Volunteering Safely During COVID-19

As the state begins to open up, volunteer projects are getting underway again. Some of these projects were planned previously to the pandemic, while other projects will be responding to COVID-19 needs. Regardless of what you’re working on, it’s important that volunteers stay safe and healthy. Here are a few ways to stay safe while volunteering.

1. Follow safety protocols. Ensure that whenever possible, you stay at least 6 feet apart from clients and other volunteers. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, especially if you’re using shared surfaces or frequently touching items. If possible, bring your supplies like snacks, water bottles, and equipment to reduce the risk of transmission.

2. Wear protective equipment. Check with your volunteer coordinator in advance to see if personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves will be provided, or if you’re expected to bring your own.

3. Reduce transmission by staying home if there is any possibility that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. If you’ve been traveling or spending time in large groups, it may be best to forgo volunteering in person. If you still want to help out, there are plenty of ways to make a difference from home, like making a gift to a response fund, donating much-needed essentials, or volunteering virtually.

4. Confirm in advance. Whether you’re dropping off groceries for a neighbor or taking part in a group activity, make sure that anyone you’ll interact with knows you’re coming. To ensure safety, communicate with your volunteer coordinator so that they can provide proper equipment and accommodations.