CDC issues COVID-19 guidance for youth and summer camps

Eloise Marshall
April 27, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci strongly hinted that the guidance will be updated this week, saying he didn't want to get ahead of the CDC, but they "will be coming out with updating their guidelines of what people who are vaccinated can do and even some who are not vaccinated".

Fully-vaccinated means at least two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine or two weeks after the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The CDC's current guidelines state that "masks may not be necessary when you are outside by yourself away from others, or with people who live in your household. Cohorting should not replace other prevention measures, including wearing masks".

Everyone in camp facilities must wear well-fitting masks at all times, with exceptions for certain activities such as eating, drinking and swimming.

The CDC recommends cohorting campers - creating small groups that don't interact - and says campers within a cohort should maintain 3 feet of distance, and 6 feet while eating or drinking.

On buses used for transportation, the CDC guidance said protocols to keep physical distance between campers should be put into place, such as seating children one-per-row. But the agency's guidance has been paradoxical - it still advises against travel, despite the low risk.

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"But when you look around at the common sense situation, the risk is really low, especially if you're vaccinated", he added.

Fauci also concedes that the risk of contracting COVID-19 while engaged in outdoor activities is "minuscule".

It also suggests modifying a number of activities and traditions for safety's sake, such as avoiding group activities where distance can not be maintained, limiting nonessential visits from other individuals and organizations, and performing activities such as singing and chanting outdoors only.

There are specific recommendations for what to do if someone gets sick while at camp, and when campers or staff should stay home.

Nap time mats used for younger campers should be sanitized before and after use, according to the guidance, and spaced out "as much as possible".

Staffers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 should continue practicing physical distancing and wearing masks, as vaccines are not yet available to children, the agency stated.

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