URBANA, Ill. – University of Illinois Extension will allow staff and volunteers to resume limited in-person gatherings in August, consistent with the public health and safety guidelines outlined in Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan. While long-term solutions to managing the coronavirus are in development, Illinois Extension will continue delivering programming—both virtual and in-person—that supports families, businesses, and communities across the state.

Effective Aug. 1, in-person events for groups of up to 10 people may resume, with group limits expanding up to 25 on August 16. All program participants and staff will be required to practice social distancing measures, including wearing a face covering.

While small group activities may resume, larger Illinois Extension events will continue in a virtual format. All 4-H general project and 4-H livestock shows and exhibitions scheduled through August 31 will move online to a virtual exhibition platform called FairEntry. All overnight camps are also canceled through the end of August.

“We know that many of our 4-H members and their families have felt the loss of the in-person 4-H shows that are such an iconic part of summertime in Illinois,” says Lisa Diaz, assistant dean and director of Illinois 4-H. “But early feedback from our families who have participated in a virtual 4-H show already this summer is that it’s still a great learning opportunity that provides a showcase experience for 4-H members.”

Over the course of the fall, Illinois Extension will continue a phased return to in-person programming to ensure that proper safety protocols, space management plans, and public health requirements are fully adopted by the organization. To learn more about upcoming events and activities, visit https://extension.illinois.edu/global/events.

SOURCE: Tony Franklin, Associate Director, Illinois Extension
WRITER: Samantha Koon, Communications Director, Illinois Extension