PUBLISHED: 3/9/20 @ 12:56 PM PDT
UPDATED: 3/15/20 @ 05:41 PM PDT

CHOICES Education Group is deeply committed to the health and safety of all students, school staff and volunteer presenters involved in CHOICES presentations. To that end, we have prepared the following guidance for CHOICES Program Managers regarding CHOICES delivery during the current COVID-19 outbreak. This page will be updated as necessary and as relevant to CHOICES.

Guidance for CHOICES Program Managers Regarding CHOICES Delivery in Schools

  1. Stay in daily contact with all schools you are scheduled to serve in the next two months. Many schools and school districts have closed for a period of time, and others are restricting volunteer access. Get the latest updates on their status, and whether it is safe and permissible for your volunteers to proceed with presenting CHOICES. Reschedule schools and/or classes if necessary of if mandated by local health officials.
  2. Stay in regular contact with all schools you have served since January 1, 2020. Get the latest updates on their status, and whether anyone associated with their school has tested positive for COVID-19. If so, get the details, including the date of the positive test, and notify all volunteer CHOICES presenters that served that school so they can contact their doctor immediately and follow their advice.
  3. Remind all volunteer CHOICES presenters to follow safe and healthy practices as instructed in the General Information section below, and to always maintain safe and healthy contact with students, school staff and co-presenters. We recommend that if your community has experienced one or more cases of COVID-19, all of your volunteer CHOICES presenters who meet one or more of the following conditions refrain from presenting CHOICES until further notice:
    • Are over 60 years of age
    • Have an underlying health condition
    • Have been directly exposed to someone with COVID-19
  4. Instruct volunteer CHOICES presenters that on the days leading up to their scheduled CHOICES presentations, and on the days themselves, if they feel ill or have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or have had direct contact with anyone who has had a presumptive positive test for COVID-19, they should immediately inform you, refrain from presenting at that school, and contact their doctor. See our Emergency Call List information below on preparing for last-minute replacement volunteers.
  5. Instruct volunteer CHOICES presenters that when they are on school campuses, they should wash their hands or use at least 60% alcohol hand sanitizer before touching their classroom materials and before and after every class they serve.

General Information About Preventing the Spread of COVID-19

According to the U.S. Dept. of Health, persons who are older or who have underlying health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from COVID-19. Individuals that fall in these categories should take extra precautions to avoid exposure and make plans for care in the event that they begin to notice symptoms of this virus. People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should call their health care provider immediately and make arrangements in advance to seek treatment.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
    • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
    • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to  others.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website

Because new information surfaces every day, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stay up to date.

If you believe you were exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19, contact your doctor immediately and follow their advice. If you unable to contact your doctor, contact the closest health care facility and follow their advice regardless of affiliation or insurance coverage, or call 911.

Emergency Call List Information

Occasionally a volunteer CHOICES presenter may need to cancel their assigned presentation at a school the day before or morning of their presentation due to illness, car trouble or other emergencies. As the CHOICES Program Manager (CPM), you can prepare for replacing such a volunteer on short notice by creating an Emergency Call List.

The Emergency Call List contains the full contact information of experienced volunteer CHOICES presenters that have agreed in advance to be on-call to fill in for presenters who have to cancel at the last minute. They keep their Presenter Kits and 2-3 Class Kits with them and ready to use all times, in their car, home or office. The list will include at a minimum their name, cell number and email address, but possibly also their work and home numbers and addresses.

When a scheduled presenter informs you that they need to cancel, you can simply call down the list until you secure a replacement. As the CPM you should also be prepared in the same way to replace the scheduled presenter as a last resort. Finally, if all else fails, contact the school before the class session starts to reschedule that class and/or the whole school as necessary.