On March 7, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore of the Government of Ontario announced the removal of masking requirements for most settings beginning March 21. 4-H Ontario will follow provincial government guidelines and as of March 21 will no longer require masks to be worn during in-person 4-H activities; however, 4-H associations are to follow the requirements of their local public health unit, and this may include wearing masks for in-person activities.
The decision to wear or not to wear a mask is a personal choice and it is imperative that everyone is treated with respect and consideration. It is important that all 4-H’ers have respectful dialogue with all who are engaging in in-person 4-H activities to ensure the health and safety of all participants is honoured. There is no tolerance for conduct that conflicts with the Code of Conduct for 4-H in Canada or other policies.
All in-person 4-H activities must continue to follow public health guidelines including self-screening before attending any in-person activities. 4-H participants, volunteers and guests must also complete a COVID-19 waiver prior to participating in any 4-H activity. COVID-19 waivers can be found as part of youth online registration, the annual volunteer participation form and on the website here for guests.
4-H Ontario encourages 4-H associations to continue offering virtual and hybrid club meetings to keep their 4-H’ers safe and their activities inclusive for those who are unable or uncomfortable attending in-person activities.
To host an in-person 4-H activity, 4-H associations/clubs must submit an activity plan at least 14 business days prior to the start date of the activity. All activity plans must be approved prior to the commencement of the proposed in-person activity. An activity plan can be submitted here.
Despite the changes described above, the 4-H Ontario Volunteer Conference on March 26 will continue to follow 50% capacity limits and require proof of vaccine and masks to be worn with respect for the delegates who registered for the event prior to the announcement of these updates.
4-H Ontario continues to monitor the Government guidelines for COVID-19 and more updates will be made available as needed.
Where to find more information on COVID-19:
Ontario Government Requirements
Ontario Ministry of Health
Mental Health Resources for Youth
Mental Health Resources Relating to COVID-19