I’ve been hearing about summer camp guidelines lately, and I think what I’ve been hearing is very unhealthy for our society. The CDC has released the following guidelines for children’s summer camps:
“Masks protect the wearer and those around them. Require all campers, staff, and visitors to use well-fitting masks with proper filtration consistently and correctly to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through respiratory droplets. All people in camp facilities should wear masks at all times with exceptions for certain people, or for certain settings or activities, such as while eating and drinking or swimming. Campers and staff can use well-fitting cloth masks with two or more layers of tightly woven, breathable fabric or disposable masks. N95 respirators or other personal protective equipment intended for healthcare workers should be worn only by camp medical staff when appropriate.
Develop mask policies for all campers and staff that set the expectation that people will use masks throughout camp. This includes campers in the same small group or cohort.
Teach and reinforce consistent and correct use of masks. Staff and campers should wear masks over the nose and mouth, especially when physical distancing is difficult (whether activities are indoors or outdoors). Camp administrators should provide information to staff and campers on proper use, removal, and washing of masks.
Masks should not be placed on:
Anyone younger than 2 years old
Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious
Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cover without help
Store masks properly and wash them regularly to keep them clean. Staff and campers should have more than one mask on hand each day so they can easily replace a dirty mask with a clean one. Make sure to remove masks correctly and wash hands after touching a mask while wearing it or when removing a mask. Store your mask somewhere safe to keep it clean, such as your pocket or backpack. When reusing a mask after a break, keep the same side facing out. For more information on washing masks, visit How to Store and Wash Masks.
Do not wear a mask when doing activities that could get your mask wet, like swimming at the beach or pool. A wet mask can make it difficult to breathe and might not work.
CDC’s guidance on wearing masks includes adaptations and alternatives for various activities.
Additional guidance on wearing masks at overnight camps is provided in the Additional Guidance for Overnight Camps section of this web page.
Cohorting: Cohorts (or “pods”) are groups of campers and staff that stay together throughout the day to minimize exposure to other people while at camp. Cohorts should have the same staff stay with the same group of campers and remain together as much as possible. Limit mixing between cohorts. Cohorting should not replace other prevention measures, including wearing masks. Campers and staff in the same cohort should continue to wear masks at all times, except when eating and drinking or swimming. Camps that serve younger and older children should consider creating cohorts with campers who are similar in age. When developing cohorts, consider services for campers with disabilities, English language learners, and other campers who may receive services, and to ensure equity, integration, and other requirements of civil rights laws, including federal disability laws.
Maintaining Physical Distance: Physical distancing provides protection by reducing risk of exposure and limiting the number of close contacts when someone is infected with COVID-19. Establish camp policies and implement strategies to promote physical distancing, indoors and outdoors, of:
At least 3 feet between all campers within a cohort
At least 6 feet between all campers outside of their cohort
At least 6 feet while eating and drinking, including among people within the same cohort
At least 6 feet between campers and staff
At least 6 feet between staff
Use physical or visual guides to reinforce physical distancing of at least 6 feet in areas where adults may be interacting with other adults, camp staff, or campers (for example reception and dining areas).
If specialized staff (for example, speech language pathologists) are providing services to campers within multiple cohorts or multiple camp programs, they should take prevention measures to limit the potential transmission of COVID-19, including getting vaccinated if eligible, and wearing masks, or other necessary personal protective equipment. Specialized staff should keep detailed contact tracing logs.
If nap times are scheduled for younger campers, assign campers’ naptime mats to individual children, sanitizeexternal icon before and after use, and space them out as much as possible. Place campers head-to-toe to ensure distance between their faces. Masks should not be worn when sleeping.
Create physical distance between campers on buses or transportation (e.g., seat children one child per row, skip rows) when possible. Campers who live in the same household may be seated together. Masks should be required on buses or transportation.”
According to the CDC, 282 people between the ages of 0 and 17 have died as a result of COVID. 709 children in that age group have died from pneumonia in the same time period. 179 have died from the flu.
Children are not at significant risk from COVID. The vaccine is available to virtually every adult who wants it. Children do not need to be wearing masks while playing soccer or softball at a summer camp. At some point, we have to get out of this mindset. Biden needs to put a stop to this. This is an agency under his control. This isn’t like the stock market or the unemployment rate. He DOES control this.