Mask-No Mask

Staying Safe and Healthy While Continuing to Save Lives

Last updated: 10/20/2020

COVID-19 has caused us to change the ways we use public spaces to work, live, and play. We continue to save lives, while continuing to think about our safety and the safety of others, as more people are becoming fully vaccinated and both the RIDOH and the CDC have rolled out new guidance to help us return to “normal”, we continue to closely monitor the situation.  We have updated our rescue and store policies as noted below to align with the new guidance while also maintaining the safety of our volunteers, staff, customers and dogs as paramount.


We have updated our policies to align with the new state and federal guidance as follows:

    • Capacity Limits. On May 21, 2021, capacity limits across RI increased to 100%. SOS reTAIL has never had an issue with needing to limit customers/bodies to maintain social distancing in the store; as such, we have increased to 100% on this timeline. Similarly, we have removed our numbers limits on volunteer activities such as transport support, adopter MnGs, etc, so long as inside gatherings never go over 25 individuals.
  • In-person Events will be resuming – stay tuned to our events page and social media for details!
  • Drive-through Transport Pick-up Protocols will continue to followed to minimize risk and stress, and maximize efficiency.
  • Social Distancing is STILL recommended but the distance is lowered to three (3) feet.
  • Masks (for all store employees, contractors and customers, and all SOS volunteers) are:
  • REQUIRED for all in-person activities for unvaccinated people AND for all activities in the SOS reTAIL Training Room and INSIDE meetings with adopters.
  • NOT REQUIRED for people who are FULLY VACCINATED (two weeks after the last of either one or two shots, depending upon the shot brand) except in above noted situations.
  • Plexiglass Shields will remain intact as currently present indefinitely.
  • Frequently Touched or Shared Objects will continue to be cleaned frequently.
  • Hands should continue to be washed frequently.
  • When to Get TestedSee below for guidance on when you should get tested and when you should NOT come in for a shift.


While the risk of getting gravely ill from COVID-19 is decreasing as more and more of us are getting vaccinated, the risks of the domino effect of exposure quarantines are still very real. Please advise your supervisor/coordinator as soon as possible if you identify that you need/will need a COVID-19 test.  Duties that one of us can’t complete can only be covered by another one of us, so we are truly all in this together! The more we can see and plan ahead, the better off we will all be!


As recommended by RIDOH, all SOSARL volunteers, SOS reTAIL staff and our supporters are encouraged to continue protecting themselves and others by taking actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including but not limited to:

  1. If not fully vaccinated, wearing a mask that fits snugly but comfortably over their nose, mouth and chin without any gaps.
  2. Maintaining a physical distance of at least 3 feet from those not in their household.
  3. Cleaning frequently touched or shared objects and washing hands frequently (for 20 seconds).
  4. Limiting interactions with people outside of their household to those who are fully vaccinated.
  5. Getting tested often, especially if you work in the service industry – SEE MORE BELOW ON THIS
  6. Getting fully vaccinated as soon as you can.


CDC recommends, and SOSARL and SOS reTAIL requires, that:

  • Anyone with any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 get tested, regardless of vaccination status or prior infection.
  • People who have symptoms of COVID-19 get tested. If you have had any symptoms that are identified as possible symptoms of COVID-19, you need to get tested before your next shift. 
  • If you are fully vaccinated, you must be completely symptom free for at least 24 hours before your next in-person duty/shift.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you must be completely symptom free, and cannot work again, for at least 10 days.
  • People who have had close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with someone with confirmed COVID-19. 
  • People who have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 because they cannot physically distance as needed to avoid exposure, such as travel, attending large social or mass gatherings, or being in crowded or poorly-ventilated indoor settings.
  • People who have been asked or referred to get tested by their healthcare.


  • Fully vaccinated people with no COVID-19 symptoms do not need to be tested following an exposure to someone with COVID-19.
  • People who have tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 3 months and recovered do not need to get tested following an exposure as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

IMPORTANT: If you get tested because you have symptoms or were potentially exposed to the virus, you should stay away from others pending test results!

This has been an exceptionally challenging time for all of us, and in many different ways. Your compassion and perseverance as individuals, and our continued good work and support as a community has been inspiring, and we are so thankful for all of you!

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