Earlier this week, the CDC released safety guidelines for summer camps. The good news: it looks like summer camps are on this year. That being the case, camps might take on a slightly different look and feel than in the past.
Based on CED guidelines, children in group settings should remain at least 3 feet apart from each other while always wearing masks. That said, kids can remove their masks when they're swimming, napping, eating, or drinking.
It also looks like most campers will be spending a lot of time outdoors. Summer camps are being advised to host many of their activities outdoors where, according to the CDC, the rate of infection is significantly lower. Typical summer camp activities - like singing, chanting, shouting, or playing instruments - must be conducted outside as well.
The CDC stressed that employees of day camps and overnight summer camps should be vaccinated and wait to report to work until two weeks have passed since their second vaccine dose is received. Staffers who have not been vaccinated must provide proof of a negative viral test taken one to three days before arriving to work at camp.
Even staffers who have been fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask and keep a safe physical distance from other staffers and campers, the CDC says in the new guidance, which is intended to supplement existing state and local regulations.
Daily symptom checks should be performed on staff and children, and regular cleaning of bathrooms should be performed, especially after times of heavy use.
The CDC also requires camps to have emergency plans in place to handle anyone who shows COVID-19 symptoms. The camps should notify local health officials of any cases of COVID-19, while maintaining the person’s confidentiality.
For More Details
The CDC guidelines cover a wide assortment of topics in their latest guidance, including masks, handwashing, physical distancing, supplies, symptom monitoring, and cleaning guidelines.
For more details, here is the link to the April 24, 2021 guidance release: Guidance for Operating Youth and Summer Camps During COVID-19 (cdc.gov)