CDC updates COVID-19 guidance for summer camps

VIDEO: Many kids will attend summer camp once school is out and the CDC has new recommendations for health and safety.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – In just over a month, children will be out of school.

Many will attend summer camp, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has new recommendations for health and safety.

The big takeaway is that masks are still recommended for children.

Just like with day cares, the CDC recommends cohorting campers -- creating small groups that don’t interact. The CDC says campers within a cohort should maintain 3 feet of distance.

COVID-19 vaccine shots are not yet authorized for children of all ages, so prevention measures such as mask wearing and physical distancing must continue, even after camp employees are vaccinated.

When eating or drinking, campers should be 6 feet apart.

Campers from different cohorts should keep 6 feet of distance, and campers and staff should stay 6 feet apart.

Camp counselors and adults should also maintain 6 feet of distance, and camp activities should take place outside as much as possible. If activities are held indoors, the CDC says, windows should be open and fans should be used. Sports and athletic activities should be outdoors and masks should be worn, and campers should avoid close contact or indoor sports.

Updated guidance for overnight camps also suggests staff, volunteers, campers and family members get vaccinated against COVID-19.

It’s unclear if summer camps in our area will be following these guidelines. News4Jax has called around but we had not heard back as of publication. Some local day cares told us that they are operating without mask requirements but still have temperature checks and enhanced sanitation procedures.