The Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued their updated guidance for summer camp operators. With many camps set to begin at the end of May, the information is valuable for educators and parents as they make preparations for the summer.
We scanned all of the information and compiled what you need to know. The biggest finding? We're on track for a special summer! Take a look at some of the key takeaways.
In regards to campers
- It is recommended that children should not share toys, books or games. Labeled cubbies for belongings (as well as personal nap mats, if applicable) should be assigned to individual children. Everything should be sanitized on a daily basis, before and after use.
- Cohorts (or “pods”) of campers should stay together throughout the day to minimize exposure to other people while at camp. These pods will have the same staff and campers, and will remain together as much as possible. Limiting mixing of cohorts is important!
- Campers within a cohort can be at least 3 feet between each other. However, when interacting with other cohorts they must be 6 feet apart.
In regards to activities
- One of the biggest themes in the report is the emphasis on conducting as many activities as possible outdoors. The risk of infection is much lower than indoors.
- Indoor activities should be well-ventilated and windows should be open.
- Some activities should be avoided altogether — like close-contact or indoor sports, and large gatherings or assemblies. Singing, chanting, or playing instruments should all be conducted outdoors.
What about masks and maintaining healthy environments?
- All people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times, with exceptions for certain people, or for certain settings or activities, like eating and drinking or swimming.
- Handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is extremely important. Staff and campers should not use hand sanitizer if their hands are visibly greasy or dirty. Instead, they should wash hands with soap and water as soon as possible.
Employee and Staff Safety
- Campers and staff members should be screened for Covid symptoms upon arrival at camps, and screening tests should be conducted if there’s substantial community transmission in the area.
- Anyone working at a camp who is 16 or older is strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity is available.