Bethlehem Farm’s Covid-19 Response

Bethlehem Farm’s Covid-19 Response (updated 6/1/2022)

We are grateful to report that the Farm has had no incidents of Covid-19.  The Farm instituted clear and effective Covid-19 procedures and protocols at the beginning of the pandemic (and these have, and will continue to evolved as required) which have resulted in a safe and healthy environment for our volunteers, the community members which we work with and serve, and the Caretakers of the Farm. We have adopted the Covid-19 prevention methods so once volunteers arrive at the Farm they are able to safely and confidently socialize with one another and the Farm staff. Below is the Farm “Pre-arrival Covid-19 Volunteer / Visitor Questionnaire and Protocols” document, which is constantly being reviewed for relevant updates due to new Covid-19 information. This form must be completed by every volunteer and visitor prior to their departure to the Farm, with compliance to the specific dates noted on the form.
 
As of May 1, 2022 Bethlehem Farm, Inc. will require all eligible participants to the Farm to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or have been infected with COVID-19 and fully recovered, with proof from either a positive lab test result OR physician’s diagnosis will be considered “Previously-Infected”, in order to visit. If you have a reason besides age which makes you ineligible for vaccination, email caretakers@bethlehemfarm.net or call (304)445-7143 to discuss.

Effective October 1, 2022, the Farm will welcome anyone who can test negative twice in the week prior to their arrival to the Farm (with the second test on the day prior to arrival), while following the CDC guidelines effective in your home county. 

 
We understand that volunteers likely will be coming to the Farm with a wide spectrum of thoughts and feelings, personal stories, and personal impacts, as a result of Covid-19 experiences. We firmly believe the Farm has provided a space of safe expression and compassion, of hope, of healing, and growth in faith.
 
 

Bethlehem Farm’s COVID-19 Response

Throughout the pandemic, we have implemented protocols which are guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, and adapted for our specific context.

The Bethlehem Farm Caretaker Community (BFCC) instituted clear and effective Covid-19 protocols at the beginning of the pandemic which have resulted in a safe and healthy environment for our volunteers, the community members which we work with and serve, and the BFCC. These protocols are designed to protect all of us, especially any vulnerable people, such as elderly clients with whom we work. The protocols have and will continue to evolve as required.

“Fully Vaccinated”

Those who have received the second dose of vaccine at least 14 days prior to their arrival date to Bethlehem Farm will be considered “Fully Vaccinated”. Those who have received a one-dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson) at least 14 days prior to their arrival date will be considered “Fully Vaccinated.”

The BFCC is fully vaccinated for your protection and ours.

Previously-Infected

Those who have been infected with COVID-19 and fully recovered, with proof from either a positive lab test result OR physician’s diagnosis will be considered “Previously-Infected”.

Pre-trip:  Following Bethlehem Farm Protocols, COVID Testing, and Planning

Please follow the CDC guidance for your county (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/community-levels.html), as of 11 days prior to your week here (the Wednesday a week-and-a-half out from your trip here.)

CDC guidance varies by county, depending on whether that county is considered low, medium or high risk, so please familiarize yourself with your county’s risk designation and the COVID-19 Community Level and COVID-19 Prevention table. One major distinction is that masking in public is advised by the CDC and required by Bethlehem Farm in high risk counties for the seven days prior to your arrival here.

 

  • Following general healthy practices to support your immune systems such as getting plenty of rest and physical activity, implementing stress management techniques, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating nutritious food, including limiting sugar (sugar intake reduces immune response significantly).

Worksites and homeowner’s residences

  • We want to be a blessing to the homeowners we serve and protect their health. Please wear a mask at all times while in a home, physically distance from the homeowner, avoid physical contact, and follow the requests of the site leaders.

Hand washing and health promotion

  • Please plan to wash your hands frequently, especially while you are serving on home crew. Please respond with grace and gratitude if someone reminds you to wash your hands. Here is a reminder on the proper technique: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
  • Reminder to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.