Summer Sleepover Camps Banned in New York Due to COVID-19
New York kids won't be attending summer sleepover camps this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 21, while closing schools until the fall, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, as a parent, he wouldn't send his child to summer camps, until more is known about the rare disease in children.
In early June, he announced summer day camps will open on June 29. At the time the Governor said New York State officials are still reviewing the situation on sleepover summer camps.
Late Friday, New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker confirmed the state will not allow any overnight summer camps to operate in 2020 due to the fear of spreading COVID-19.
" I have fond memories of summer sleepaway camp as a kid and I understand the role they play in childhood development and the disappointment this decision may bring to families across the state. But amid the worst public health crisis in a century, my number one priority is the health and safety of all New Yorkers. And while infection rates are declining, we need to proceed with caution and take every step possible to avoid undoing all the progress New Yorkers have made in bending the curve and reopening the state safely and responsibly," Zucker said in a statement. "Throughout this entire public health response, there isn't a single decision we have not made based on data and science, rather than emotion. Using the best currently available science and data, I have reached a decision to prohibit overnight children's camps from operating this season in New York State."
Summer day camps will still be allowed to welcome in children in late June.
"Unlike day camps, which are approved to open June 29, overnight camps are a difficult setting to manage social distancing and face covering and infection control practices. Overnight camps have congregate settings and sleeping arrangements in close quarters that present too many risks. In such a setting, even a single positive case in a camper or staff member could create an untenable quarantine situation and overwhelm camp health personnel that may not be able to handle a serious infectious outbreak of this nature," Zucker said.