Health & Safety Measures for Youthfront Missional Journeys

Youthfront Missional Journeys will be ready this summer for youth to learn and serve our city! We have known that our programs are incredibly valuable in developing the faith of youth / young adults and realize that now, more than ever, youth are craving connection with God and community. We plan to host our programs with the most updated health and safety measures in place. 

As guidelines evolve, we will continue to work closely with our Medical Director, medical advisory team and local authorities and make any necessary adjustments. The health and safety of our participants is always our top priority.  

Expert Guidance

Our Medical Director, a physician, along with a generous group of other physicians, nurses and lab technicians, volunteer their time to review and guide all of our health protocols. This ensures our health and safety measures for our Missional Journey teams are in line with the latest CDC and local recommendations and meet the highest standards.

Clean Air & Clean Facilities

Some of our program adjustments include more outdoor time for sun and space! We’ve established stringent sanitizing and cleaning protocols for our teams wherever they sleep, eat or serve. For out-of-town groups who will be staying overnight, our lodging facilities observe those same procedures.

Team Training

Each summer, our staff have extensive training on all of our protocols and safety procedures before youth participate in our programs. Our staff are ready to partner with youth and group leaders to ensure everything from consistent hand hygiene to daily health monitoring while on a Missional Journey.

Hand Hygiene and More

Our staff will oversee strict hand sanitizing procedures with strategically placed hand sanitizing stations throughout our facilities and in our service locations. In addition, meals will be plated rather than buffet style.

Health Screening

In addition to our standard medical questionnaire, all participants will be screened with specific questions regarding COVID-19 before arriving.  Each participant’s temperature will also be taken at check-in and on a regular basis during their stay, and our staff have extra daily check-ins in place.

Group Dynamics

Our staff has made adjustments to some group activities to protect the health and safety of participants in line with the latest local guidance – in some cases keeping participants in small groups as well as requiring face masks for certain activities. 

Parents as Partners

In the event a participant does get ill during a Missional Journey, our staff and Medical Director have a plan in place for immediate action that includes separating from the group, evaluation by a Youthfront staff member, and communication to parents.

* This situation continues to evolve, and we will adapt and adjust our protocols and procedures as we follow the guidance provided by our counties and our Medical Director. As always, the health and safety of our Missional Journey participants and staff remains our top priority. We’re happy to answer any additional questions or share further information with parents about our health and safety procedures. We look forward to providing youth a formational and safe experience this summer.

Recently there has been a spike in Covid-19 cases not only here in Kansas but nationwide. How does this affect Missional Journeys and are you doing anything differently?

We are carefully monitoring the virus trends. The increase in cases has been somewhat expected in the medical community.  More people are being tested than ever before, so more cases are detected – many in those who are “asymptomatic.”  The key statistic that is usually not reported is how full Intensive Care Units in the hospitals are and mortality rates. Our area and our country are not near where the peak was back in April in terms of the seriously ill. The percent of positive tests in Kansas is also much lower than at its peak in April.  Our Medical Advisory Team has recommended we continue with our current health and safety plans. Requiring the Covid-19 Health Screen from each participant and taking temperatures twice per day is our best line of defense. Additionally, we tested every staff member, (120+) on Friday, June 19, and as of that day 100% were negative.

Recently, the Kansas Governor as well as some Kansas City metro mayors announced a mandate that masks must be worn in public. How does this affect MIssional Journeys?

The Kansas Governor’s orders ask most Kansans to wear masks in stores and shops, restaurants, and in any situation in which social distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained, including outside. In terms of Youthfront, we are not public property.  Entry to our property is monitored and must be accessed through check-in, temperature checks, and Covid-19 Health screening for all participants. Our protocols already are in line with the new orders as we require wearing masks inside common buildings; parents and guests are asked to wear masks while inside buildings during check-in, check-out, and with any deliveries. Our health and safety measures have participants in Small Groups – while in those small groups, participants will not be socially distanced from each other whether they are outside, while eating, or while working together. We will continue with our current plan to do as much as possible outside not wearing masks, and we will continue to require masks while inside and when not socially distanced from each other or other Small Groups. Local and county officials will make any additional determinations and if any adjustments are required at Youthfront, we’ll communicate that here. 

Recently the governor of Kansas said we should still be in Phase 3. Does this affect Missional Journeys?

Several weeks ago, the governor made the Ad-Astra Plan a recommendation and not a mandate. She turned over all reopening decisions to the local authorities in Kansas counties and cities.  Even when it was a mandate, the minimum gathering numbers in the original plan assumed no social distance and not wearing a mask such as at a restaurant or bar.  Because we are splitting all participants into Small Groups, we are well under even the recommendation. Our Medical Advisory Team has advised us to continue on with our current plan, which includes keeping Small Groups socially distanced from other Small Groups, taking temperatures twice per day and requiring each person to have 7 days of no temperature and no symptoms before being allowed to participate in a Missional Journey. 

What exactly does the 7-day quarantine mean? Is it required?

While the Covid-19 Health Screen Form is required to be turned in and reviewed as soon as you arrive, the pre-Missional Journey self-quarantine is a strong recommendation and something we are asking of participants. The most important part of this 7-day health screening is the daily temperature checks. Even someone who contracted Covid-19 but was asymptomatic likely spiked a temperature at least one day, but just didn’t feel bad enough to consider themselves sick or to notice other symptoms. Taking your temperature every day and watching for Covid-19 symptoms is required as part of our form and is the best way to detect possible infection. We are asking for your best judgment to help us protect everyone!

Will certain answers on the Covid-19 Health Screen exclude someone from participating?

Just because a particular box is checked on the Covid-19 Health Screen Form doesn’t necessarily mean a participant is automatically excluded. It just means you will be redirected to consult with a nurse, medical professional, or our full-time staff about the questions before proceeding. You can also contact us ahead of your session dates with questions about the form.

Again, the most important part of this 7-day health screening is the daily temperature checks. Taking your temperature every day and watching for Covid-19 symptoms is required and the best way to detect possible Covid-19 infection. 

In regard to the 7-day quarantine, is a participant allowed to participate in sports and other weekly activities?

 If a participant’s interaction with groups is taking place outside, it is fine. It is very difficult for the virus to spread from person to person outside, in the sun, or in the water. Sports and activities such as softball, baseball, soccer and swim lessons are permitted and well within the modified quarantine recommendations.

If a participant is regularly participating in a group that is inside, such as a dance class or gymnastics, ask yourself what is being done in that setting to prevent viral spread.  If they are taking appropriate precautions such as wearing masks or socially distancing, it should be fine.  At check-in, you may be asked to go for a pre-check-in interview where we can document the details of exposure to small groups or indoor activities during the pre-session week.

If we are traveling on our vacation the week before our session by car, can we still participate in a Missional Journey?

Yes, if the following statements are true:

  • • Your family vacation is with your family unit that you have been primarily living with during the Covid at-home quarantine.
  • • The people who are with you on vacation are relatives or close friends and have also been conscientious in their protection and social distancing or quarantine. 
  • • On your drive, you are doing your best to maintain social distancing while going into gas stations or grocery stores and are socially distancing during your vacation from outsiders.
  • • Most of your interaction with others outside your family on your vacation happens outside, such as at a beach. It is very difficult for the virus to spread from person to person outside, in the sun, or in the water. Activities such as going to the beach, being in a pool, or playing outdoor sports, are permitted and well within the modified quarantine recommendations. 
  • • While on vacation when you needed to be indoors interacting with strangers, you wore a mask 100% of the time and practiced social distancing.   

If we are traveling the week before our session by airplane, can we still participate in a Missional Journey?

If you are flying within 7 days of your session, there will be a secondary set of questions you will need to answer ensuring that you wore a mask 100% of the time that you were exposed to strangers while traveling.  At check-in, you may be asked to go for a pre-check-in interview before proceeding. This is where we can document the details of exposure to small groups during the quarantine.   

Pre-plan if you need to travel by airplane before your session. We request a mask be worn 100% percent of the time you are on a plane or in an airport. If the participant and their parent/guardian cannot truthfully state that they wore a mask 100% of the time during an indoor group gathering, or while traveling by airplane, unfortunately, we will have to ask them to return another week or wait until next year.  

How often will participants need to wear a mask during the Missional Journey?

Not often and only when indoors among those not in their Small Group. Otherwise it would be used very minimally (indoors standing in line and getting food at meals, etc). 

What kind of facemask is needed?

We just ask that participants bring 2 washable/reusable face masks (cloth, bandanas, etc) or a disposable mask for each day of their session.  A bandana or “neck gator” type mask is fine. On the rare occasion that someone cannot tolerate a cloth face mask, our nurse may make an exception for a face-type shield. Contact us about this as it will need specific permission. 

We are attending a wedding the week before, is that ok?

If the wedding is outside, it should be fine.  It is very difficult for the virus to spread from person to person outside or in the sun. If the wedding or the reception is inside, the participant must wear a mask 100% of the time. If the participant and their parent/guardian cannot truthfully state that they wore a mask 100% of the time during an indoor group gathering, or while traveling by airplane, unfortunately, we will have to ask them to return another week or wait until next year.  

Why are you requesting only a 7-day quarantine when the news says 14 days?

We are listening to the experts, not the news cycle or internet banter. The average incubation for the Covid-19 virus is 5.2 days. According to our Medical Advisory Team, if we have 7 days of temperature checks, 7 days with no Covid-19 symptoms, and 7 days with safe and socially distanced behavior, we can be 99% confident that we have screened for the Covid-19 infection.  

I still have questions and don’t want to pack-up and drive down only to be turned away. What should I do?

Talk to us. Carefully read through these FAQs we are updating regularly as we receive more questions. If you still have questions, call our main phone (913) 262-3900 or email us at info@youthfront.com at least two business days before your session and we will call you. 

If you have further questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 913-262-3900. 

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