Gov. Carney issues guidance on summer camp, summer school

WILMINGTON – As Delaware continues a rolling reopening of the state, Gov. John Carney released guidance for summer camps and summer school Friday.

Recreational camps must develop a written plan for enforcing social distancing, frequent hand-washing and other basic public health precautions, according to a news release.

Those plans should be available upon request by the Delaware Division of Public Health. 

Summer camps and summer school programs will be permitted to open in accordance with Delaware’s guidance effective Phase Two of the economic reopening.

“As we continue to gradually reopen our economy, and get Delawareans back to work, it’s important that everyone remember that this virus has not gone away,” Gov. Carney said in a prepared statement. “It’s up to all Delawareans and visitors to take basic health precautions to limit community spread of COVID-19. Act with a sense of community and protect others. Wear a face covering in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Maintain social distance – at least six feet – from anyone outside your household. Don’t let up.”

DPH strongly encourages camps and summer school programs to limit groups to 15 children, plus staff. Guidance on masks for youth is forthcoming.  Children 2-years-old and younger should not wear a face covering due to the risk of suffocation.

If feasible, DPH also recommends conducting daily health checks — such as temperature screening or symptom checking of staff and students. Health checks should be conducted safely in accordance with privacy laws. 

Camps and summer school programs should consider special precautions to protect vulnerable staff members and children who are at higher risk for severe illness.

Prior to reopening, camps must develop a written plan to address disinfection procedures and frequency, camper arrival and departure procedures and mask guidance and social distancing during activities, according to a news release.

Outdoor camps must have contingency plans in place for inclement weather. Capacity should be reduced to maintain six feet of separation for indoor and outdoor activities.

Cohorts are required to remain stable from one day to the next, meaning the same children and staff should make up one cohort. Children and staff should not switch between cohorts, and interaction between cohorts should be restricted as much as possible, a news release states.

Facilities must be cleaned at least one per day and “high contact surfaces” — like doorknobs, light switches, railings — should be cleaned twice a day, using an EPA List 6 approved disinfectant.

Signage must emphasize social distancing, hand-washing, covering coughs and sneezes and the importance of staying home if campers are experiencing COVID-19.

In Phase Two of Delaware’s reopening, schools will be able to offer in-person summer school for students.

Transportation to summer school will be a local decision. School buses will need to be disinfected between each bus run. 

Districts/charters can offer a hybrid of in-person or remote learning through the summer. Those decisions will be localized. 

Additional guidance suggests modifying layouts to keep students six feet apart, and keep students’ desks from facing each other. 

Guidance recommends physical barriers, like sneeze guards at reception desks, and markings at six-feet increments to maintain healthy environments. 

Dining halls may also be closed or use should be staggered and the area must be cleaned and disinfected between uses. It is recommended that children bring their own meals when possible, or for individually-plated meals to be served in classrooms. 

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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