CDC offers new guidance on how summer camps can, should operate amid pandemic

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Thursday, May 21, 2020
CDC offers new guidance on how summer camps can, should operate
The CDC has offered new guidance on how summer camps can and should operate.

In a typical year, roughly 20 million kids across the country go to summer camp.

This summer will hardly be typical, but officials are releasing some information on how those camps may look if, and when, some of them decide to open.

The new guidance from the CDC is a field guide for how camps can, and should, operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the highlights include: kids in smaller groups, temperature checks, screenings and the use of masks in certain situations.

The American Camp Association also released a guide with similar recommendations.

"These kids are going to be placed in peer groups, smaller peer groups, socializing, and family-like groups," says Tom Rosenberg, the President and CEO of the American Camp Association (ACA). "It will be fun, but also protect them from a physical distancing point of view. There'll be adapted activities, adapted dining and bunking, along with all kind of things to emphasize appropriate physical distancing when necessary."

Liberty Lake Day Camp in Burlington County is already preparing to put this guidance into action and is training its staff.

"We feel like we're an essential business now, and I've been translating that to my staff," says Andy Pritikin, the owner and director of Liberty Lake Day Camp. "I've been saying, 'If you choose to work for me this summer, I want you to think of yourself as almost a hospital worker, or a grocery store worker - that you're providing this essential service for families to be able to get back into the workforce and to be able to provide these kids some mental health and stability.'"

The opening of camps hinges on a green light and start dates from states and municipalities. It will also depend on comfort levels of the camps and families.


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