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 Jan. 19, 2022

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 following updates override the Basic Safety Standards:

For indoor activities, the statewide indoor masking order is extended to February 15, 2022. Learn more about the CDPH masking order.

As of January 19, 2022, all 4-H in-person activities can only be held OUTDOORS with 6 feet distancing, or virtually.

We have been receiving multiple reports of exposures from 4-H activities. Because of the current high transmission of omicron, ANR Risk & Safety determined that for now we must limit indoor interactions to limit exposures for our youth and families. We can continue 4-H activities outdoors while practicing social distancing, or shift to virtual options.

As always, our focus is on the health and safety of our youth, volunteers and families. We do not want 4-H activities to be the cause of a youth to not be able to go to school, or an adult volunteer to not be able to go to work. While we are all disappointed in this change, we know that we can overcome this disappointment and pivot, as we have in the past. Thank you to all our youth, volunteers and staff. Your resiliency continues to move your 4-H program forward through the obstacles brought on by the pandemic.

Resources to share

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.

Forms and Materials for Volunteers

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 (Jan. 2022) - 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. Recommendations for handling non-maskers.

  6. Strategies to reduce in-person meeting size

Meeting Resource Items

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
  5.  Recommendations for handling non-maskers.

UC ANR 4-H Reopens Safely Video

University of California COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Effective September 1, 2021, all UC employees must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Vaccination Policy for UC 4-H Adult Volunteers

  • 4-H Adult Volunteers are not required to provide proof of vaccination.
  • All 4-H volunteers and participants are required to follow the Basic Safety Standards for COVID-19 when participating in any 4-H activities, including face mask use.

Maintaining a safe environment

Our goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of the entire UC ANR community and the people we serve.

Please see the Covid In-person Update for more details on the Vaccination Policy in UC ANR and UCCE offices.

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.

Vaccine Status Requests from Partners

As part of the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, many of our partner organizations now require that visitors to their sites must be vaccinated.

To manage requests for this information, Risk & Safety Services and Human Resources have developed the following affirmative steps for UC ANR employees.

UC ANR employees: If you receive a request to provide vaccination status for yourself or any UC ANR employee/affiliate to a partner organization (such as a school or community organization), please do the following:

  1. Let your Unit Director know of any requests.
  2. Unit Director will consolidate requests from each specific partner organization and send the name of the partner organization and names of employees working on the partner site in an email to UC ANR Risk & Safety Services and Human Resources.

Typically, we will provide a letter to the partner agency that verifies ANR employees are compliant with the UC policy and, consequently, with their own local policies.

In cases where more than the letter is required, we may reach out to the Unit Director for additional information to develop alternative solutions.

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 January 1, 2022

The following guidelines are effective January 1, 2022.

Overnight California 4-H Events

Overnight 4-H Events will be allowed using the Overnight 4-H Event Safety Protocols.

Out of State Travel

All 4-H Members, Volunteers and Professionals must follow the following safety protocols when traveling to out of state 4-H events.

  1. PRIOR to making travel arrangements: The 4-H professional and/or adult chaperon/leader/coach must register their trip and provide appropriate documentation on the Trip Registration Survey.
    1. The State 4-H Director and Director of Risk and Safety Services will review the survey data and work with the local 4-H professional on making appropriate determinations for participation.
  2. UC 4-H participants in out-of-state events will be expected to follow UC 4-H safety protocols as well as any event-specific guidelines.
  3. All participants and attendees (4-H Members, 4-H Volunteers, 4-H Professionals and family members) must submit proof of negative COVID-19 test.
    1. Test must be collected within 72 hours prior to the event.
    2. Home self-tests (at your own cost) will also be accepted.
    3. A photo or electronic copy of test results is acceptable proof.
    4. Persons with Positive or Inconclusive test results are not allowed to attend 4-H events.
    5. Test results will be observed and verified by a pre-determined 4-H staff member or adult volunteer.
    6. Copies of test results will not be collected or retained by 4-H. The only record will be to document that test results were viewed and confirmed for each individual.
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