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Guidelines help clubs meet safely

| Oct 12, 2020

UPDATED JUNE 8, 2021

Kiwanis International clubs meet to plan service projects and fundraisers, conduct club business and socialize. During the COVID-19 pandemic, most clubs have been able to continue those activities through virtual meetings. As more clubs resume in-person meetings, Kiwanis International compiled guidelines for clubs and districts to help members serve safely with adequate health protocols:

  • Follow all federal and local laws. The Kiwanis International Bylaws require clubs and districts to comply with laws of local jurisdictions in all areas of operation. This is especially important as it relates to health and safety laws, such as gathering sizes, social distancing and mask requirements.
  • Coordinate with the meeting venue regarding social distancing requirements, mask requirements, food service, cleaning of surfaces, etc. 
  • Consider requiring all attendees to obtain a negative COVID-19 test or certify that they have been fully vaccinated before the meeting. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are "fully vaccinated" 14 days after receiving a complete dose of the vaccine (two for Pfizer and Moderna, one for Johnson & Johnson).
  • Require all attendees at meetings to sign a waiver that states that anyone who believes they may have contracted COVID-19 at a Kiwanis event waives all related claims against any Kiwanis club, district or Kiwanis International. Any meeting of youth members (younger than 18) in the Kiwanis family will require a signature from a parent or legal guardian. A sample waiver is included here. Until a higher percentage of people have been fully vaccinated, continuing to require waivers at meetings and events provides the most legal protection to clubs and Kiwanis members.
  • The CDC has stated that individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks except in limited circumstances — e.g., mass transportation and healthcare facilities. Therefore, individuals attending Kiwanis events who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks unless required to do so by local regulations.
  • Individuals who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks at Kiwanis events. 
  • Ask all attendees to certify that they have not experienced any common COVID-19 symptoms in the past 72 hours. A list of common COVID-19 symptoms can be found here. 
  • Starting November 1, 2020, the Kiwanis Insurance policy will no longer cover claims related to someone claiming they became infected with COVID-19 at a Kiwanis meeting or event. 

“The exclusion is becoming a standard clause in new and updated policies,” said David Kress, general counsel of Kiwanis International. “This was not a change made by Kiwanis International. It is a universal change by our insurance companies applying to all companies following insurance industry standards.”

The updated Kiwanis insurance policy does not cover any losses from events that are canceled as a result of the coronavirus. For expenses to be reimbursed, a club would have had to buy a “special events” policy on its own. Kress said many of those policies now exclude financial losses due to the coronavirus, as well.

If you have any questions about the insurance policies that cover Kiwanis clubs, send them to riskmgmt@kiwanis.org.

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