By Wendi Rank
Many parents may be thrilled Philadelphia and the surrounding counties in the yellow phase can open summer camps. But a conversation with an epidemiologist reported by Claire Sasko of Philadelphia Magazine last month recommended caution.
Michael LeVasseur, an epidemiologist at Drexel University, tells Philadelphia Magazine one thing he’d like to see camp counselors educated on is best hand hygiene practices. He stresses handwashing after coming in contact with eyes, ears, mouth, or foreign surfaces.
Overall, camps held outdoors are likely less risky than those held indoors, according to the article, although the Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved both. Overnight camps are only permitted in the green phase.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health requires camps to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regulations for such facilities. Camps must develop a strategy for adhering to guidelines and post this plan on their website.
Expect children to be restricted to the same group of friends each day, says the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The CDC advises against mingling of these groups. Each group’s counselor should remain the same as well.
Children can travel outside of their county of residence for camp, says Pennsylvania’s Department of Health. Frequent handwashing and disinfecting are advised by the CDC, including on buses used for transportation. Leave personal objects at home but bring lunch if possible.
Field trips, visitors, and large gatherings at camp are discouraged by the CDC. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is not requiring children to wear masks, but adults should. Multiple drop-off times may be needed to limit interactions.