The CDC has issued new guidance for overnight and day camps on camp property. The new guidance aligns with the previous CDC guidance for schools, and notes that day camps on school property should use the school-related guidance. The main changes include:
• only 3 feet of distancing between campers within their cohort
• cleaning only once per day using household grade cleaning products
• encouraging outdoor activities
• attention to ventilation, including limited size groups in poorly-ventilated areas
The guidance does not change the recommendations for 6 feet of separation between campers from different cohorts or requiring masks for most outdoor activities. Since issuing the camp document, the CDC has changed its recommendations for other areas, including guidance that fully vaccinated people need not wear a mask in most outdoor venues. It is not clear why the CDC keeps the rule for summer camps, unless it assumes that most campers will not be eligible for vaccines for many more months.
The CDC guidance is just that, guidance, and not a binding rule. States, however, can adopt the CDC rules as requirements. North Carolina, for example, almost immediately changed its rules for camps. The North Carolina rules speak in terms of "required" and "recommended" actions, but in practice the standard of care likely will require camps to follow even recommendations to avoid lawsuits. Georgia does not license overnight camps, but the standard of care likely will have the same effect.
This guidance describes physical distancing recommendations for day camps that align with current evidence for physical distancing in schools,