June 09, 2020
Summer day camps can open across New Jersey on July 6. And when they do open, there will be health and safety guidelines to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Cloth face coverings must be worn by campers when social distancing cannot be practiced, and staff members are mandated to wear cloth face masks at all times, unless it would inhibit one's health according to guidance issued by the New Jersey Department of Health. Another exception to the face covering rule will be for those who work outside at camps in the extreme heat.
Children younger than 2 years old should not wear face coverings because of suffocation risks.
Camp groups and staffers should practice social distancing and remain 6 feet apart as much as possible, state health officials said.
All staff and campers will be screened daily for COVID-19 upon entering the facility. Indoor and outdoor camps should make sure that groups include the same children each day and that the same staff remain with the same group everyday.
"Summers for our children means being outdoors and engaging in activities with friends, and for many, day camps are an important part of their summer," New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said. "These guidelines will help ensure the health and safety of our children, camp workers and the greater community from the infection and spread of COVID-19."
Summer day camps wishing to reopen on or after July 6 must submit documentation to the state health department no later than 24 hours prior to their anticipated opening date, detailed that the camp will meet all of New Jersey's health and safety guidelines.
Residential and overnight camps remain prohibited in New Jersey. Additionally, off-site activities such as field trips, and contact sports or group competitions, and children intermingling among others outside of their assigned group is prohibited. A complete list of the health and safety guidelines laid out by the state can be read below.
The state is also providing up to $20 million in grants to assist youth camps in meeting the outlined health and safety guidelines. Camps can receive up to $2,000, and the money can be used to purchase additional cleaning products and personal protective equipment, like as face masks, gloves, and thermometers.