More than 3.94 million children have tested positive for Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, but serious illnesses seem relatively rare in children. Still, the CDC says children can get sick and pass it on to others, so it’s good to take precautions and it’s important to get the vaccine. For those who are fully immunized, these guidelines have real benefits.
The CDC said staff and campers who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks unless required by federal, state, local, tribal, territorial regulations or if it is a policy commercial or workplace.
“Although fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks, camps can support staff or campers who choose to continue to wear a mask,” the new guidelines say.
The CDC also encouraged all people 12 and older to get vaccinated against Covid-19, stressing that the vaccines are safe and effective. He also encouraged the camps to develop educational materials and promote immunization among campers and staff.
Physical distancing is also no longer necessary for fully vaccinated people.
The CDC still encourages people to wash their hands regularly to reduce the spread of all infections, not just Covid-19.
Camps are encouraged to regularly clean frequently touched surfaces and shared items. Good ventilation helps stop the spread of the disease. Camps should open windows when possible, use air filters and turn on fans. Activities should take place outdoors as much as possible, the agency says.
If a camp experiences an outbreak, the CDC wants the camp to contact the state or local public health department and work with these experts to isolate people with symptoms and ensure those with symptoms can do so. test. The camp should also quarantine all close unvaccinated contacts of anyone showing symptoms.
Camps with unvaccinated campers or staff should use several prevention strategies to protect those who are unvaccinated. The CDC has said that in these cases, physical distancing will be one of the important tools to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
Grouping children together, creating small groups of campers who stay together all day can help minimize exposure whether or not they are vaccinated. Masks will help protect the unvaccinated and are strongly encouraged indoors for those who are not fully vaccinated.
In general, people do not need to wear masks for outdoor activities, unless people are in prolonged contact in an area with high transmission of the coronavirus, the CDC still recommends masking for people who are not fully vaccinated. Currently, nearly 7% of the American population lives in a community with a high level of transmission of Covid-19.
As for what constitutes extended contact, CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky told CNN chief medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta on Friday that it was kind of like asking, “Your shirt is too long or too short? Team sports are probably OK, she said; a mosh pit, probably not.
Masks should never be worn during water sports, as a wet mask can make it difficult to breathe and wet masks do not work as well. Campers should not sleep there either.
For people who are not fully immunized, routine testing can help find cases, especially asymptomatic cases, and prevent the spread of the disease.
For children in day camps, parents should watch to see if their children are showing symptoms of Covid-19 and if they do, they should keep these children at home when they are sick. Night camps should do daily health checks to check for symptoms.
Weekly screening of staff who are not fully immunized could also help reduce transmission of the virus. Camps should also create flexible and supportive sick leave policies to encourage staff to stay home or not participate in activities if they are ill.
The CDC strongly encourages camps to communicate clearly and openly with staff about any changes to procedures and activities and to train staff to recognize any signs of emotional stress or trauma.
Camps should encourage staff to take a break from Covid-19 stories and social media if they feel overwhelmed and encourage staff and campers to speak with people they trust about their concerns and what that they feel.
“Youth camps can play an important role in children’s lives, including supporting their social, emotional and physical development,” the guidelines say. “These interim guidelines are intended to help camp administrators manage camps while slowing the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, thereby protecting campers, their families, staff and communities. “
Ben Tinker, Michael Nedelman and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr Sanjay Gupta contributed to this report.