Liability & COVID-19

LMC Insurance & Risk Management recommends county extension districts use the Open for Iowa website for health and safety protocols to follow for county extension programs and activities.

General Liability updates in regards to the communicable disease exclusion can be found on the Open for Iowa website. 

If your office is currently planning face-to-face programming, events, or county fair activities, it is strongly recommended that you follow guidance from LMC Insurance & Risk Management, Whitfield & Eddy, and adhere to the resources from ISU Extension and Outreach Open for Iowa and Iowa 4-H Summer 2020 Best Practices.


Message from Andrea Nelson, Assistant Vice President for County Services (June 16, 2020)

No prepared food can be served, sold or provided by staff, volunteers or participants at any county extension hosted program or activity regardless of the program or activity location.

After more discussion with LMC Insurance & Risk Management and the liability insurance carrier explaining the nuances of our programs and activities involving food, additional guidance from the previous updates are as follows:

Communicable disease exclusion includes a broad suspension of food in programming, meals and refreshments. However, there are some approved food uses in county extension hosted programs and activities.

Effective immediately and until further notice selling or providing prepared food by extension staff, volunteers or participants is suspended. Prepared food examples include: pie auctions, prepared food fundraisers, food stands selling prepared food, and 4-H club activities such as ice cream socials, barbecues, potlucks, etc.

Snacks and Food Stands:

Extension staff, council members, volunteers, and 4-H members shall not prepare or serve food. Individually pre-packaged foods and drink may be provided or sold (e.g., individually wrapped granola bars, individual bottles of water). Fresh fruit can be provided or sold if no preparation is required (e.g., bananas or apples). Alternatively, a county extension owned or operated food stand may contract out their stand to a third party to prepare and serve food.

Catering and Boxed Lunches:

Extension staff, council members, volunteers, and 4-H members cannot provide prepared food to the general public. County extension offices can contract for catered meals and box lunches for county extension staff, council members, volunteers and participants, but only when the third party is distributing the food. Extension cannot repackage or resale food from a third party.

It is allowable for a third-party association to provide a barbecue at a livestock show or auction (e.g., 4-H participants and/or auction buyers). Extension staff, volunteers and 4-H members shall not prepare or serve food in these cases.

Programming:

In general, food preparation or distribution of Extension provided ingredients is not allowed. Ingredient “kits” prepared by county extension offices sent home with youth or adults to participate in virtual food preparation programming is not allowed. Participants may purchase their own ingredients to take part in a virtual food preparation program.

In-person food demonstrations when led by a qualified extension educator are allowed, but no sampling or participant involvement in the preparation of the food may take place. This includes the food preparation portion of programs such as Buy. Eat. Live Healthy and summer day camps, such as, The Science of BBQ. Participants may bring ingredients from home; however, no food can be shared during preparation or be consumed.

Exhibiting:

Youth food exhibits may only be judged on presentation and appearance at county fairs. Judges may not taste or consume the food exhibits prepared by 4-H members this summer.

This includes exhibits that are a result of Pride of Iowa, BBQ cooking contests, or any food preparation competition sponsored by the county extension 4-H program.

Club Meetings and Gatherings:

4-H clubs should abide by the same guidance and only serve individually pre-packaged food or food prepared and delivered by a third-party vendor (e.g., delivered pizza).

Andrea R. Nelson | County Services


Message from Andrea Nelson, Assistant Vice President for County Services (June 11, 2020)

After many conversations with our General Liability carrier, LMC has been able to get our carrier to remove the Communicable Disease Exclusion found on the current general liability policy effective immediately (6/11/2020). The communicable disease exclusion took coverage away from our current policy, eliminating coverage and protection for someone getting sick as a result of COVID-19. With the exclusion now removed, we can move forward with coverage for this exposure. This insurance change applies to all county extension office hosted programs and activities regardless of the program or activity location.

The insurance underwriter is providing the coverage with one concession – in order to have communicable disease coverage, no prepared food can be served, sold or provided at any county extension office hosted program or activity regardless of the program or activity location. Individually pre-packaged foods and drink (e.g., individually wrapped granola bars, individual bottles of water) may be provided or sold. Therefore effective immediately, until further notice, selling or providing prepared food is suspended. Prepared food examples include: catering, box lunches, pie auctions, prepared food fundraisers, food stands selling prepared food, and 4-H club activities such as ice cream socials, pizza parties, barbecues, etc.

In-person food demonstrations when led by a qualified extension educator are allowed, but no sampling or participant involvement in the preparation of the food may take place.

If your office is currently planning face-to-face programming, events, or county fair activities, it is strongly recommended that you follow guidance from LMC Insurance & Risk Management, Whitfield & Eddy, and adhere to the resources from ISU Extension and Outreach Open for Iowa and Iowa 4-H Summer 2020 Best Practices.

Andrea

Andrea R. Nelson | County Services

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Assistant Vice President