CDC Updates Masks and Distancing Guidance for Summer Camps

Children camping this summer can be in the same group within three feet of their peers, but must wear masks at all times, according to federal health officials. Children should only remove their masks when swimming, napping, eating, or drinking. They should be far apart for these activities, positioned head-to-toe for naps, and at least three feet apart for meals, snacks, and water breaks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the expected updated guidelines for summer camp operators on Sunday morning, just weeks before many camps resume operations in mid-May. Many parents were anxious to find camps for their children who had spent months in distance learning classes during the pandemic.

One topic covered in the updated guidelines is the emphasis on engaging in as many activities as possible outdoors, where the risk of infection is considered to be much lower than indoors. If activities need to be brought indoors, rooms should be well ventilated and windows should be kept open (windows should also be open on camp buses and vans), the CDC said.

The guide tells children not to share toys, books, or games. Every camper should have a labeled storage room for their belongings, and sleeping mats should be assigned to individual children and disinfected before and after use.

However, some activities should be avoided altogether, including close-knit or indoor sports, and large gatherings or gatherings. Singing, singing, shouting, or playing instruments is recommended for outdoor use.

Wearing a mask is a crucial part of prevention efforts, even as federal health officials are weighing whether to reduce this restriction for outdoor use, especially for those who are fully vaccinated.

“All persons in camp facilities should wear masks at all times, with the exception of certain people or certain attitudes or activities, e.g. B. when eating and drinking or swimming, ”says the guide in the only sentence that is highlighted in bold in the 14-page advice.

The federal health authorities also issued rules for overnight camps requiring eligible staff, volunteers, campers, and family members to be fully vaccinated two weeks before traveling to the camps, while those who are not vaccinated should self-vaccinate two weeks prior to their arrival at the camp should quarantine. Those who are not fully vaccinated should also have a negative test for the virus one to three days before arrival at the warehouse.

Campers and staff should be screened for symptoms of Covid upon arrival at camps, and screening tests should be done if there is significant community transmission in the area. Daily symptom checks should also be done to monitor for possible illnesses, the council said.

Anyone who works in a camp who is 16 years of age or older is “strongly encouraged” to get vaccinated “as soon as the opportunity arises,” health officials said.

But vaccinated people still have to wear masks around children who cannot yet be vaccinated and stay three feet away from them. Children should also stay six feet from children in other groups.

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