Safety for Your Kids at Summer Camp: Guidelines from the CDC

As we approach the second summer amid the global coronavirus pandemic, things are beginning to look up. Most adults are now eligible to get one of the available coronavirus vaccines, and some states across the United States are beginning to reopen again. However, health experts have continued to advise that we are not yet completely out of the woods. Many concerning variants from other countries have been reported in the United States, and some of these could prove to be more resistant to the vaccines than others.

But with warm weather beginning, many are looking forward to the opportunity to head on long overdue vacations or other trips to see friends and family. For many families, summer means summer camp for their children, an activity most did not get to participate in last year. So, what are the guidelines for summer camp, and how can you ensure your children’s safety?

Obtain the coronavirus vaccine

In 2020, only a small percentage of staff and campers ended up with a coronavirus infection, just 102 out of nearly 90,000 campers according to a Tufts University study. Most summer day camps and sleepover camps adopted strenuous protocols and strategies designed to slow the spread of the virus. Experts expect that this summer will likely see even fewer issues with coronavirus infections, primarily due to the large number of camp staff being vaccinated. The CDC has recently issued guidance for the operation of youth and summer camps during the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

The top recommendation is, of course, that as many people as possible take advantage of the coronavirus vaccine when they are eligible to do so. Most adults are now eligible for vaccination in the United States.

Implement health screenings

On top of that, the CDC recommends that camps institute health screenings to check for coronavirus symptoms, have PPE available for staff, and promote more outdoor activities whenever possible. Camps are also encouraged to use recommended strategies like extra cleaning protocols, social distancing during activities like eating, and wearing masks.

In the event that there is an outbreak, camps are encouraged to have a protocol in place for how they will handle such an occurrence. Any staff member or camper who does experience COVID-19 symptoms should still isolate and quarantine, as well as obtain a test. This is true even for those who are fully vaccinated, which the CDC defines as at least two weeks out from the final vaccine.