Keeping Volunteers and Partners Safe During the COVID-19 Pandemic Policy Approved by Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership (ALIRP) Board Revision Approved by the ALIRP Board August 30, 2021
In order to minimize risk to volunteers from exposure to the novel Coronavirus during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alabama Interfaith Refugee Partnership (ALIRP) board recommends that all volunteers adhere to guidelines proposed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control which can be found here. Volunteers should make their own decisions about the types of volunteer interactions they chose to engage in, and should consider their own levels of risk in making such decisions. Because COVID-19 is often infectious prior to the individual showing symptoms, volunteers should generally maintain social distance (of more than 6 feet), wear face masks, and ensure that they wash their hands frequently before and after any contact with others. If volunteers engage in activities in which they are not able to maintain a 6-foot distance (for example transport in cars), volunteers do so at their own risk.
The ALIRP Direct Support Committee will ask all Partners and Direct Support volunteers to disclose their COVID vaccine status. Direct Support volunteers and Partners will be asked to provide a copy of their COVID vaccine card which will be saved on the ALIRP Google Drive, and noted in the Volunteer or Partner database. The organization does not support providing transportation or engaging in any close contact between volunteers and Partners who are not fully vaccinated against COVID 19 or who do not provide information about their COVID 19 vaccine status.
Further information about the COVID 19 vaccine can be found at this link.
If volunteers decide to provide transportation or engage in close contact with Partners who have not been vaccinated, or whose COVID-19 vaccination status is unknown, they do so at their own risk. In such situations, the following guidelines may be useful:
Pre-screen Partners before meeting them (asking if they have been vaccinated, if others in their household have been vaccinated, or anyone in the household has COVID19 symptoms), and take their temperature to ensure it is below 100 degrees F.
Use face masks and gloves and ask the Partner to use a face mask and gloves regardless of the vaccination status of the Partner or volunteer
Disinfect the inside and outside of the car (especially door handles) after dropping off clients
Consider taping a plastic shower curtain or sheet between the front seat and rear seat, and drive with Partners in the back seat with windows open to promote better ventilation.
The video prepared by a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health re: maintaining volunteer safety during the COVID pandemic has additional useful information that can be found here.