PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — After canceling all their camps last year, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy will have their camps again but it will be different.
“I know it means so much to parents it also means so much to the kids to be able to interact,” Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Director of Education Camila Rivera-Tinsley said.
Their camps start in June and will be significantly smaller. The CDC has released new summer camp advice ahead of the season just around the corner.
The medical experts recommend camp employees over the age of 16 years old be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The CDC says while fewer children have gotten sick with COVID-19 compared to adults, kids can still be infected and spread the virus to others.
This latest guidance calls for each camp to have an emergency operations plan.
Each camp’s plan should address screenings, handling positive COVID-19 cases among staff and campers and potential outbreaks.
Camps are recommended to disinfect vehicles and frequently clean shared spaces where the virus can spread.
When it comes to physical distancing, children should be around three feet away from one another, and six feet apart while eating — similar to protocols in place in schools.
Camp counselors are advised to keep six feet of distance from children.
Activities should be spent outside as much as possible.
The Parks Conservancy wants to utilize all the nature they have at their disposal, keeping kids outside and not indoors to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We even have a stipulation that if the weather is really bad, we will cancel camp because we don’t want students inside cooped up all day breathing each other’s air,” Rivera-Tinsley said at Frick Park.
If inside, doors and windows should be left open when possible.
Masks should be worn unless people are eating or drinking, or when doing an activity like swimming.
Large groups should be avoided. The Parks Conservancy will have children in pods, and the public will also be kept out of the Frick Environmental Center.
“If we’re going to have students in there, we don’t want to have the public who we can’t control in and out of that building. So we’re taking a lot of extra precautions,” Rivera-Tinsley said.