As Indiana begins to open up and the stay at home order lifted for all of Central Indiana as of May 15, we have re-evaluated the COVID-19 guidelines we have in place. Staff will remain working remotely until further notice. All interviews, mentor training, new match introductions, and group match activities will remain virtual.
Beginning today, we will allow in-person meetings between Bigs and Littles with certain guidelines. The health and safety of all of those involved is of the utmost importance, and each Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must be comfortable before these in-person visits can resume. We know this will not happen for all matches; we continue to encourage you to connect virtually and we will continue to offer weekly virtual activities. If your match started virtually, you must remain virtual for the first 90 days.
For Bigs, Littles, and Parents/Guardians who would like to conduct an in-person visit, we ask that you follow these guidelines for the time being:
- Decision to Meet – The Big, Little, and Parent/Guardian must all be comfortable seeing each other in-person. Regardless of the Little’s age, the visit must be approved by the Parent/Guardian ahead of time. If you are not comfortable with an in-person meeting right now, we completely support that decision and encourage you to continue connecting virtually.
- Location of Meeting – Visits should occur outdoors at the residence of the Little, Big, or another location that accommodates social distancing measures.
- Transportation – Bigs are not permitted to transport Littles at this time. A Parent/Guardian can transport a Little to meet a Big.
- Protective Measures – Anyone participating in the visit must wear a mask. If masks are needed, please contact your MRS. We are working to collect extra masks and hope to have a supply by June 1. If anyone in the match does not currently have a mask, we ask that you wait to meet in-person until we can supply you with a mask. Anyone participating in the visit should adhere to social distancing guidelines and stay at least 6 feet apart. As always, please wash and sanitize hands before and after the visit.
We believe it’s important to take protective measures and consider risks for everyone in both the Big’s and Little’s households. We do not recommend in-person visits, if anyone living in either home:
- is considered to be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19;
- works in healthcare and has an increased likelihood of exposure to COVID-19; and/or
- has a fever, is sick with a cough or cold, or does not feel well for any reason.
We know this is a difficult time and understand that there are different comfort levels regarding in-person meetings at this time. Please know that we completely support a decision to continue connecting virtually for the time being. Meeting in-person is not required at this time; we simply ask that you follow these guidelines should you decide to meet in-person.
As always, your Mentoring Relationship Specialist is available should you have any questions or concerns. We encourage you to make the best decisions for you and your family, stay informed, and continue to follow the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for preventing the spread of illness.
Thank you and stay well,
Senior Director, Mentoring Relationships & Program Outcomes