The content on this page will be updated as new information is released. Please check back often.
The ISU Extension and Outreach mask mandate continues through March 31, 2021. Attendance limits for gatherings end January 25.
ISU Extension and Outreach recognizes that counties across the state are dealing with a range of situations regarding safe conditions for reopening. Opening and closing offices in response to pandemic conditions are decisions best made at the county level in accordance with the most current federal, state, local, and university COVID-19 guidelines. All guidance is meant to aid staff and council members as they engage in decision-making and training at the local level.
Have a plan for
- opening/closing your office
- providing in-person education
- communicating with staff and stakeholders when your office needs to close
January 7, 2021
Gov. Reynolds signed a new Public Health Disaster proclamation on January 7, 2021 that modifies existing public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The proclamation continues to require that when people are in an indoor public space, and unable to social distance for 15 minutes or longer, masks are required to be worn. These public health measures have been extended until Saturday, February 6, 2021.
January 19, 2021
ISU Extension and Outreach COVID-19 Update from the Office of the Vice President, Dr. John Lawrence clarifies the face covering mandate in different settings for ISU Extension and Outreach.
November 17, 2020
A face covering mandate for ISU Extension and Outreach is in effect through March 31, 2021, and will be reevaluated and possibly extended at that time. This mandate does go beyond the Governor’s current face covering mandate and does not have the 15-minute exemption.
Send comments and suggestions to the Virtual Suggestion Box
Guidance By Topic
- Reminder: Use the COVID-19 registration and thank you statement on all registration materials and online websites found on MyExtension (for staff only).
- Iowa 4-H Addendum to Guidance and Expectations for In-Person Education and Business - January 25, 2021
When to open and close offices
Be prepared to initiate a Crisis Communications Plan available on MyExtension (for staff only). Please review the plan and consider how you would implement it, should a crisis arise.
Extension Programs and Events
- A face covering mandate for ISU Extension and Outreach is in effect through March 31, 2021, and will be reevaluated and possibly extended at that time.
- Clarifications on the face covering mandate and how it applies to ISU Extension and Outreach events and meetings from the Office of the Vice President, Dr. John Lawrence, January 19, 2021.
- Registration statements for use on materials and websites on MyExtension (staff only link)
- COVID-19 Signage on MyExtension (staff only link).
Program Area Guidance and Protocols
- Iowa 4-H Addendum to Guidance and Expectations for In-Person Education and Business - December 22, 2020
- COVID-19 Resources for Communities, Businesses, Local Governments, and Nonprofits
- Finding Answers Now - Resources to help you cope with concerns about healthy eating, relationships, mental health and wellbeing, personal finance, food safety, and nutrition and wellness.
Events at county offices:
- County Services Insurance Update 6.1 - September 9, 2020 (Clarification October 8, 2020). Educational food demonstrations and nutrition programs led by extension staff or trained extension volunteers are no longer under the communicable disease restrictions. All other food restrictions are still in effect.
- Food and Beverage Guidance and Training, October 26, 2020 - companion piece to County Services Insurance Updates. This guide is meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which businesses must comply.
Events, gatherings and venues on campus
Other food safety resources (added October 29, 2020)
- CDC - Social Distancing, Keep Your Distance to Slow the Spread
- Use safe distance markers and other COVID-19 signage – MyExtension (staff link only).
- Post “Your Safety is Important to Us” editable sign – MyExtension (staff link only); personalize with your office’s specific safety precautions.
ISU Extension and Outreach
Face coverings are required when people are indoors (including all campus and county extension offices). Exceptions to this requirement are:
- An individual who has a medical condition or disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
- An individual who is working alone or in a space where six feet of physical distance from others can be maintained or is otherwise able to avoid prolonged contact with others.
- An individual who is eating or drinking.
- Conversations About Personal Comfort and COVID-19 Safety Practices in the Workplace, August 10, 2020 - use as a companion piece with the face covering training and guidance document.
- Face coverings required signs and other signage – MyExtension (staff link only)
- Extension Store: Disposable face coverings
- CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting – Develop your plan, implement your plan, and maintain and revise your plan. Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfecting is an important part in public spaces and requires careful planning.
- EPA Approved Disinfectants against COVID-19
- CDC's Reopening Guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting - includes directions when an EPA approved disinfectant is not avaiable.
- Extension Store COVID-19 - products available for purchase.
NOTE: If you are planning and delivering a program, part of the plan should include cleaning before and after the program. It is all of our responsibility to clean and sanitize our workplace. County offices should provide the necessary cleaning supplies for activities hosted in their offices.
- COVID-19 Contact Information Training and Guidance - October 6, 2020 - Collecting contact information will help public health officials notify those who may have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19. Maintain rosters for events, however, collecting contact information at large gatherings is likely not feasible.
- Use the Excel spreadsheet on MyExtension (staff link only) to keep a list of every single person who goes through the office every single day, not just members of the public, but staff, council members, and volunteers. June 5, 2020
** August 19, 2020, Iowa public health officials advice on how long to keep contact collecting sheets: Based on how local public health agencies are currently releasing COVID-19 cases with contact tracing, 28-30 days is sufficient.
- Use door and table signs on MyExtension (staff link only) to let clients know we're helping stop the spread of COVID-19 by collecting contact information. June 5, 2020
Governor Reynolds Nov. 10, 2020, proclamation states, "I continue to strongly encourage all vulnerable Iowans, including those with preexisting medical conditions and those older than 65, in all counties of the state to continue to limit their activities outside of their home, including their visits to businesses and
other establishments and their participation in gatherings of any size and any purpose. And I encourage all Iowans to limit their in-person interactions with vulnerable Iowans and to exercise particular care and caution when engaging in any necessary interactions."
- The Gerontological Society of America - COVID-19 Updates - added September 24, 2020
Documentations listed below are no longer applicable as of Nov. 16, 2020.
County Offices Reopening Letter - Dr. John Lawrence, Vice President for Extension and Outreach, June 22, 2020.
Second Monday Live, June 8 -- Structured for Success and Open for Iowa
Second Monday Live, Open for Iowa - Q & A, June 8
Iowa State University COVID-19 Guidance
- On campus - Gatherings on Campus, October 28, 2020 - doesn't replace or conflict with any university COVID-19 policies or guidelines. It simply clarifies and highlights the fact that informal interactions are possible.
Guidance for Gatherings at Iowa State University, July 31, 2020
- Off campus - Guidance and Expectations for In-Person Education and Business, August 10, 2020, Minor Update September 22, 2020
Considerations for Leaders, Supervisors and Extension Councils
Considerations for staff
- ISU Supervisor Expectations document provides guidance from a campus perspective.
- Staff Friendly Office Return, August 10, 2020 provides guidance for ISU Extension and Outreach that includes considerations of school and childcare challenges.
- COVID-19 Conversations, August 10, 2020 - leader and supervisor guide for conversation about personal safety with staff. Cardinal or Gold Table Tent for ISU Extension and Outreach staff - download from MyExtension under Face Coverings (staff link only).
Open for Iowa does not recommend the use of waivers for events or programming. However, if counties choose to use waivers, LMC Insurance has provided waiver templates for your use. Contact your regional director for more information.
Extension Councils - Infection Control Policies, Whitfield & Eddy
Infection Control Policy Resources, July 6, 2020 - optional policy templates for extension councils from legal representative, Whitfield & Eddy. Contact your regional director for more information.
CIRAS COVID-19: Protecting Your Business, July 6, 2020 - See resources under "Return to Work", which includes a sample "Return to Office Plan" based on the modified White House Opening America Criteria and will continue to be updated by the Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS). The White House Opening America Criteria could be used to create/update a phased plan that is data-driven, along with developing a relationship with county emergency management and public health officials, to help navigate when to open and close an office.
Expectations In-person Guidance and Protocols
Use these documents to guide your conversations and planning process for any extension meeting or event:
- On campus - Guidance for Gatherings at Iowa State University, July 31, 2020
- Off campus - Guidance and Expectations for In-Person Education and Business, Aug. 10, 2020, Minor Update September 22, 2020, ISU Extension and Outreach leadership expectations and guidance.
- Iowa 4-H Guidance and Expectation Addendum - Nov. 16, 2020. COVID-19 response.
Screening for COVID-19
Screening for COVID-19 Training and Guidance, October 6, 2020 - If you are experiencing any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19, do not report to work.
CDC - Use Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread
Face Covering Training and Guidance, August 10, 2020 - for ISU Extension and Outreach