Washington State Parks Guidance on Volunteer Activity During COVID-19

(Updated 9/21/2021)

In accordance with Gov. Inslee’s August 9, 2021 emergency proclamation, and federal and state public health guidance and regulations, Washington State Parks has updated the following guidance for volunteer activities within State Parks owned and managed properties.

We recognize this guidance may affect some of you and your ability to volunteer. If you are a park host or other volunteer whose duties require working indoors or interacting with the public, we ask that you review the information below and carefully consider if you are willing and able to meet the new eligibility requirements. We respect and support your decision to continue to serve with us or opt out of volunteering at this time. 

We will continue to evaluate and update this guidance in accordance with changing public health guidelines and regulations, best practices, and/or agency needs. Thank you for following these protocols and helping keep our visitors, staff and other volunteers safe and healthy. 

vaccination requirement for indoor & customer service volunteers

All volunteers that serve in indoor settings at a State Parks facility/worksite or perform customer service functions must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of their vaccination status by December 31, 2021. This includes, but is not limited to, the following types of volunteers:

  • Park hosts
  • Docents and tour guides
  • Gift shop and store volunteers
  • Interpretive/visitor center volunteers
  • Shuttle drivers
  • Administrative/clerical volunteers

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated and/or cannot provide proof they are fully vaccinated by December 31, 2021, will not be eligible to participate in the volunteer opportunities listed above.

Acceptable Forms of Proof

The following records are considered verified proof of COVID-19 vaccination in Washington state: 

  • CDC COVID-19 vaccination card or photo of the card
  • Documentation of vaccination from a Health Care Provider or Electronic Heath Record
  • State Immunization Information System Record

Vaccine Verification Process

Volunteers may present their vaccination card or other documentation to the volunteer supervisor at their assigned park. Supervisors have been given instructions on how to visually verify and document verification status. Staff will not keep copies of your vaccination documents. Volunteers that serve at more than one park will need to verify their vaccination status with the designated volunteer supervisor at each park.

Park hosts will be contacted by the Volunteer Program with additional options to verify their vaccination status. 

MASK AND PHYSICAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS  

Outdoors

  • Volunteers who verify they are fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a mask outdoors when within six feet of the public/customers, staff or other volunteers outside their household. 
  • Volunteers who are not yet fully vaccinated, or are of unknown vaccination status, must wear masks outdoors when the six-foot physical distancing standard cannot be met.   

Indoor settings with public/customer interactions    

  • All volunteers, regardless of immunization status, must wear masks in indoor settings with public/customer interactions including reception counters, customer service counters, lobbies, and field work such as contact stations and visitor/interpretation centers. 
  • Volunteers must use the six-foot physical distancing standard in their interactions with the public/customers, staff and other volunteers.

Indoor back-office settings with no public interactions 

  • Volunteers who verify they are fully vaccinated are encouraged, but not be required, to wear a mask in indoor, non-public office settings. 
  • Volunteers who are not yet fully vaccinated, or are of unknown vaccination status, must wear masks and maintain physical distancing standards. 

SELF-SCREENING

  • All volunteers, regardless of vaccination status, must conduct a self-assessment using the agency’s Screening Questionnaire before arriving at or entering the park. Any volunteers that feel unwell, show any symptoms of COVID-19, or are a close contact of a confirmed case will not be allowed to participate in volunteer activities.
  • Park hosts, regardless of vaccination status, must conduct a self-assessment daily using the agency’s Screening Questionnaire. If you answer YES to any of the screening questions, stop interacting with visitors and immediately notify park staff.
    • Hosts who are sick or symptomatic or have been in close contact with someone who is, will be asked to relocate to a non-state park site, if possible. Hosts who are unable to relocate to a non-state park site may be asked to relocate to an alternate site within the park that may not have full utilities.

OTHER GENERAL GUIDANCE

  • Avoid sharing tools and other equipment. When sharing tools is required, wear gloves and disinfect tools between uses according to CDC guidelines.
  • Use proper hygiene practices and wash hands frequently. 
  • Pack out what you pack in. Take any garbage with you, including masks and disposable gloves.
  • Please check with individual parks for any park-specific mitigation plans or additional guidance that may be required.
  • Please review the FAQs for additional information.