On Tuesday, parents all over New York got the news that they’ve been waiting for: day camps will be opening. After weeks of uncertainty, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that summer camps can open beginning June 29 for day camps. No decision has been made yet about overnight camping programs.

Cuomo said that COVID-19 cases and deaths have been consistently declining. Requirements for reopening businesses are to have COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths decline.

Camping programs are specifically listed in the governor’s phase 4 of the reopening plan. Upstate New York is in phase 2 and western New York is also in Phase 2. Hopefully, all parts of New York State will be in phase 4 by the end of the month, and ready for the June 29 date for camps to reopen.

Thus far the state has not given specific guidelines for COVID-19 safety. Some believe it will probably look like our guidelines for everyday life, wearing masks, social distancing, handwashing, and hand sanitizer. The measures will certainly have to include sanitizing the environment for the children. Some camp owners have stated that they are awaiting guidelines from the state before they can move forward.

A representative of the New York State Camp Directors Association said “Camp is essential for children in New York during the summer months as well as beneficial for children’s mental well-being, and we are thrilled that (Cuomo) has recognized the importance of the small businesses.“

With businesses reopening and parents returning to work, I’m sure this is good news. Hopefully, the children and the camp workers will have a fun, safe, and happy summer camp life.

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