The Short Story: The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are statewide sponsors of the Texas Master Naturalist Program. As such we must adhere to the policies set forth by both of our sponsoring agencies. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension has mandated that ALL AgriLife face to face events, programs and meetings be cancelled through April 17 at the earliest. This includes Texas Master Naturalist face to face events, programs and meetings. Because the period may well be extended, all TMN chapters should continue to make contingency plans for no face to-face events through May 4th.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges and is likely to remain a concern for the next several months. On March 19th, the Governor of Texas signed the executive order limiting all social gatherings to less than 10 people and several local City/County authorities have followed suit with a more restrictive order to shelter in place. We encourage you and your chapters to follow these guidelines and be socially responsible in our programming for the next few weeks by helping to minimize the spread and impacts of this novel virus. This includes cancelling all face to face events, programs and meetings for the immediate future. Online and distance based programming methods are being explored and many TMN Chapters are beginning to use these platforms to host basic/advanced training events and chapter meetings.
Other Key Guidelines from Texaa A&M AgriLife Extension Service:
- People, businesses and communities should immediately undertake hygiene, cleanliness and sanitation practices that are accessible, affordable and known to be effective against COVID-19.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- People who are known to have, or are under investigation or monitoring, for COVID-19, should adhere to the direction provided to them by duly authorized persons, including public health officials. Failure to abide by such direction may result in involuntary quarantine or isolation for the purposes of preventing further community spread of COVID-19.
- Wash hands often for 20 seconds and encourage others to do the same.
- If no soap and water are available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Disinfect surfaces, buttons, handles, knobs, and other places touched often
These actions, are necessary to slow the spread of the COVID 19 virus, reduce the burden on the healthcare system and provide researchers more time to learn about this virus and create strategies to combat and defeat it.
We are all very appreciative of the work you are doing, on behalf of our state, our clientele and our natural resource communities. Please, take care of yourself, your family and friends. If you feel sick, take actions to not spread the disease, especially among the elderly or those with underlying health challenges. Prepare, but don’t panic! Additional resources are available at http://texashelp.tamu.edu , https://dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/ and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Thank you for your continues support and leadership!
Please let us know if you have any questions regarding these closures and cancellations.
Michelle and Mary Pearl