SCA COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

SCA member with mask on in bushes

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, the safety of SCA members and staff has been paramount in our organization’s response and decision-making. As the pandemic continues to evolve and unfold, SCA continually strives to update our management strategy with an effective and relevant approach. 

Our approach to COVID-19 is informed by public health guidance and regulations, including from the CDC, OSHA, FDA, state, local authorities. Our policies and protocols are further informed by SCA site-partner requirements, position-specific requirements and volunteer or employee status. Our experienced Safety and Risk Management Department is supported by SCA’s medical advisor. 

In Collaboration: A Shared Responsibility

Mitigating the risks associated with COVID-19 is a shared responsibility between SCA, our partner organizations and agencies, and the members participating in our programs. In providing the safest and most equitable position experiences we can, we ask for mutual cooperation, collaboration, and communication among these groups to help protect members, staff, and the local communities in which we serve. 

Four SCA members with masks posing outside

SCA’s COVID-19 Best Management Practices

Throughout all programs, positions, and settings, SCA’s approach to COVID-19 is underpinned by several best management strategies. These strategies are informed by current federal guidance: 

  • Informational such as acknowledgement and planning for inherent risks, regular health and symptom checks, and viral testing for diagnostic purposes; 
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as masking practices in accordance with federal guidance and accommodations for safety critical work; 
  • Sanitation & Disinfection such as regular and frequent handwashing or sanitation, cleaning practices for high touch tools, objects, and surfaces, and PPE. 

SCA’s policy framework includes the recognition that local context often varies. The best management strategies serve as guiding principles, which are applied local program levels as policy and practice. Partner work and living context may also vary, and further influence work and practice at the local level. SCA’s national COVID-19 Management Plan is continually reviewed, assessed, and updated as conditions, knowledge, and guidance evolve. 

Up-to-Date Vaccination Policy

For all positions starting January 1, 2023 or later, SCA members and staff are not required to submit proof of vaccination unless required by an SCA partner organization.  

Before Your Start Date

Arriving well rested, nourished, and hydrated is a key component to maintaining health during a new position’s start. SCA asks members and staff to self-monitor and disclose any COVID-19 symptoms during the 14-day period before traveling to or starting a new position. Members and staff who have had recent close contact to someone with COVID-19 or present with COVID symptoms will delay travel to and position start. 

Before a new position starts, members are required to provide proof of vaccination and disclose any symptoms or recent exposures.  

SCA members waring masks carrying tree limbs

COVID Response Protocol

SCA’s COVID-19 response protocol is informed by CDC and FDA guidance under the direction of our medical advisor. SCA’s criterion to discontinue isolation will be met prior to any new position start, return from holiday or leave, or position resumption following a confirmed case of COVID-19: 

  • A minimum of 5 days since a test was conducted and/or symptoms first appeared, and 
  • 24 hours after symptoms are present, such as vomiting, troubled breathing, and/or fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications), and 
  • All other symptoms improve (loss of taste/smell may persist and need not delay the end of isolation). 

In the event personnel are in close contact or otherwise exposed to someone confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, or report the presence of symptoms associated with COVID-19, SCA follows active CDC and FDA guidelines. When possible and indicated, personnel will be required to test negative before returning to service or to be in the company of others. Due to the efficacy of at-home and ‘point of contact’ tests, two tests taken 48 hours apart are required to cleared for work or service. Additionally, groups may enact more strict masking protocols, such as masking in living or vehicle situations.