Field Protocols Dated: May 2022
*RJP Maine’s Executive Director may issue additional directives or guidance superseding these protocols to become effective upon issue and until such time as they may become incorporated into these protocols through staff discussion and adoption.
As an RJP Maine staff member, volunteer or program participant, adherence to these safety protocols is essential to the continued ability of the staff to carry on our work. PLEASE take all precautions seriously! The safety of all participants in RJP-sponsored activities remains a priority and we are taking every precaution to minimize the spread of COVID-19 amongst participants in our programs. Regardless of these precautions, employees, volunteers, and participants are empowered to make their own decision regarding in-person participation in any meetings or events.
RJP Maine follows the most up-to-date safety precautions and guidance provided by the US CDC, including its recommended prevention steps based on community levels of COVID 19. All counties within the RJP service area will be considered to have the same COVID community-level that corresponds with the highest designation in any one of the counties within RJP’s service area, i.e. the “RJP COVID Community-Level.” For example, if Waldo County is designated a “high” level, but Knox, Sagadahoc, and Lincoln are designated as “medium” levels, all four counties will nonetheless be considered to be designated as a “high” level. RJP staff will monitor community COVID levels on a weekly basis and issue a designated RJP COVID Community Level to apply across the organization accordingly for that week (defined as Friday - Thursday, in accordance with when the CDC updates data by Thursday evenings).
When the COVID community level is classified as “high”, it is the policy of RJP Maine that in-person gatherings should remain limited to keep RJP Maine staff, volunteers, and participants as safe as possible from transmission of COVID-19 and its variants. When the COVID community level is classified as “medium” or “low,” in person gatherings may be possible depending on the comfortability of participants or at the discretion of the activity organizer when an activity is intended to open to the public at large. It is the policy of RJP Maine that all participants in RJP Maine-sponsored activities should be comfortable doing so in-person. Youth participants in RJP Maine-sponsored activities should have the permission of their parents or guardians for in-person participation. If any participant in an activity is not comfortable with in-person participation, then activity organizers should arrange for an alternative to in-person gatherings or activities.
RJP Maine does not require any participant in an RJP-sponsored activity - including staff or volunteers - to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate, nor does it ask or require any participant in an RJP-sponsored activity to disclose their vaccination status. Participants planning to attend any in-person RJP-sponsored activity will be made aware of RJP’s approach to vaccination status disclosures by the event organizer so that they can use this information to make an informed determination about their comfortability with in-person participation. Participants of in-person, RJP-sponsored activities should assume that there are other participants attending these activities who may be unvaccinated.
All participants of in-person gatherings shall adhere to the following 5 requirements for in-person meetings and activities regardless of participants’ vaccination status.
1. Symptom screening: anyone participating in an RJP-related gathering or activity should self-screen for signs or symptoms of COVID-19 before each meeting. If a participant answers “yes” to any one of the following health screenings, they should stay home or leave to go home.
Health Questions (as recommended by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration)
- Have you or anyone in your household had any of the following symptoms in the last 48 hours: fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Are you or anyone in your household awaiting test results for COVID-19?
In the past 10 days:
- Have you or anyone in your household been exposed through close contact to someone with COVID-19?
- Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider?
- Have you been told that you are suspected to have COVID-19 by a licensed health care provider?
3. Masking - masking requirements will be enacted when COVID community-levels are designated as “high,” including being worn in all RJP office spaces, and/or to promote the comfortability of activity participants, including visitors to RJP office spaces who would like to request masking for the duration of their visit. When RJP’s COVID community-level is designated as “high,” all persons 2 and older are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor settings; ensure you have a proper mask in your possession, and it is worn so that it covers the mouth and nose. See CDC handout on How to Wear Masks for more guidance. Masks are required in outdoor settings only when it is difficult to maintain social distancing or to promote the comfortability of activity participants. Participants may choose to wear a mask at any time.
4. Keep hand sanitizer in your possession. Practice hand hygiene and wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently!
5. Follow any and all additional protocols or limitations prescribed by the meeting facility or activity host
Additional Guidance for Specific RJP Maine Activities:
1. Mentoring - Mentor teams may meet in-person at the discretion and comfort level of each member of the team and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact.
2. Restorative Reflection meetings can take place in-person at the discretion of all participants and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact.
3. Harm Repair Processes – can take place in-person at the discretion of all participants and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact.
4. Volunteer Meetings - can take place in-person at the discretion of all participants and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact.
5. Public Events - can take place in-person when the Covid community level is classified as “medium” or “low” and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact. As attendees at public events may not be known to the activity organizer in advance of the event, the organizer may use their judgment to determine if masking should be required or optional and should provide information about masking or any other participation requirements as part of the event announcement.
6. Carpooling (including providing transport to mentees) - RJP considers carpooling to be an activity akin to an activity taking place in an indoor setting. It can take place at the discretion of all participants and following the 5 requirements for in-person contact. Maintaining 6’ of physical distancing may be difficult to achieve in most vehicles, therefore RJP recommends that the maximum number of vehicle occupants be no more than 2, unless passengers are from the same household. RJP additionally recommends that the vehicle should be ventilated for the duration of the trip by opening all vehicle windows to maximize ventilation.
7. Use of RJP Office Space: office spaces are considered to be in-person meeting spaces and should adhere to all aforementioned guidance for in-person meetings and activities. For instances when an in-person activity organizer would like to make use of RJP office spaces for an in-person meeting or activity that goes beyond the daily operations of the organization’s work (such as a harm repair process or volunteer meeting), all staff members intending to work in that office space on the day of the proposed activity should be consulted about their comfortability with the activity taking place in their workspace, and consulted as if they were a participant in that activity, given the proximity of the activity to their work station. When RJP’s COVID community-level is designated as “high,” the number of people in the RJP Waldo and Rockland Offices will be limited to 6 people at one time, leaving room for one 15-minute visitor at a time. The Damariscotta Office should follow RJP Maine recommendations for COVID designations, masking and distancing when meeting with volunteers and participants. RJP Maine will provide proper masks to all visitors to any RJP Office who do not have one.
Protocols if you Become Sick, Test Positive, or Are Exposed to COVID-19.
- Notwithstanding the guidance offered in this document, RJP Maine follows all CDC protocols and guidelines for COVID-19 as they are updated in real time.
- If you become sick from COVID-19, become aware that you were exposed to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19, RJP Maine Staff and Volunteers should follow the most up-to-date CDC guidance and quarantine or isolate themselves accordingly from contact with all other RJP Maine staff, volunteers, and program participants.
- If you become sick from COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19, inform the RJP activity organizer and any close contacts you have encountered as a result of your participation in RJP programming that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. In addition, staff should inform your immediate supervisor, Tim O’Donnell and Kathy Durgin-Leighton. For purposes of this policy, RJP Maine uses the CDC definition of a “close contact” as anyone you were in contact with if you were less than 6 feet away from them for 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period up to two days before you became symptomatic or tested positive.
COVID-19 Meeting and Event Protocols are established to maintain the safety and comfortability of its employees and volunteers as part of RJP Maine's continued commitment to support and create a safe working environment. To that end, RJP Maine empowers all of its volunteers and employees to make their own informed decisions regarding whether to participate and/or not to participate in external meeting events and meetings if the convening party's COVID protocol does not meet the minimum safety standards set by RJP Maine's protocol. Therefore, before participating in an event or meeting that is not convened by RJP Maine, employees should request in writing the convening party's COVID Meeting Protocols (CMP). If the CMP complies with the RJP Maine internal protocols, then the employee may participate. If the CMP does NOT comply with RJP Maine's policy, then the employee is free to request a Zoom meeting in place of an in-person meeting. If a Zoom option is not possible, the employee may refuse participation. In addition, RJP Maine must share its COVID Meeting Protocol guidelines before entering into any contract with an outside agency where in-person participation may be necessary. If the agency does not comply with RJP Maine's minimum CMP guidelines, RJP Maine may refuse participation in the contract.
Glossary of Key Terms from the CDC
CDC Guidance on How To Talk to Your Close Contacts
Maine CDC COVID-19 FAQ’s (updated regularly)
CDC Guidance for Wearing Masks
CDC Guidance for Small and Large Gatherings
Maine Government - DHHS Infectious Disease
USA Facts National Picture