How to help – and what to consider?

Safety guidelines for volunteers

Home How to help – and what to consider?

We want to show solidarity despite the Corona crisis, and support each other, and ensure that especially people in at-risk groups are well cared for. It is important to remember to avoid infection for yourself and avoid carrying the infection to others. Volunteers therefore have to take care, observe and strictly control their own actions. Ask yourself questions like: What am I touching? Where was my hand before? Who may have touched it before? Who will likely be touching it next?

We ask you to pay attention to possible pathways of infection while volunteering and implement the recommendations of the RKI* and the WHO** as well as the regulations of the national and federal authorities. To avoid infections, we have summarised tips and information for you here for safe volunteering:

The most important safety guidelines:

  1. Avoid or minimise contact:
    • Help few but continuously
    • Help locally and avoid long communities
    • Avoid mixing contact with different age groups (ex. Children and the elderly)
    • Consider digital support (Telephone, Video)
  2. Keep your distance of 2 meters and avoid physical contact.
  3. Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap (at least 20 sec) or disinfect them (at least 30 sec). Do not forget to protect your skin with moisturiser.
  4. Avoid infection via contact of infected bodily fluids (ex. Sneezing) or shared items (rinse dishes, disinfect or do not touch for a day, pay contactless)
  5. Covering mouth and nose is advisable.
  6. Gloves are useful, but not a necessity.
  7. Eye protection may make sense for certain people or situations.
  8. Inform yourself: A detailed guideline to protect yourself from infection can be found here. (Currently only in german)
  1. To help few people in your community, but over a continuous period, is better than to cover too many people. It is also important to especially protect at-risk groups. To babysit children and then care for the elderly with previous medical conditions is risky. Digital support methods are possible and important. Older children could be entertained digitally and help could consist of improving the knowledge of older people in modern communication technology or call them on the telephone.
  2. Keep a physical distance of 2 meters from other people, do not shake hands, do not exchange hugs. Because we are social creatures, this may appear difficult. But it is necessary. Even while wearing protective equipment it is advisable to keep a distance of 2 meters to each other.
  3. To regularly wash (at least 20 seconds) or disinfect your hands (at least 30 seconds) is indispensable. Do not forget to use moisturiser to protect your skin, so your skin does not crack, which can increase your chance of infection.
  4. Communally used items pose a risk of infection through contact or smear infection. Our clothes or shoes can contain a virus. Ways to reduce the risk of infection are washing dishes, disinfecting, or letting them sit before touching them again. Effective disinfection materials include no less than 70% ethanol, 1-propanol or 2-propanol. Dry (!) storage of items reduces the virus load within 24 hours by 90%. Even this storage cannot guarantee absolute protection. Shoes and clothes could be stored apart from living spaces.
  5. Covering your mouth and nose is useful. To reduce the risk of droplet infection for others, you can wear thick scarves, cloths or similar over your mouth and nose. Mouth-Nose-Protective Masks (MSN) are helpful. The masks of type FFP3 and FFP2 for self-protection should be reserved for institutions, that are in close contact with infected persons. Whoever happens to still have FFP/MSN masks at home can however use them. FFP-masks with an exterior filter do not protect others from infection. Remember to observe proper sneeze and cough etiquette.
  6. Gloves serve to avoid contamination through contact but are dispensable with good hand hygiene (washing/disinfection).
  7. Droplet infections can occur via the eyes. Protective glasses can be sensible when a minimum distance cannot be observed and also protect from rubbing the virus into the eyes.