Volunteer Guidelines During COVID-19

United Way of Lebanon County’s first priority is to keep all volunteers and their families safe during this national emergency. While we do understand that those who are not suffering from the virus or those who recover from it may want to help, we encourage all volunteer activities be restricted to life-sustaining activities or virtual volunteer opportunities. The following are general guidelines for in person volunteerism to help keep you safe so you can help others, and so we all get through this crisis together.

Our primary goals are to:

  • Protect Volunteers
  • Protect Clients
  • Protect Service Agencies
General Guidelines for Volunteers
  • Do NOT show up to volunteer for any activity if in the last14 days you have:

    • Traveled to any foreign country or large metropolitan city.

    • Been on a cruise or been in an airport.

    • Been around anyone who has COVID-19.

    • Been to an event where there was more than 250 people.  

  • Do NOT show up to volunteer for any activity without confirming that there is a need for the activity, that it will be conducted, and that volunteer support is needed and expected.

  • BEFORE arriving for a volunteer shift, call ahead to the service agency and ask if any additional safety precautions should be taken before, during and after the shift.

  • ALLOW extra time for additional screening from volunteer organizations or agencies to make sure to are cleared to volunteer for the task.

  • EXPECT that shifts or opportunities may be cancelled, especially volunteer opportunities working with vulnerable populations. Please be gracious and understanding.

  • DO practice universal infection control precautions. Clean and wash your hands before, during, and after volunteering.

  • DO use proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) if needed for the task.

  • DO maintain a minimum of a 6-10 food separation from others while conducting the task.

  • ASK about any risk that may be associated with the task and DO NOT take part if you are uncomfortable with the level of risk.

General Guidance for Volunteer Organizations
  • Focus on delivering services in COVID-19 environment, and ensure we are all working together and taking all necessary precautions to service Lebanon County citizens.

  • Realize that traditional services may shift.

  • Realize that many volunteers are over age 65 and at a higher risk for contracting the virus.

  • Consider having an isolation space ready in case anyone shows up with symptoms.

  • Screen all volunteers and clients as able and before using them.

  • Make sure you have the proper PPE available, and make sure you train volunteers on its proper use before allowing them to do any tasks that require PPE.

  • Make sure all volunteers understand any risks associated with the task you like them to do and understand if they are not comfortable with that level of risk.

  • Do not compete in the market for scarce supplies that healthcare organizations and providers need every day to perform their duties.

  • Keep 6-10-foot social distance rules in place during tasks if possible.

  • Hang posters in facilities with best practices, social distancing, hand washing, etc.

  • Provide sufficient and accessible infection control supplies such as hand-hygiene products, sanitizing wipes, and receptacles for their disposal in all locations.

  • When in doubt, check the CDC or PA Department of Health websites for recommendations.