Oregon to allow youth overnight camps to resume this summer

Oregon will allow youth overnight camps to resume this summer with significant restrictions to protect against the spread of COVID-19.

The state allowed day camps to move forward last summer amid the pandemic, but banned overnight camps for school-age children.

But the Oregon Health Authority released new guidelines last month to allow day and overnight camp operators to move forward with programming this summer.

All youth programs, including day and overnight camps, must develop communicable disease management plans, implement enhanced cleaning standards, screen for symptoms, and require anyone with symptoms of COVID -19 stay at home, divide attendees into stable groups of no more than 30, and require staff and most young attendees to wear masks. The state will not require children to wear masks if they cannot wear them due to medical conditions or disabilities or are unable to remove the masks on their own.

Overnight camp operators should all ensure that there is at least 30 inches between beds and that campers sleep head to toe. Camps should limit the use of cabins and tents to a single cohort of no more than 30 people.

Overnight camp operators are also encouraged, but not required, to prevent campers and staff from leaving and re-entering camp during sessions.

Daily coronavirus cases and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Oregon have risen steadily since March, but have fallen slightly over the past week.

More than 36% of Oregonians over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated, while nearly 16% have received one dose of the vaccine and are yet to receive a second dose. Vaccines are currently only authorized for people 16 years of age and older.

–Jamie Goldberg | jgoldberg@oregonian.com | @jamiebgoldberg

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