To all of our Constituents regarding COVID-19
Updated Sept. 17
The health and well-being of our Members, Staff, and the Communities we serve is paramount, and we take the threat of COVID-19 very seriously. We are learning more every day, and using that knowledge to inform our program operations. We are monitoring upticks in COVID infections in our states of operation and evaluating that data regularly.
Interest in Autumn programs is higher than usual, and we encourage you not to delay your application for future programs that interest you.
COVID-19 Operations Protocols:
Our senior program team, Northwest Youth Corps’ Physician Advisor Greg Moore; Dave McEvoy of Aerie Backcountry Medicine and Steve Smith of Experiential Consulting collaborated to create a set of protocols for operating our programs in a COVID-19 environment, which are serving as a model for Corps around the country.
Northwest Youth Corps’ COVID-19 Operations Protocols are a living document and are continually updated as we learn more about managing hygiene and safety in the Coronavirus world. Take a look at them here. You can also read about how we are making our decisions around deploying programs here.
Our COVID-19 Task Force meets weekly to evaluate progress and concerns, and regularly interacts with senior leadership of our agency partners and other Conservation Corps to assess our progress and to learn from our community of practice’s nationwide experience. We will remain alert to the potential of a “second wave” of infection that may occur this autumn.
Utilizing our Eugene Headquarters:
Although the majority of our staff works from their homes, there has been a steady and increasing need for staff to utilize our Eugene campus facilities to launch and complete our programs over the summer. This is happening under strict protocols for safety and hygiene (including distancing and utilizing PPE), supervised by our Operations Team. The COVID Task Force is currently drafting protocols for careful and regular use of the facility during the fall and winter.
Fall crew leader and member training will be completed mid-September.
Several Fall Youth and Young Adult crews are currently in the field in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The majority of our programs will finish the 2020 field season right before Thanksgiving.
Northwest Youth Corps and Idaho Conservation Corps Interns are successfully continuing their assignments by telecommuting or practicing appropriate work distancing practices in accordance with both our agency partner protocols and our physician advisor’s requirements. More interns are also serving at the hosting agency worksite, following workplace distancing and all other safety protocols of the hosting agency.
We want you to know that:
• We are continuing to pay very close attention to this situation, which remains fluid even as we have gained considerable experience managing COVID in the field.
• We are working in regular consultation with our Physician Advisor Dr. Greg Moore as well as being guided by federal/state/regional/local health resources to make sure that we have effective protocols in place to successfully run our programs.
• We want to hear from you with any questions and concerns.
Please see the following resources for further information:
Washington State Department of Health https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare - https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/
Oregon Health Authority - https://www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/DISEASESCONDITIONS/DISEASESAZ/Pages/emerging-respiratory-infections.aspx