1 big thing: Summer camps vs. virus
Summer camps around the country have begun announcing cancellations, a bleak sign for the months ahead, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.
- Why it matters: They're a lifeline for parents trying to cope with the pandemic's exhausting double whammy of working from home with schools closed.
- "One big thing that’s shifted for us is thinking about camp less as a recreational summer activity and more as a necessary child care function," a director at a North Carolina day camp told Axios.
CDC guidelines say camps shouldn't open if their home states aren't open, or if they aren't able to screen kids and counselors for symptoms and exposure.
- If camps do pass those requirements, the CDC and American Camp Association recommend they practice social distancing, require masks and check temperatures frequently.
Camps from coast to coast are making changes. For instance, Barrie School — a private school in Silver Spring, Md., that runs a summer camp — is dotting its 45-acre grounds with hand-washing and sanitizing stations.
- Some planned activities, such as day trips, have to be canceled because kids can't social distance on buses, director Dan Hayden says.
Several camps are facing steep cost increases:
- The North Carolina camp is doubling its staff so it can divide campers into 10-person groups that will stay together for the summer.
- The camp is also halving pool capacities and doing away with high-contact activities like basketball and soccer.
- It's also reducing the day's schedule from five activities to four to add in time for hand-washing.
And camp might go virtual:
- Camp Supernow — founded after the coronavirus crisis began — is offering two-week sessions of Zoom camp starting in June.
- Kids will be sorted into virtual cabins to participate in activities like talent shows or backyard scavenger hunts.
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