 8, 2022)


International Travel: (January 10, 2022)

Travel To or From California, California Department of Public Health: (December 2021)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: (updated January 10, 2022)

Current Safety Measures, California State “Do’s and Don’ts”: (January 5, 2022)

County Health Department Requirements

Counties and local schools and school districts continue to adjust guidelines as public health officials learn more about the virus in their communities. Please be sure to check your county's COVID-19 website for COVID guidelines.