NYS announces new guidance for child care, day camps, and overnight camps


This image released by Forest Lake Camp shows swimmers and kayakers on the lake at the camp in Warrensburg, N.Y. Summer camps have begun to notify families that they won’t open due to the coronavirus crisis. Most, however, are in wait-and-see mode as parents who rely on camp for child care as well as child fun try not to panic. (Forest Lake Camp via AP)

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(WETM) – Gov. Cuomo announced updated guidance for health and safety measures at child care, day camp, and overnight camp programs, effective May 19. The measures include protocols for COVID testing, physical distancing, and sanitation, among other requirements to help prevent COVID-19 cases. The Department of Health will continue to monitor and evaluate health metrics for child care facilities and camp programs and, if necessary, will issue further guidance.

  • Measures Address Testing, Physical Distancing, and Sanitation Requirements to Help Prevent COVID Cases
  • State Health Department to Continue Monitoring and Evaluating Facilities and Camp Programs and Revise Guidance as Needed 

“We are continuing to make incredible progress against COVID and lifting restrictions based on the science and numbers, but we are not yet at the finished line,” Governor Cuomo said. “To help ensure maximum protection for staff and children at child care and camp programs, we are issuing this guidance so the facilities can implement basic but critical measures that will allow them to operate safely.”   

Facilities and programs must collect COVID-19 vaccination status and documentation for all staff and children, and implement mandatory daily health screening practices of their staff and visitors including daily temperature checks. Facilities and programs need to notify the state and local health department immediately upon being informed of any positive COVID-19 test result by a staff member or child at their site.

Each site must implement a property-specific capacity limitation for children and campers that ensures appropriate social distancing. Staff who are not fully vaccinated must maintain a distance of at least six feet from other unvaccinated staff.

Children and campers over the age of two and staff who are not fully vaccinated must wear face coverings except when eating, drinking, showering, swimming, or sleeping/resting. Since face coverings have been proven to be effective when distancing is not feasible, facilities and programs must provide and require the use of face coverings for individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

Additional hygiene and cleaning and disinfection requirements as advised by the CDC and Department of Health must also be followed. 

Full guidance for facilities and programs is available here

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