University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program
University of California
University of California 4-H Youth Development Program

Planning In-person 4-H events during COVID

Updated August 3, 2021

The UC ANR safety standards relating to reopening and engaging in-person are aligned with the State of California.

The Basic Safety Standards guidelines apply to all in-person 4-H meetings and events. Please note that the guidelines have been updated to reflect the following change:

For indoor activities, EVERYONE must wear a face mask

  • In counties with substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker
  • In counties with a state or local Public Health Order

It is the expectation that 4-H professionals be familiar with these guidelines and provide these resources to volunteers planning approved in-person 4-H meetings.


To ensure the appropriate use of these materials, please download copies and send to volunteers as attached files as opposed to providing them with the URL.

  1. Basic Safety Standards (Aug 2021) - UC ANR Basic Safety Standards that must be followed for all in-person activities. These standards are minimum requirements for conducting in-person 4-H activities.

  2. The 4-H Safety Protocol Checklist (Aug 2021) should be completed by 4-H Adult Volunteers two weeks prior to hosting in-person meetings. This checklist helps to prepare and meet requirements for in-person 4-H programming and activities.

  3. Planning Strategies for In-person Meetings (Aug 2021) - this document gives meeting planners tips and ideas when planning in-person meetings.

  4. Frequently Asked Questions (Jun 2021) - Frequently asked questions regarding in-person guidelines

  5. Strategies to reduce in-person meeting size


The meeting leader should download and print the following meeting resource items:

  1. Symptom Survey - Display at entrance to meeting.
  2. Attendance Log
  3. Procedures for 4-H Meetings during COVID-19 (Aug 2021) - Display this poster in the meeting.
  4. Face mask signage (PDF-3pages) NOTE: you may have to adjust your print settings to "Adjust to Fit" to print on letter sized paper.
    1. Masks required for all persons
    2. Masks required for unvaccinated persons


UC ANR 4-H Reopens Safely Video

Strategies to Reduce In-person Meeting Size for Projects

Divide project participants based on experience


Hold monthly virtual meetings with all members on a common topic
Alternate meeting in-person with a subset of the group based on experience. The in-person meeting can focus on beginner, intermediate, or advanced level activities in the project.

Divide large group into subgroups that meet on different days or times.


Break group up into 3 smaller groups. Each group meets for 60 minutes in-person on a Saturday afternoon. Ample time is scheduled between meetings to sanitize surfaces and materials and limit contact between groups.

Divide group into cohorts that meet in six separate sessions.


Cohort One meets in-person on the second Monday.
Cohort Two meets in-person on the fourth Tuesday.

Divide group based on needs.


Hold a hybrid meeting: Meet in person with youth who have limited internet access. Rest of youth join the meeting virtually.

Offer multiple sessions for popular projects.


Recruit multiple adult project leaders and ask each pair to take a session.

As a last resort, consider capping youth enrollment in projects, following 4-H policies about limiting participation.

Partnering with Other Organizations

When 4-H staff or volunteers are invited to participate at another organization’s program or event, such as schools that have re-opened in accordance with state and local guidelines, 4-H professionals and volunteers must comply with our Basic Safety Standards.

Before making a commitment, first assess if the activity is compliant with state and local health department standards for preventing the spread of COVID-19. This includes reviewing the organization’s COVID-19 safety protocols related to the activity. Consider if those protocols are consistent with UC ANR’s Basic Safety Standards.

If the other organization’s safety protocols are more restrictive than UC ANR's, then the 4-H representatives must follow the organization’s safety protocols.

If the other organization’s safety protocols are less restrictive, then the 4-H staff should consider whether additional protective measures are needed in order to ensure the safety of the 4-H participants. This review should be conducted by local 4-H personnel, in consultation with UC ANR Risk & Safety Services.

In-Person Participation in 2021 Fairs

The 4-H and Non 4-H Livestock Events Guidance has been updated as of 4/28/2021.

4-H staff in the county where the fair/show/auction is taking place must do the following:

  • Submit a copy of the fair/show/auction safety protocols through the Staff Resources survey. This is to verify that there is a plan in place to comply with state and local public health guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
    • Exception: Non-CDFA Sponsored Events sponsored by other organizations.
    • It is not our intent to review or approve a fair/show/auction's COVID-19 safety protocols; we are just ensuring there is a plan in place.
  • Share the relevant information about safety and COVID-19 prevention for the event with 4-H participants, families and adult volunteers so they are aware of and will be expected to comply with the fair/show/auction's safety protocols. 

Overnight 4-H Events and Out of State Travel

Updated August 23, 2021

Due to the continued cases of COVID-19, the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program will continue the following practices through December 31, 2021:

Overnight California 4-H Events

No 4-H funded, sponsored, or hosted overnight conferences, events, or activities will be allowed. This includes the 2022 Youth Summits.

Out of State Travel

No travel to 4-H funded, sponsored, or hosted conferences, events, or activities outside the state of California will be allowed.


These guidelines will be reviewed and updated for 2022 in December, 2021.

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