With summer camps beginning back in full swing this summer, parents want to know what they will look like amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, COVID-19 put a pause on dozens of camps, but now, The CDC released summer camp guidance in early May that requests for masks to be worn at all times, even outdoors and by vaccinated adults and children as young as 2, while also recommending kids remain 3 feet apart. The only mask exceptions are for eating and swimming, and 6 feet of distance between staff and campers are recommended during meals. In addition, many camps may require everyone in attendance to be tested for COVID-19 before they arrive and again while they are on-site.
Overnight camps face an extra level of scrutiny as anyone who isn’t vaccinated, which is expected since vaccines are only approved for people 16 and older, must get a negative COVID test result within 72 hours of arriving at camp, and within three to six days of arriving at camp, Murphy said. Overnight camps should also try to align beds for people to sleep head to toe and at least 6 feet apart, Persichilli said.
Gov. Phil Murphy said he would sign an executive order clearing the way for New Jersey overnight, youth and day caps to operate this summer.
Check out what protocols will be in place at your child’s camp and cancellation policies, ACA recommends asking your camp director these questions about COVID-19 and summer 2021:
- What is your summer camper drop-off/pickup policy? New policies may be in place to limit exposure.
- Are you changing your staff time-off policies? Pre-pandemic, summer camp staff could leave the premises during off-time. That may have changed.
- What will be different this year? This could include changes to mealtimes and group activities.
- What are some things you are not doing this summer at camp that you’ve done in the past? Some special events may be canceled.
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