COVID-19 Safety Protocol

Effective June 1st, 2021 

Bark relies on its volunteers in the forest to achieve its goals outlined within its Strategic Plan and its commitments to funders. The following protocols will restart Bark’s volunteer field program on a very limited scale, are designed to keep participants safe, and follow state and federal guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This protocol is designed to maximize safety of our staff and volunteers and ensure that we do not further promote activities that tax the healthcare and emergency response services.  

Please note: Dealing with COVID-19 is a dynamic process. At any point restrictions may require discontinuation of any and all field projects. Before travel the staff and volunteers should check current restrictions and guidelines as provided by the CDC, the Governor’s office of Oregon and U.S. Forest Service, and Bark.  

General Guidelines   

  • Follow instructions issued by local, state and federal governments, and Bark.    
  • Staff and volunteers should be familiar with OHA and CDC Guidelines.  
  • Reporting COVID-19 symptoms or contact 
    • Before the field work starts, during a field day or between field days, staff/volunteers must self-report any and all cold/flu-like symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever/chills, congestion, sore throat, body ache, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) to Michael Krochta or Misha VanEaton.    
    • Staff/volunteers must also report contact with another individual who has shown symptoms of COVID-19. Details shared in report are confidentially maintained. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or who has been in recent contact with another person exhibiting symptoms is prohibited from participating in any field work activities.   
    • Before undertaking any field work, and during a field day and between field days, staff and volunteers must diligently self-monitor for any sign of emerging symptoms. Bark recommends folks track their temperature daily if possible.    
  • Respect the boundaries and needs of the most cautious person in the group as it relates to concerns related to COVID-19 (i.e. if someone in your group isn’t comfortable not wearing masks, everyone in the group should wear a mask).  
  • If you refuse to follow Bark’s COVID-19 safety protocols, Bark staff will ask you to leave the event.  

Before departure:  

  • Before departure, each person going to the field must review this document and complete and return the Medical Screening Form (find at the bottom of this page!).   
  • Check in before departure with Misha VanEaton, Bark’s Forest Watch Assistant  
  • Provide location of field work, participants, and estimated time of return.

Proof of Vaccination:  

  • Proof of full vaccination (a vaccine card that demonstrates one received their last vaccination at least two weeks prior) is required to carpool with someone outside of your household, but is not required to participate in other field activities at this time.  
  • The first time you carpool to a Bark event, you will be required to show a Bark staff member your vaccination card.  Bark will keep a record of your name, the date that you reached full vaccination, and the type of vaccine you received.  If you do not want Bark to keep that information recorded, you will be required to bring your proof of vaccination every time you participate in a Bark carpool.  

Transportation

Bark allows carpooling with the following guidelines:  

  • Everyone participating in the carpool is fully vaccinated 
  • No one participating in a carpool has symptoms of COVID-19 or has been in contact with someone with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks 
  • If you have had contact with someone within the last two weeks, you will need to receive a negative COVID test which was administered at least 5 days after the contact in order to participate in a carpool 
  • Everyone wears masks while carpooling 

While in the field:  

  • Mask protocol 
    • At field days and trainings, masks are required when in congregated in groups greater than 5 people. 
    • With explicit verbal consent of everyone in their group, participants can choose to not wear a mask when they are in groups of 5 people or fewer. 
    • Participants should keep their masks accessible while at a Bark event (i.e. in your pocket or around your neck rather than in a backpack).  
    • Participant may remove their masks in group settings while they are eating or drinking as long as they are socially distanced from people outside their household.  
  • If crew size allows for multiple groups working at a time, staff/volunteers should have radios turned on to channel 8 throughout the field day.   
  • Gear Sanitization 
    • Bark no longer requires that gear be sanitized between use. If you would like to sanitize your gear, alcohol wipes will be available for use upon request. We encourage participants to sanitize any equipment that they use near their face (i.e. binoculars or a clinometer) before passing to someone else for immediate use.  
  • For medical emergencies during a field day:  
    • If it is a life-threatening emergency and the crew has cell service, they should call 911 immediately (or as soon as within cell-range) and follow the dispatcher’s directions. Life-threatening emergencies related to COVID-19 may include: trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips.  
    • If it is not a life-threatening emergency, return home to seek medical attention for the affected person. 
    • In all cases contact Michael Krochta or Misha VanEaton as soon as it is safe to do so.    

Upon return:  

  • All shared gear (e.g. binoculars, radios) must be disinfected before handing over to someone else.   
  • Check in upon return with Misha VanEaton, Bark’s Forest Watch Assistant  
  • If you learn that you have COVID-19 within 2 weeks of a Bark event or that you were exposed to someone with COVID-19 before attending a Bark event, please notify Bark by contacting Misha at misha@bark-out.org