The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed its recommendation for COVID-19 prevention in time for summer camp. On May 28, 2021, health officials announced fully vaccinated staff members, and kids can enjoy themselves mask-free.
Now that people as young as 12 can be vaccinated against COVID-19, the CDC recommends everyone do so as soon as possible to keep from getting and spreading the virus. As the unofficial first day of summer approaches, the timing could not be better — especially after Americans have been on lock-down for 14 months.
CDC’s latest announcement updates their previously stated rules about everyone wearing masks while at camp, no matter their vaccination status. Health officials released a 16-page directive with the new guidelines for youth camps, beginning with preparation — the information released last week for all fully vaccinated individuals residing in the United States.
The first key point in the newest guidance is to promote the safe and effective vaccine for all staff and eligible youth for all types of youth camps, both day and overnight. Recently, After Dr. Anthony Fauci explained a fully vaccinated could become infected with COVID-19. But, he told reporters there is sufficient evidence that person would not shed the virus.
For camps where everyone is fully vaccinated before camp starts, the CDC says it is safe to open fully. These camps are allowed to be mask-free and do not need to practice social distancing.
Even though masks are not a requirement for fully vaccinated individuals, camp programs are encouraged to support those who choose to wear one.
Camps should encourage unvaccinated children, staff, and those with compromised health should wear masks indoors consistently and correctly. Masks should be well-fitting, made of two or more tightly woven breathable fabric layers, or disposable.
It is not necessary to wear a mask when sleeping.
Outside, people do not need to wear masks — generally. However, in crowded areas or during activities that involve close contact, unvaccinated youth and staff should wear masks.
People should refrain from wearing masks during water activities, such as swimming, boating, and using watercraft — wet masks can make it hard to breathe. When swimming in a pool, the CDC says the unvaccinated should practice social distancing.
The CDC guidance for summer camps is meant to supplement — not replace — except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, camp programs, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CDC: Guidance for Operating Youth Camps (Updated May 28, 2021)
The Hill: CDC relaxes COVID-19 guidelines for summer camps; by Justine Coleman
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Nellie 76’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of Steve B’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of CDC – Used With Permission