COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

 Playworks strives to ensure our employees are safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have team members working in different types of environments, and as such we created this policy and set of protocols to ensure we limit exposure as much as possible and maintain the health and safety of Playworkers and the school communities we work with. We take this responsibility seriously and ask that all Playworkers in turn take responsibility for their actions by adhering to this policy. If we work together, we can reduce our exposures and model best practices for our coworkers, students, and community.

Playworks is committed to providing services to our school partners based on their needs and what is allowable from a public safety perspective. If a school or district is holding in-person classes, then it is our expectation that our service to those schools will be in-person as well. It will be up to each individual to determine what they are most comfortable with, and how that may affect their ability to perform their job duties or serve as an AmeriCorps member. In general we have outlined below a set of protocols that is focused on and committed to providing the safest work environment possible for all of our team members, promoting safe and healthy practices in our workplaces and with our school partners, helping reduce the spread of the COVID-19 illness in our communities and having a clear and consistent plan for our employees, members and partners.

In general, staying home when sick is consistent with existing Playworks policy and is especially crucial given the current rapid spread of the coronavirus. 


Playworks STRONGLY recommends getting vaccinated against COVID, however, we do not have a vaccine mandate. Regions where the state/city/school district do have mandates must continue to remain in compliance with these ordinances. We also strongly recommend a COVID booster for those who last received their 2nd dose of the vaccine more than 6 months ago.

ALL Playworks staff, including office and school-based:

(UPDATED 4/18/2022)

For both vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees, you can choose whether to wear a mask indoors and continue to follow social distancing guidelines. If you will be visiting a school to observe or have a meeting with the school staff, please adhere to the school or school district’s safety procedures in addition to Playworks policy of optional mask-wearing (effective April 18, 2022) indoors and socially distancing. 

School based staff, including coaches, site coordinators and trainers:

Playworks is committed to providing the safest work environment possible for our school based staff, including trainers, site coordinators and coaches. For all school-based staff, please adhere to the school or school district’s safety requirements and procedures in addition to Playworks policy of optional mask-wearing indoors (effective April 18, 2022) and socially distancing. 

Playworks team meetings/in person events (includes preservice) and in person Pro Training

For both vaccinated and non-vaccinated employees, individuals can choose whether to wear a mask indoors and practice social distancing. All participants/clients of Playworks Training events can choose to wear a mask indoors and continue to commit to practicing social distancing, in addition to completing the health check form daily upon entry to the training location. If you will be visiting a school to observe or have a meeting with the school staff, please adhere to the school or school district’s safety procedures in addition to Playworks policy of optional mask-wearing indoors (effective April 18, 2022) and socially distancing.

Positive diagnosis cases (vaccinated or unvaccinated):

The CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation for individuals who test positive. People with COVID should be isolated for 5 days if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are resolving (without fever for 24 hours). You can return to in-person work after 5 days if you are asymptomatic. 

Exposure to COVID

For employees who are vaccinated

The CDC guidelines if you are vaccinated (less than six months since your 2nd dose, or you have received the booster) have not changed –  it still states that you do not need to quarantine in the event of an exposure to COVID. However, we have had a large number of vaccinated Playworkers test positive recently, so out of an abundance of caution, Playworks and the People Team will work with managers to support their team members who have been in direct contact with someone with a suspected or confirmed case to quarantine and get a COVID test or until five days have passed.

For employees who are not vaccinated (or are more than six months out from their second dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted), including office and school based:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, have been exposed, or potentially exposed to COVID-19 notify your manager immediately and complete this form which will notify the HR team. The HR team will then contact you and your manager to provide guidance on next steps which can include one of the following:
  • If you have been in physical contact/close proximity with a person with a confirmed COVID diagnosis, we ask that you self quarantine for 5 days from the date of the contact, whether or not you display symptoms. If you get tested after the exposure and the result is negative, the 5 days restriction may be waived.(update 1/4/22)
  • If you have been in contact with a person with a suspected case of COVID, we ask that you self quarantine for 5 days until the results of that person’s test are received. If their test is negative, then the restriction is waived. If their test is positive, we ask that you self quarantine for 5 days, whether or not you display symptoms.(update 1/4/22)
  • If you display symptoms of COVID-19, whether or not you have knowingly been in contact with an exposure to it, we ask that you stay at home until all of the following are true: at least 5 days have passed since onset of symptoms, you are fever free for at least 3 days and symptoms have improved.  We also recommend testing. Your Manager and HR can provide you with information in your local area for testing.  Healthcare providers are required to provide no-cost testing for covered individuals with symptoms and local public health agencies also provide no cost testing. In general staying home when sick is consistent with existing Playworks policy, and is especially crucial given the current rapid spread of the coronavirus. (update 1/4/22)
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must notify your manager and HR by completing this form. You will be asked to identify any Playworks employees or school site contacts including students, staff, etc that you had been in contact with.  Your Manager and/or HR will notify Playworks employees and designated school personnel about potential exposure as quickly as possible.  You will be required to self isolate for at least 5 days since the symptoms first appeared, symptoms such as cough, etc have improved, have been without a fever for at least 3 days.  You may also be asked to be tested and provide negative test results prior to returning to a school or work site. (update 1/4/22)
  • If you receive a positive test result, but later it is identified that there were false positive test potential in the batch, we will ask that you retest or resume quarantine for the duration stated in this policy (update 10/1/20)
  • If you develop any symptoms while at work or school site, you must go home immediately and notify your manager and designated school personnel if at a school site. 
  • If you test positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic and want to work remotely, please speak with your manager. This approval will depend on the ability for you to fulfill your responsibilities remotely.
  • Notify HR confidentially via email if you have a pre-existing condition which makes you immunocompromised and at increased risk for COVID-19 illness. HR with your management team will engage in an interactive process and discussion with you to determine any accommodations that may be available to you in order to perform your work or service in a safe and healthy way.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) 

Playworks will be providing ALL Coaches, Site Coordinators, and Trainers providing in-person services with the following PPE:

  • 5 cloth face masks
  • 1 face shield
  • Sanitizer
  • Sanitizing wipes or Spray

Office-based staff:

Playworks continues to be a remote working environment for office-based staff. If this changes in the future there will be additional guidelines provided to team members regarding office-based safety. If you will be visiting a school to observe or have a meeting with the school staff, please read and abide by the school-based staff section of the policy

School-based staff, including coaches, site coordinators and trainers:

Playworks is committed to providing the safest work environment possible for our school based staff, including trainers, site coordinators, and coaches. 

School districts will be implementing their own safety procedures during the pandemic. There may be a situation where you provide virtual programming, but are physically based at the school site with other school staff. Please follow these instructions if will be working in proximity to other people.

Unless in conflict with the recommendations below, please follow the protocol that will be shared with you from the school/district in addition to the below Playworks protocols. Playworks protocol supersedes the school districts – you must follow Playworks protocol. If there is a conflict, regional program managers need to work directly with the school to address this and should notify their managers as soon as possible. 

School site staff and managers should also be aware of and familiar with all of the following school procedures:

  • Screening and Symptom Monitoring
  • Illness, Exposure and Symptom Reporting and Notifications
  • Quarantine and Return to school/work site 
  • Cleaning and protective wear
  • School closure and/or dismissal. In the event of a decision to close or conduct early dismissal for health and safety reasons, managers will work with employees and school to determine alternate activities and work that can be performed. Playworks has actively planned for the potential need for virtual and alternate activities for staff and AC Members in the event of school/work site closures.  

Playworks is asking for school based staff to do the following to ensure their personal safety is a priority:

  • Before reporting to school/worksite each day, complete this form. This is a health check list that we will be monitoring to ensure that Playworkers are keeping us updated regarding any changes to their COVID-19 exposure or symptoms. If you answer yes to exposure or symptom questions, contact your manager before reporting to school or work.
  • If you display any symptoms or have had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19, please let your manager know as soon as possible. Playworks and/or the school may require you to self-isolate for a period of time as noted in general guidelines above and you may be asked to get a COVID test before returning to school.
  • Wear a mask every day when on the school site. Playworks will be providing you with 5 cloth masks to wear each day of the work week.
  • Wash your hands before putting the mask on and after removing it.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with the mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth while wearing cloth masks to prevent potential contamination.
  • Launder the masks between wearings and wear them for ONLY one day between washing them with hot water and detergent.
  • If you forget your mask, please see if the school has a disposable one you can wear for the day. 
  • If your school process is requesting that you use disposable masks provided by them, that is acceptable.
  • Playworks will be providing you with sanitizing wipes. At the start and end of each day, please wipe down your desk, computer, door handle to your office, or any other areas of your work station.
  • Playworks will be providing you with hand sanitizer. Please use this on your hands thoroughly in between hand washing. In particular, after touching common surfaces (ex. railings, door handles).
  • Ensure that you are maintaining social distance (6ft) between yourself and others. 
  • Wash your hands upon entry to the school, between recess sessions (or using sanitizer thoroughly if this is not possible), and after leaving the school. Please refer to the Safe Return to Play Guide for details on delivering Playworks programming based on the type of environment you will be in (virtual, in person, etc.).

If there is a conflict with the school safety guidelines and Playworks COVID safety guidelines, (for example the school instructs you not to wear a mask), please report this to your manager as soon as possible.

Playworks team meetings/in person events (includes preservice)

If there is a team meeting, the following practices need to be in place: 

  • Meeting organizers must temperature check of all employees before they enter the meeting*
  • Every person attending needs to complete the google health checklist form*
  • All attendees must wear a mask
  • All attendees must wash their hands at the beginning of the event, and regularly throughout the day – in particular if there are any games (please refer to the Safe Return to Play Guide) played during the day
  • Meeting organizers must sanitize tables, chairs, and other furniture prior to the event
  • Meeting organizers must ensure that tables and/or chairs are placed 6 feet apart
  • Any games or team building events must ensure that they are socially distant and not include physical contact

*Consistent with CDC guidelines about COVD19 illness symptoms, any person with a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or who is experiencing coughing and/or shortness of breath will need to go home and self-isolate.

In-person Pro Training

In addition to PPE guidelines, we also ask the you adhere to the following protocol when conducting pro trainings in person:

  • Each participant must complete a Playworks Health Screening Questionnaire. Each region should make a copy of the questionnaire for their region, and distribute it to training participants within 24 hours of the training. They should review the submissions prior to the beginning of the training.
  • Trainer or manager must conduct a temperature check at the beginning of the training as participants enter the building
  • Trainer must utilize scheduled breaks to ensure frequent hand washing is done by participants. During this time, trainer can also sanitize any common areas needed 

Manager responsibilities

Managers are a key part of the pandemic communication network; ensure you reinforce messages on requirements and processes.

  • Ensure staff are comfortable with returning to school sites. Please have an intentional conversation with team members prior to them returning from furlough, returning to school sites, or delivering an in person training. They need to understand that we will support them and will do our best to make them comfortable while working at school sites. If an employee has a heightened level of anxiety, please notify your HR Partner so that we can provide additional support.
  • Managers of school based staff must ensure that schools have a clear understanding of Playworks Safety Guidelines. We do not want our school based staff to be put in a position where the school is instructing them in a different direction to us (eg, school tells them not to wear masks). It is up to the manager to have had that conversation with the school PRIOR to the Playworker beginning onsite work.
  • Managers of school based staff must review the google form results daily to ensure that there are no changes that warrant removing the Playworker from the school.
  • Managers must report any suspected or confirmed COVID diagnosis to HR as soon as possible. This includes exposure of staff after hours.
  • Managers must ensure your team has enough supplies of masks, sanitizer, and wipes. If you run low, it is your responsibility to notify operations/order more.
  • Hold your team accountable for adhering to the guidelines outlined in this policy.
  • If employees share any private health concerns, please contact your HR Partner for guidance before responding. It is your responsibility to maintain confidentiality with any health issues that employees share voluntarily. Managers cannot ask specific health related questions of employees.
  • Contact HR with any questions or need for clarification. 

Office Staff, SCs, and Trainers ONLY- Time off due to COVID-19

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave of up to 2 weeks for illness directly related to COVID19 or expanded family and medical leave for caregivers in certain COVID19 related situations. There is a lot of information in this act that may or may not apply to you depending on your specific situation. Please review FFCRA leave eligibility and benefits here.

If you think FFCRA is applicable to your situation, please review the summary and complete the leave request form. This information will enable us to make the best recommendations for your particular situation. Your HR Partner will be in touch about eligibility, approval, and next steps.

Americorps members ONLY- Time off due to COVID-19

Americorps members are paid a living allowance and not compensated directly for time off therefore different guidelines to request time off due to COVID-19 apply. A detailed document of these guidelines can be found on the HR intranet. If you need further clarification, please contact your manager directly or Human Resources and we will be happy to support you during this time.

How to get more gear?

Contact Human Resources with this request or submit a helpdesk ticket. 

Cleaning Protocol for worksites

Per CDC guidelines all Playworks offices will be utilizing cleaning protocols. Schools have also instituted robust cleaning protocols however they may differ slightly from site to site. Please request school site protocol for your reference. 


Read Playworks’ Safe Return to Play Protocols for partnering with schools.