Update to CDC Camp Guidance
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an update to their guidance for summer camps entitled, Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps. The key aspects of the revised guidance is as follows:
Preparing for When Someone Gets Sick
The earlier guidance recommended that symptomatic individuals should be separated and sent home or to a separate healthcare facility, depending upon the severity of their symptoms. The revised guidance recommends separation and observation within the camp setting and that the camp provides the appropriate care to the individual, as noted in the CDC bulletin, Caring for Someone Sick at Home or other non-healthcare settings.
Special Considerations for Overnight Camps
Camp Attendance. Earlier guidance limited camp attendance to staff and campers who live in the local geographic area (e.g., community, city, town, or county). The revised guidance does not limit attendance to the local geographic area. It does recommend that families be informed if the camp accepts campers from various geographic regions.
Managing Sick Campers. Earlier guidance stated that symptomatic staff member and/or camper be separated, sent home, and referred to a healthcare provider. The revised guidance recommends that the person(s) be separated and observed within the camp setting and provided care as noted in the CDC bulletin, Caring for Someone Sick at Home or other non-healthcare settings.
Managing Close Contacts. Earlier guidance stated that close contacts of a symptomatic staff member or camper should be separated, sent home, and referred to a healthcare provider. The revised guidance is that the person(s) be separated within the camp setting and provided care as noted in the CDC bulletin, Caring for Someone Sick at Home or other non-healthcare settings.
COVID-19 Testing. New guidance is included that recognizes that some camps might have the capacity to conduct COVID-19 testing to diagnose acute infection using viral (nucleic acid or antigen) tests.
EMS and Healthcare Facility Notification. Additional suggestions are included to advise EMS or a healthcare facility of a suspect COVID-19 case when requesting transport or bringing someone to the facility.
As stated in the CDC Suggestions for Youth and Summer Camps document, “Fortunately, there are a number of actions that youth camp administrators can take to help lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spread during camp sessions and activities.” This update from CDC furthers the actions available to camp administrators.