THE FOLLOWING GUIDANCE WILL BE IMPLEMENTED, EFFECTIVE DEC. 7, 2020 AND RUN THROUGH JAN. 15:
All Counties: We are cutting back on the number of exemptions and will be approving only essential/critical in-person programing such as Serv Safe and other trainings that, if withheld, would affect the person's livelihood or credentialing. Time sensitive and critical research would still be permitted and some court-mandated programs if courts are not willing to delay. The program ADs will be working with the educators to clarify which exemptions are still in place as essential/critical by program area.
Purple Counties and Counties Approaching Purple: When a county turns PURPLE or is approaching PURPLE, Extension offices are to be closed and employees will work virtually. Meetings and events need to be canceled, postponed, or held virtually until Jan. 15.
Red Counties: When a county turns Red, Extension offices are to be closed to the public but still staffed according to their Return to Office Plan (can still offer by appointment only). By “appointment only” means the office is staffed but the door to the office is locked. Clientele are required to have a timed appointment to be admitted to the office. You should attempt to have a limited number of employees in the office at any one time. You can work this out locally and make adjustments to your Return to Office plans. As always, if your commissioners or landlords have closed your building, you should revise your Return to Office plans to move to full telework. Meetings and events need to be canceled, postponed, or held virtually until Jan. 15. This includes 4-H club meetings and events and Master Gardner Volunteer meetings and events.
We recognize that this is different than even a few weeks ago; however, we are attempting to be in concert with the current and trending data and it is clear that the numbers are trending up quickly and significantly.
Orange Counties and Yellow Counties: When a county is Orange or Yellow, the Extension office can remain open to the public according to their Return to Office Plan with existing safety protocols in place. You should still attempt to have a limited number of employees in the office at any one time. You can work this out locally and make adjustments to your Return to Office plans. Meetings and events need to be canceled, postponed, or held virtually until Jan. 15. This includes 4-H club meetings and events and Master Gardner Volunteer meetings and events.
Local Health Advisories: In addition to the guidance from the Governor’s Ohio Health Advisory system requirements, various county health departments are releasing local health advisories limiting activities or encouraging additional caution regarding gathering and non-essential activities. If a county has issued a local health advisory, we expect the Extension professionals in that county to follow the most restrictive guidance (OSU or local). We recognize that there is a lot of room for interpretation of these advisories and that some of them appear to provide conflicting messages about gatherings and essential activities. If you are uncertain about what to do, contact your area leader and he or she will work with our Director of Operations (Jeff McCutcheon) to provide additional clarity.