After being confined in the house for months, your kids must be very excited to go out and have some fun finally. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that with the Coronavirus situation getting better (or at least controlled), summer day camps can now open.
This is good news for parents, especially that their kids might not have had outside interaction for kids might not have had outside communication for months, and they need it for their development.
As a parent, your happiness comes with worry because the danger is still lurking around. But because the threat is still lurking around. But opening day camps does not mean everything is normal. Strict measures will still be in place to ensure the safety of the children.
To put your mind at ease, here are some safety measures that will be implemented in camp:
Camp employees will have to follow similar guidelines as other businesses. If they are less than 6 feet from each other, they are with children, and they have to put a mask on.
However, campers will not be allowed to wear face masks. Children aged two are encouraged to wear one but not required to do so because this can have adverse effects on their health. Group sizes will be limited to 15, and camps are encouraged to let the children stay in the same group and be handled by the same staff as much as possible. They were encouraged to have no or minimal contact with one another and discouraged from using common places simultaneously.
Spaces like the bathroom and break rooms must be reconfigured to control to accommodate the children. If not, occupancy must be restricted in these places.
There must be an established area for pick-ups and drop-offs. Non-essential visitors are not allowed on the site as well.
Pool and Aquatic Activities
There must still be social distancing in the pool. Groups of children must be separated from each other, and camps are encouraged to come up with water activities that will not require the staff to be in the water.
Children must not wear their face coverings at the pool. Cleaning and disinfection must be done regularly.
Sports and Athletics Activities
Camps are encouraged to do physical activities that have little to no contact. They can opt for some hiking and running or sports that don’t require a team to play and share equipment.
Camps are urged to serve meals individually and not cafeteria-style as this encourages more contact. Children must stay with their groups when they eat, and mealtime should be staggered so physical distancing measures can be applied.
Trips are discouraged according to state guidelines. Should transportation be needed, it should be done with children still sticking to their groups.
Camp managers must make sure that physical distancing is still in place even during transport. Everyone on the bus or van must be able to medically tolerate the wearing of face coverings to ensure their safety during the transport.
New Hygiene Steps
Camps are required to keep logs of their cleaning and disinfecting in accordance with the state and federal guidelines. Hand hygiene stations must also be in place all over strategic locations in the camp. Each hygiene station must have soap and water or hand sanitizer. Children and staff are required to wash their hands when they arrive, in between activities, before eating, after going to the bathroom, at the end of the day, and other instances necessary.
The camp must also clean or disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly. These surfaces include door handles, multi-seat strollers, toys, art supplies, and the areas where children will take their food.
Camps will have mandatory health screening every day – including answering a questionnaire for proper contact tracing and regular temperature checks.
The screening should ask the following: (a) if there have been any COVID-19 symptoms for the past 14 days, (b) if the person is COVID-19 positive for the past 14 days and © if they close contact or proximity with a confirmed or suspected COVID19 case in the past 14 days.
Staff and campers who are sick are required to stay at home. Parents or guardians who are currently isolated because he/she is COVID-19 positive are not allowed to enter the camp for any reason, even picking up their child.
If anyone tests positive in the camp, they have to immediately inform the state and the local health departments.
These safety protocols are in place to ensure the safety of everyone. Opening the camp is a step forward towards gaining a sense of normalcy back. Everyone must follow the protocols strictly, so we won’t have to take action backward.