Guidelines for Youth Ministry at COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and Level 1

Contributed by: Lorna Gray, National Youth Facilitator

What a journey we have been on together. As we open out as a nation and as youth ministries look for ways to connect young people with one another and with God, here are some guidelines on how to do this safely within Alert Levels 2 and 1. We are praying for you all as you seek ways to walk wisely and well with the young people God has weaved across your lives, and praying that the following guidelines are of help.

Resuming youth ministry in person is desperately needed but has to be done carefully, respecting the guidelines set out by the New Zealand Government. As a nation we have come a long way in the COVID-19 journey and we are not wanting to compromise the ground we have made in any way. This is a resource aimed to give some practical suggestions and is aligned with government recommendations in the different Alert Levels 2 and 1. As you deliver youth ministry within your diocese, be aware some diocese have also released some clear policies and this is not meant to cause confusion in any way. These are guidelines for use within your own setting but are subject to practices set by the diocese you are in, and any advice given by the Tikanga Pakeha Ministry Council or General Synod.

These are guidelines only and there must be room to accommodate and respond to changes in community transmission rates and the associated changes in advice from Government and Public Health Authorities. See the Government’s guidelines for different levels for more information.

Whatever alert level NZ is in…

  • No young person or youth leader should come to any youth event if they have been unwell in last 14 days.
  • No young person or youth leader should come to any event if they have had contact with a known or suspected case of COVID-19.
  • Anyone presenting at an event with a temperature, runny nose or respiratory symptoms (even if mild) should be considered a potential COVID-19 case and the following steps taken:
    1. A mask should be given to unwell person.
    2. Isolate person immediately from rest of group.
    3. If it is a young person, leave a leader with this young person to encourage, support and reassure them. This leader is to wait with the young person and is to have a mask and remain 2 metres apart from the young person.
    4. Contact family and arrange to for them to pick up young person as soon as possible, asking them to seek medical assessment for young person. Ask them to remain in car and text when they are outside. Leader assigned to unwell sick person is to escort them to car and thank and connect with family, ensuring social distancing of 2 metres is maintained.
    5. After young person leaves, leader is to wash hands thoroughly, remove mask and clean any hard surfaces in room used for isolation or touched by young person e.g. door handles. Every person presenting with symptoms are to have COVID-19 excluded and be medically cleared by a doctor prior to returning to the group.

Make sure you read through our pdf resource “Guidelines for Youth Ministry COVID-19 Alert Level 2 and Level 1” for detailed descriptions of each level and suggestions on how to run youth ministry safely in Alert Levels 2 and 1 (see pages 2-5).