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Order of the Arrow’s Response to COVID-19

March 12, 2020     Announcements

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update

As always, your safety and the safety of all our members, volunteers, and employees is our top priority. We know there are questions and concerns about how COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, could affect the National Order of the Arrow Conference and other upcoming Order of the Arrow events. Please know that we are monitoring developments regarding COVID-19 both nationally and locally with the BSA Health and Safety Department, Michigan State University and through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The following information regarding events and prevention measures is based on the latest available guidance. As this is an evolving situation, this information is subject to change. We will continue to update you on relevant developments, and we appreciate your understanding of any necessary adjustments in the interest of health and safety.

Status of NOAC

It is with deep sadness we inform you that the 2020 National Order of the Arrow Conference has been cancelled out of concern for the safety of all attending Arrowmen, as well as the Michigan State University and East Lansing communities. Please see this article for details, FAQs, and refund information. A virtual event will be held during the NOAC timeframe; more information about this event will be released in the coming weeks.

We know there are some Arrowmen who still would like to attend a national Order of the Arrow event this summer. To meet this need, we are offering a new event called Momentum that will be held at the Summit Bechtel Reserve from August 3-8, 2020. This event will focus on the many programmatic opportunities that exist at the Summit. Go here for more information about this event.

Status of Lodge, Section, and Region Events

We encourage all lodges to work with and follow guidance from your local BSA council and county/state health departments to address any concerns about upcoming events in your area.

All national and regional events through June 15, 2020 have been postponed. Please check with your section for the status of section conclaves.

Region and Section leadership will provide updates to changes in event status based on guidance from the relevant health authorities in the event area.

Regions are assessing all options including rescheduling NLS and DYLC to a date in September, October or November. Sections are doing the same regarding conclaves.

Status of OA High Adventure Programs

The BSA High Adventure Bases have delayed the start for all summer programs, including OA High Adventure. Northern Tier and Sea Base are planning to open on June 15th. Philmont and the Summit Bechtel Reserve are planning to open on July 1st. More information can be found here.

BSA Policies to Prevent the Spread of Illness

The Boy Scouts of America continues to have policies and procedures in place that help protect participants from contracting an illness at a large Scouting event. These include the Annual Health and Medical Record and the Pre-Event Medical Screening Checklist.

Everyday Preventive Measures

Even with those important policies in place, it is critical that we all take these everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Stay home when you feel sick.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands before and after doing so.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve/elbow, not your hands.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Do not share personal items such as cups, water bottles, eating utensils, etc.
  • Avoid shaking hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

If you have a fever, cough, or other symptoms associated with COVID-19, or if you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, you should isolate and not attend any Scouting events. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.