Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease COVID-19.
Updated 12:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 1, 2020
Our most valuable resource is our people, and protecting the health and well-being of our girls, volunteers and employees remain a top priority. Rule number one when it comes to emergencies? Stay calm. Read Girl Scouts of the USA’s “How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus” for some helpful dos and don’ts on how to talk openly about what your girl may think or feel about the situation.
Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (GSSWT) leadership is closely monitoring the continued spread of COVID-19 and regularly consulting reputable sources, including San Antonio Metro Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In May, Governor Greg Abbott announced the state’s ongoing plan to “safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19.” Under Phase II, Gov. Abbott granted youth clubs permission to meet assuming minimum standard health protocols as outlined in The Governor’s Report to Open Texas are followed. Our region has successfully reduced community transmission of COVID-19 due to the consistent adherence of preventive measures recommended by both San Antonio Metro Health and the Texas Department of State Health Services.
On September 17, Gov. Abbott issued new executive orders expanding capacity for certain services. Though youth camps and recreational sports programs for youths are mentioned, youth clubs and youth club participants (of which Girl Scouts is included) are NOT.
We recognize how Girl Scouting’s social and emotional learning and positive peer interactions contribute to the mental health of girls amid the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. To support the continued well-being of our members, GSSWT troops and communities may be granted permission to meet in person following the required COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols training effective August 1, 2020 and GSSWT will accept reservations for meeting space at the Sally Cheever Girl Scout Leadership Center effective October 1, 2020.
Steps we are taking:
- All GSSWT offices remain closed to the public until further notice.
- GSSWT has developed a COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocols training that is required for all troop co-leaders to complete before a troop or group is permitted to meet in person. Visit our Volunteer Resources page for more information.
- To accommodate troops and communities that have been granted permission to meet in person and are unable to find a meeting space, GSSWT will accept reservations for use of the USAA Multi-purpose Room at the Sally Cheever Girl Scout Leadership Center on Tuesdays, Thursdays and the 2nd Saturday of each month effective October 1, 2020. Visit the COVID-19 Protocols & Restrictions section on our Volunteer Resources page for more information.
- The majority of GSSWT staff continue to work remotely. GSSWT continues a phased approach to return select staff members to offices at the Sally Cheever and West Side leadership centers, as well as Camp La Jita. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns.
The Girl Scout Shop at the Sally Cheever Girl Scout Leadership
Center has extended its curbside pick-up options. Orders
placed using the NEW online form will be available for pick up
each Tuesday, Thursday and the 2nd and 4th
Saturdays of each month. See the new Cara’s
Boutique shop site for details.
- GSSWT canceled our annual Celebrations ceremony originally scheduled for May 17, 2020. Please be assured that council leadership is pursuing alternative plans to properly recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of all our girls.
- We’ve extended the deadline for girls to earn their highest awards (the Gold, Silver and Bronze awards) from September 30 to December 31, 2020. Please visit our Highest Award page for more details.
We continue to evaluate restrictions for all travel and overnight
activities with girls.
- We are suspending reservations at Camp La Jita and evaluating all camping trips and other overnight activities at other locations. Preventive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 cannot be maintained at most overnight activities. Troop and community campouts or overnight activities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, regardless of location. Volunteers are required to submit the online Activity and Trip Form to GSSWT for all overnight activities of one to two nights four weeks in advance.
- All domestic and international travel with girls will be evaluated on a case by case basis. Please note that if there is any girl travel scheduled on a cruise ship, regardless of destination, or to a U.S. Department of State “Level 3 – Reconsider Travel” location, the trip should immediately be cancelled or re-routed. Travel with girls to any international location identified by the U.S. Department of State as “Level 4 – Do Not Travel” is never allowed. Volunteers are required to submit the online Activity and Trip Form to GSSWT for all extended travel of three or more nights six months in advance.
San Antonio Metro Health recommends practicing social distancing and observing basic hygiene practices to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus/COVID-19.
Social distancing is a practice in which people maintain safe distances from each other and avoid direct contact with high touch items in the community. Here are six ways to practice social distancing:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places like elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, handshaking, etc. Use a tissue or your sleeve to cover your hand if you must touch something
- Wash your hands after touching surfaces in public places and avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc.
- Avoid crowds, especially in poorly ventilated spaces. Risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like novel coronavirus/COVID-19 may increase in crowded, closed-in settings with little air circulation if there are people in the crowd who are sick
- Clean and disinfect your home regularly, including routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
- Maintain a six-foot distance from others in public settings
The best way to prevent infection is to take precautions to avoid exposure to this virus, which are similar to the precautions you take to avoid the flu. The CDC always recommends these everyday actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- 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
What is a coronavirus?
What is COVID-19?
What are the symptoms?
Who is at a higher risk?
Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be transmitted through the air?
Can COVID-19 be caught from a person who has no symptoms?
What is the risk of my child becoming sick with COVID-19?
Are the symptoms of COVID-19 different in children than in adults
What should you do if you feel sick?
Is local testing for COVID-19 available?
Are there any treatments available for children with COVID-19?
How long will it take to develop a treatment or vaccine?
What is our community doing about COVID-19?
Where can I call for more information?
Are Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas (GSSWT) offices closing? Are council events canceled?
Can troops keep meeting? Is it okay for our girls to be interacting with each other?
Gov. Abbott granted youth clubs permission to meet May 18, why can’t Girl Scout troops and communities meet yet?
Why can’t troops meet in homes?
Is the Girl Scout Shop open? Can we place orders?
Why did GSSWT choose to cancel Celebrations?
How do I get more information about planning a community Celebrations event in the fall?
I wasn’t able to complete my Bronze, Silver or Gold Award project, what now?
Can girls still camp?
Can girls still travel?
Hate or racism is growing towards the Asian community, how is Girl Scouts creating a safe space?
Does Girl Scouts have any medical expertise?