VACCINE TEAM | Q&A on latest CDC guidance about summer camps
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As we continue to watch vaccines roll out across Kentucky, we are here to answer your questions.
What do the latest guidelines mean for children who attend overnight or day summer camp?
“There not one strategy that’s going to completely eliminate risk. But using multiple strategies can reduce the risk for everyone who’s attending,” says Dr. Nipunie Rajapakse, a pediatric infectious diseases physician.
Here are some of the CDC’s recommendations:
- Getting vaccinated when eligible
- Staying home if sick or having symptoms of COVID-19
- Universal and correct use of well-fitted masks that cover the nose and mouth
- Physical distancing, including cohorting
- Handwashing and covering coughs and sneezes
- Engaging in outdoor activities whenever possible and increasing ventilation for indoor activities
- Cleaning and disinfecting when needed, to maintain healthy facilities
- Contact tracing in combination with isolation and quarantine, in collaboration with the state, local, territorial, and tribal health departments
“Certain activities in camps can pose more high-risks,” says Dr. Rajapakse. “Those include eating meals together. These are especially times where people really need to adhere to the physical distancing recommendations since you can’t be masked, obviously, while you’re eating. Additional kind of supervision and education for kids around those times is going to be important. And keeping most activities to the outdoors as much as possible is also one of the other recommended strategies.”
While camps might look and feel a little different, experts agree they are important.
“We know that some kids have really struggled this past year with mental health issues, feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression and, certainly, for them, being able to return to an activity like going to a summer camp ― if that’s something that they really enjoyed in the past ― may make a big difference to their well-being over the summer,” says Dr. Rajapakse.
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