Education Program Policies

Updated: September 1, 2020

AHS COVID-19 Humane Education Program Policies

Face mask policy

  • Participants will be required to wear a mask while in the building. When outside, masks will be optional for participants. Please arrive to the program with a clean mask each day. AHS will provide a disposable mask if needed. Exceptions will be made for participants with medical conditions. 
  • AHS staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks while in the building. 


Please review the CDC's guidelines about proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings prior to the start of the program . 

On-site screening at drop-off

  • Staff and participants will have their temperature taken upon arriving at the program daily. Staff will do a visual check of participants upon arrival and ask a series of questions related to their health. Any potential symptoms will result in a participant being asked to return home.
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, an elevated temperature of 100.4°F or higher will be consider contagious and the participant will be sent home and not allowed to return to the program  for 72 hours.
  • Previous conditions such as seasonal allergies and/or and asthma will be taken into consideration.

Participant does not feel well during the program  

  • In the event a participant does not feel well during the program, regardless of symptoms, the participant will be quarantined in the building and the guardian will be called to pick-up the participant. Participants must be picked-up within 1 hour of the call.
  • Once the participant has been isolated, AHS staff will follow all cleaning and disinfecting protocols before allowing participants back into the area.
  • If a participant is sent home due to illness, AHS staff will notify guardians the same day. It will be the guardian’s decision to pick-up the participant early.
  • If a participant shows any of the following symptoms, they will not be allowed to return to the program until all symptoms have subsided:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

Participant tests positive for COVID -19

  • If a participant has attended the program for any amount of time and tests positive for COVID-19, inside a 2-week window from when they last attended the program, we ask that guardians report this back to the Animal Humane Society.
  • In the event a participant tests positive for COVID-19, AHS will send an e-mail to all families who attended the same the program notifying them of the situation.
  • AHS program staff will be sent home to quarantine for 14 days and the program will be canceled for 14 days following the last exposure.

Participant has potential exposure to COVID-19

  • We request that participants do not attend AHS education programs if they have recently had close contact (6 feet or less, for 15 minutes or more) with a person who has COVID-19 symptoms or who is potentially seeking a COVID-19 medical diagnosis. Once the close contact has been cleared via a COVID-19 test, or the 14 day exposure window has passed, the participant will be able to attend programming.

Social distancing

  • All people will practice social distancing as much as possible. We plan to organize rooms to put added distance between activity stations, tables, and chairs.
  • Only two participants will be allowed into stalled, gendered bathrooms at a time. Those waiting will stay out in the hallway to allow distance. Single stalled, gender neutral bathrooms will still be available and offered as an option for all participants.
  • Our policy is to practice social distancing as much as feasibly possible within our setting. Along with encouraging and aiming to positively enforce social distancing, much of our focus will be promoting disease prevention. We will encourage increased handwashing and sanitizing, keeping in small groups, and sanitizing spaces and objects that participants will interact with.

Sanitation and cleaning

  • Hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water will be required before and after animal socializing, bathroom breaks, as well as immediately after using a tissue, coughing, or sneezing.
  • In cases where soap and water are not readily available, hands will be cleaned with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Scheduled cleaning of door handles, countertops, chairs, and other surfaces will be done by AHS staff at the beginning and end of each day.
  • Any craft supplies that need to be shared among participants will be sanitized between users.
  • Books and other paper-based materials are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures (following CDC guidelines).
  • Participants will be instructed to refrain from touching other participants.

Sanitizing information

All cleaning will be done with Rescue™. Rescue™, formulated with Accelerated Hydrogen Peroxide®, is approved for use against some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens under the EPA Emerging Viral Pathogen guidance, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Rescue™ Wipes, Ready-to-Use Liquid, and Concentrate can be used effectively against the virus that causes COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use.

Risk of transmission between animals and humans

According to the Center of Disease Control, “In the United States, there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID-19. Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low. However, because all animals can carry germs that can make people sick, it’s always a good idea to practice healthy habits around pets and other animals.” We will continue to have Participants hand sanitize after animal interactions.

  • Should local or federal regulations change or extend, we would adjust accordingly and offer full refunds should the program be unable to run this year.

If you have any questions about these policies, please contact Animal Humane Society, Humane Education staff at: educ@animalhumanesociety.org or 763-432-4828

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline