CDC publishes ‘cruel’ rules telling all campers – vaccinated or not – masks must be worn at all times

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The CDC has been convicted of releasing “ cruel ” summer camp rules that instruct campers to wear masks indoors and out and to stay at least three feet apart.

Last month, the CDC shared guidelines on how summer camps should work. Those guidelines include wearing indoor and outdoor masks for campers and staffers, whether vaccinated or not. Vaccinations are limited to adults, not children, for now.

“All people in camp facilities must wear masks at all times, with exceptions for certain people, or for certain situations or activities, such as while eating and drinking or swimming,” the CDC said.

According to the CDC, campers must wear their masks for sports and athletic activities that are done outdoors when possible. Campers should also avoid close-contact or indoor sports.

The guidance comes as summer camps devastated by the pandemic, preparing to welcome new campers in the coming months. About 60 summer camps had to close their doors due to the effects of last year’s pandemic.

Last month, the CDC shared guidelines on how summer camps should work.  Those guidelines include wearing indoor and outdoor masks for campers (file image) and staff, vaccinated or not.  Vaccinations are limited to adults, not children, for now

Last month, the CDC shared guidelines on how summer camps should work. Those guidelines include wearing indoor and outdoor masks for campers (file image) and staff, vaccinated or not. Vaccinations are limited to adults, not children, for now

Experts have labeled these guidelines as' draconian ', with an infectious disease scientist saying,' Forcing children to wear masks continuously in camps, even when playing outside in the heat, when it offers little extra protection is unfair and cruel to our children (file image) '

Experts have labeled these guidelines as’ draconian ‘, with an infectious disease scientist saying,’ Forcing children to wear masks continuously in camps, even when playing outside in the heat, when it offers little extra protection is unfair and cruel to our children (file image) ‘

The agency also noted that campers should maintain a distance of 1 meter between all campers within a cohort, at least 6 feet between all campers outside their cohort, and at least 6 feet while eating and drinking, including between people within the same cohort .

Experts have labeled these guidelines as “ draconian, ” with an infectious disease scientist New York MagazineNow that staff and parents have been vaccinated, there is no reason to continue with incredibly strict mitigation efforts or severely restrict activities.

“Forcing children to wear masks continuously in camps, even when playing outside in the heat, when it offers little extra protection, is unfair and cruel to our children.

Epidemiologist Dimitri Christakis told the publication that the CDC’s guidelines are “ unfairly draconian. ” He added, ‘We need to let kids be close and play,’ he said, adding that ‘keeping kids masked from activities like baseball and tennis is ridiculous.’

Most camp wardens were out last summer as the virus raged across the country, either because of state restrictions preventing them from opening or concerns about keeping children healthy.

But with the number of cases declining and more people being vaccinated every day, many feel more confident about its reopening this season.

The pandemic caused the closure of at least 60 camps last year.  The Greater New York YMCA recently announced that they would be selling three locations, including their Greenkill camp (pictured) after facing a $ 100 million budget deficit in 2020.

The pandemic caused the closure of at least 60 camps last year. The Greater New York YMCA recently announced that they would be selling three locations, including their Greenkill camp (pictured) after facing a $ 100 million budget deficit in 2020.

Another YMCA camp that will be sold is the Talcott camp (bunk beds shown)

Another YMCA camp that will be sold is the Talcott camp (bunk beds shown)

CDC Summer Camp Guidelines

Experts have mainly objected to the CDC’s three guidelines:

Wear mask:

  • Develop mask policies for all campers and staff that create an expectation that people will use masks during camp
  • Learn and reinforce consistent and correct use of masks
  • All people in camp facilities must wear masks at all times, with exceptions for certain people, or for certain situations or activities, such as while eating and drinking or swimming

Take a physical distance:

  • At least 1 meter between all campers within a cohort
  • At least six feet between all campers outside their cohort
  • At least 6 feet while eating and drinking, including among people within the same cohort
  • At least 6 feet between campers and staff
  • At least 1.8 meters between the bars

Limit shared objects:

  • Discourage sharing items that are difficult to clean
  • Keep each camper’s belongings separate from those of others and in individual, labeled containers, card boxes or areas.
  • Provide sufficient supplies to minimize the sharing of high-touch materials
  • Limit sharing of electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning resources

The CDC also recommends consistent hand washing, screening and symptom monitoring, and disinfection, among other things.

Parents are currently scrambling to get their kids to sign up before slots fill in many states like Maine, where at least 100 overnight camps will be open. But some states have yet to release their operating guidelines.

Several states like New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey that banned overnight camps last summer have changed their tone.

Across the country, at least 45 states allow overnight camps to be opened, compared to 39 states last summer, according to the American Camp Association.

‘The camps are really getting ready to operate as fully as possible. They know campers and staff need this experience, ”said Tom Rosenberg of the ACA.

Most of the overnight camps that remained open last summer worked largely successfully, creating their own ‘bubbles’ and emphasizing safety by grouping children into cohorts, mandating masks and social distance indoors, and enforcing plenty of hand washing. Many children had to be quarantined or tested before arrival.

But there were a few notable outbreaks. For example, more than 250 people were infected in a camp in Georgia and more than 80 people in a camp in Missouri.

The situation has improved a lot from last summer, which was a devastating financial loss for the camping industry as more than 80 percent of overnight camps were closed during the season.

Overnight camps would lose an estimated $ 16 billion in revenue with more than $ 4.4 billion in wages lost and more than 900,000 jobs lost, Rosenberg said.

Most of the roughly 9,000 overnight camps survived the storm thanks to federal aid, including loans for the Paycheck Protection Program. But there are about 60 fewer camps than before the pandemic, the ACA said.

Of those, the Greater New York YMCA said it is selling three summer camps that have been in existence for more than 100 years due to the effects of the pandemic.

The three camps are Talcott, McAlister and Greenkill, which cover more than 1,000 forested acres in Huguenot, New York, according to the New York Times.

Ronnie Tucker, a YMCA spokesperson, told the paper that the organization laid off nearly 2,000 workers and ran a $ 100 million budget deficit last year.

Tucker said the decision to close the camps “has been a very painful and very difficult decision for our organization.”

In an effort to save the camps, community members started a petition that requires 15,000 signatures.

“Camp promotes a diverse culture of acceptance and inclusion for all, including many who would never have had the opportunity to experience camp because of their inability to pay and regardless of their socioeconomic background,” the petition reads.

Despite all the concerns last year, many parents have chosen as pioneers to continue the camp tradition.

This summer, COVID-19 tests are more readily available, a bonus for camp leaders, even as concerns about emerging strains of the virus grow.

Vaccinations are also available to those who qualify, and the CDC strongly encourages summer camp staff to get vaccinated.

“Fully vaccinated people should continue to take prevention steps, including wearing masks while working or volunteering in childhood settings,” the CDC guidance says.

The CDC also said that while vaccines have not yet been approved for use in children of all ages, vaccine studies are currently underway.

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