Bark COVID-19 Field Work Safety Protocols

Bark relies on its volunteers in the forest to achieve its goals outlined within its Strategic Plan and its commitments to funders. The following protocols will restart Bark’s volunteer field program on a very limited scale, are designed to keep participants safe, and follow state and federal guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This protocol is designed to maximize safety of our staff and volunteers and ensure that we do not further promote activities that tax the healthcare and emergency response services. 

Bark has already posted COVID-19 guidancehere we provide guidelines for field work conducted by Bark staff and volunteers. 

NOTE: Dealing with COVID-19 is a dynamic process. At any point restrictions may require discontinuation of any and all field projects. Before travel the staff and volunteers should check current restrictions and guidelines as provided by the CDC, the Governor’s office of Oregon and U.S. Forest Service, and Bark. 

General Guidelines 

Follow instructions issued by local, state and federal governments, and Bark.  

  • Before the field work starts, during a field day or between field days, staff/volunteers must self-report any and all cold/flu-like symptoms or symptoms of COVID-19 (fever/chills, congestion, sore throat, body ache, cough, shortness of breath) to Michael Krochta.  
  • Staff/volunteers must also report contact with another individual who has shown symptoms of COVID-19. Details shared in report are confidentially maintained. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or who has been in contact with another person exhibiting symptoms is prohibited from participating in any field work activities. 
  • Before undertaking any field work, and during a field day and between field days, staff and volunteers must diligently self-monitor for any sign of emerging symptoms. Bark recommends folks track their temperature daily if possible.  

Before departure :

  • Before departure, each person going to the field must review this document and complete and return the Medical Screening Form. 
  • Check in before departure with Misha VanEaton, Bark's Forest Watch Assistant
  • Provide location of field work, participants, and estimated time of return. 

Transportation :

  • To reduce contagion, no passengers allowed in vehicles.  Only the driver.
  • Exceptions to this guideline include those of the same family or cohort “bubble”—family members, housemates, or other people already regularly exposed to one another and no one in their bubble has COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19. 

 While in the field :

  • If the crew size exceeds one person, each person should wear a mask during field work. 
  • At all times maintain spatial separation of at least 6 feet. 
  • Staff and volunteers should bring groundtruthing gear (provided by Bark), as well as their own food, water, and extra clothing. There should be no sharing of these items.
  • If crew size allows for multiple groups working at a time, staff/volunteers should have radios turned on to channel 8 throughout the field day. 
  • All shared gear (e.g. binoculars, radios, DBH tape, clinometer, back pack, clipboard) must be disinfected before handing over to someone else. Ideally this should include thoroughly wiping down the equipment with alcohol wipes or 60% or higher alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • For medical emergencies during a field day:
    • ​If it is a life-threatening emergency and the crew has cell service, they should call 911 immediately (or as soon as within cell-range) and follow the dispatcher’s directions. Life-threatening emergencies related to COVID-19 may include: trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, confusion, or bluish lips.
    • If it is not a life-threatening emergency, return home to seek medical attention for the affected person.
    • In all cases contact Michael Krochta (530-902-9027) as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Upon return :

  • All shared gear (e.g. binoculars, radios) must be disinfected before handing over to someone else. 
  • Check in upon return with Misha VanEaton, Bark's Forest Watch Assistant