BBBSEM Guidelines for Social Distancing | UPDATED 3/1/2021


BBBSEM Guidelines for Social Distancing | UPDATED 3/1/2021

by Remi Cox
Posted November 1, 2020


*Updated 3/1/2021

Thank you for your patience and persistence in continuing to adapt to online and outdoor socially distanced mentoring. As Massachusetts moves toward next phases of re-opening, BBBSEM will be maintaining our current guidelines and expectations for in-person outings. This decision is guided by state & CDC recommendations which advise avoiding indoor contact with individuals who are not a part of your immediate household. We will be closely monitoring COVID-19 trends in Massachusetts as well as state and CDC recommendations through the month of March and will be back in touch early April with any updates to our agency guidelines.

We would like to remind everyone that Community-Based matches who are comfortable meeting in-person should continue to meet outdoors in socially distant spaces only. If your match is not ready or is unable to accommodate our safety guidelines and measures, we thank you for continuing to meet virtually and for staying connected during this difficult time. Site-Based matches should continue connect online only and are not permitted to meet in-person.

For a full explanation of our current guidelines, please see the BBBSEM Guidelines for Social Distancing below.

In addition to the guidelines set forth by BBBSEM, we expect that our matches also adhere to any state and federal mandated guidelines.  Safety is our number one priority and CDC COVID-19 recommendations indicate that the risk to our match participants is exponentially higher during indoor outings.

Looking ahead, we are continuing to closely monitor COVID-19 trends in Massachusetts as well as state and CDC recommendations. We will continue to be in touch with any updates on our guidelines. In the meantime, we encourage you to get outside when possible and continue practicing periodic virtual meetings.

Looking for inspiration? Check out our Outdoor Activity Ideas, our growing library Virtual Activity Ideas and talk to your Match Advocate! We thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to figure out this new normal together!

BBBSEM Guidelines on Social Distancing  
To keep all of our matches as safe as possible, BBBSEM is updating the guidelines on social distancing effective Friday August 21, 2020. Matches must comply with all of the following safety guidelines outlined below. As you review our updated guidelines, please note that there have been some updates regarding transportation.

Prior to First In-Person Meeting: 

  • Big, Little and Guardian are comfortable with an in-person meeting and are able to discuss and commit to safety guidelines for in-person outings
  • The plan for your first in-person meeting and acknowledgment of the safety guidelines is shared directly with your Match Advocate 24 hours prior to your in-person meeting, either by call, email or text – Both Big and Guardians should be in touch with their Match Advocate
  • If you are in a new match and have never met in person, you are required to plan the details of your first in-person outing with a BBBS staff member prior to the meeting.

During In-Person Meetings:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times.
    • Bigs and Littles are responsible for their own personal protective equipment. If this factor is keeping your match from meeting in-person, please let your Match Advocate know
  • Stay 6 feet apart from others; if you can do so safely, stay 6 feet apart from one another as well
  • Outdoor activities only, avoiding densely populated areas
  • If utilizing shared sports/activity equipment (basketball, playing cards etc.) hand washing or hand sanitizing immediately after activity
    BBBSEM does not recommend but will allow Bigs and Littles to travel together in personal vehicles. Public transportation is not allowed. When possible, it is strongly encouraged that Parent/Guardians provide child transportation to and from outings or matches meet within walking distance of Little’s home.
  • When a Big does transport their Little, the following must be followed:
    • Bigs must wipe down/disinfect interior surfaces (handles, dashboards, seatbelts, etc.) of car before and after travel
    • Bigs should limit transport to short distances only and not travel across state lines
    • Littles must sit in the backseat of the car
    • When possible, car windows should be open
    • Masks must be worn by all parties during the entire transport period
  • Follow all guidelines and updates shared by the local government which you can learn more about through this link to  Notable guidelines include:
  • Self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling out of state (some exceptions to this which can be found on the website linked above) or coming into contact with someone who is feeling ill.

If you are a School-Based Match, you should continue to connect virtually until further notice and are not permitted to meet in-person.

Remember that we are bigger and safer together. Bigs are role models to their Littles and should talk openly about why these safety measures are critical and how you will both follow them when spending time together in-person.  BBBSEM will continuously review local and CDC guidelines to mitigate risk for our matches and at any point may change these guidelines and expect matches to return back to exclusively virtual mentoring.

Directrices de BBBSEM acerca del Distanciamiento Social  

Para mantener a nuestras amistades lo más seguras posible, BBBSEM está actualizando las directrices acerca del distanciamiento social a partir del viernes 21 de agosto de 2020. Las amistades deben cumplir con todas las siguientes pautas de seguridad. Al revisar nuestras pautas actualizadas, tenga en cuenta que ha habido algunas actualizaciones con respecto al transporte.

Expectativas antes de la primera reunión en persona: 

  • Big, Little y Guardián se sienten cómodos con una reunión en persona y pueden seguir las siguientes pautas de seguridad
  • El plan para su primera reunión en persona y el reconocimiento de las pautas de seguridad se comparte directamente con su Match Advocate 24 horas antes de su reunión en persona, ya sea por llamada, correo electrónico o mensaje de texto. Tanto Big como Guardians deben estar en contacto con sus Match Advocate
  • Si su amistad ha comenzado recientemente y nunca se han visto en persona, es obligatorio planificar los detalles de su primera salida en persona con un miembro del personal de BBBS antes de la reunión.

Pautas de seguridad durante la reunión en persona:

  • Use una máscara que cubra su nariz y boca en todo moment 
    • Bigs y Littles son responsables de su propio equipo de protección personal. Si este factor impide que su amistad se reúna en persona, informe a su Match Advocate.
  • Manténgase a 6 pies de distancia de los demás; si puede hacerlo de manera segura, manténgase a 6 pies de distancia el uno del otro también
  • Solo actividades al aire libre, evitando áreas densamente pobladas
    Si utiliza equipos de deportes / actividades compartidas (baloncesto, naipes, etc.) lavarse las manos o desinfectarse las manos inmediatamente después de la actividad
  • BBBSEM no recomienda, pero permitirá que Bigs y Littles viajen juntos en vehículos personales. El transporte público no está permitido. Cuando sea posible, recomendamos que Padres/Guardianes provean transporte para Little o que las amistades se encuentren cerca de la casa de Little y caminen.
  • Cuando un Big transporte a su Little, deben seguir las siguientes reglas:
    Los Bigs deben limpiar/desinfectar las superficies dentro del automóvil (manijas, tablero, cinturones, etc.) antes y después del viaje.

    • Los Bigs deben limitar el transporte a distancias cortas únicamente y no viajar a otros estados.
    • Los Littles deben sentarse en el asiento trasero del automóvil.
    • Cuando sea posible, las ventanas del automóvil deben estar abiertas.
    • Todas las amistades deben usar máscaras durante todo el período de transporte.
  • Siga toda los pautas y actualizaciones compartidas por el gobierno local. Puede encontrar más información a traves de este enlace en Las pautas notables incluyen:
    • Mantener cuarentena durante 14 días después de viajar fuera del estado (algunas excepciones se pueden encontrar en el enlace anterior) o entrar en contacto con alguien que se siente enfermo.

Si su amistad está basada en la escuela, deben continuar conectándose virtualmente hasta nuevo aviso y no se le permite reunirse en persona. 

Recuerden que juntos podemos ser más grandes y mantenernos más seguros. Los Bigs son modelos a seguir para sus Littles y deben hablar abiertamente sobre las razones por las cuales estas medidas de seguridad son críticas y cómo ambos las seguirán cuando pasen tiempo juntos en persona. BBBSEM revisará continuamente las pautas locales y del CDC para mitigar el riesgo de nuestras amistades y, en cualquier momento, puede cambiar estas pautas y pedirle a las amistades que vuelven a la mentoría virtual de manera exclusiva.

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