SPOKANE, Wash. — The Spokane Regional Health District is working closely with groups in the area who plan to hold camps for children this summer to help protect those who are unable to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
In a Facebook Live Wednesday morning, Epidemiologist Victoria Warthen discussed the efforts the health district is taking to make sure summer camps are safe.
“My team and I have developed a number of tools and resources that we've put on our website that can help you plan and prepare,” Warthen said. “There's a number of templates, we've tried to make the guidance as clear as possible, we do meet with a number of folks that are responsible for managing those summer camps.”
The health district will provide camps with guidance on the state and local coronavirus rules, camp safety plan reviews, free COVID-19 test kits, vaccine clinic information and outbreak management support. There are over 300 camps operating in the area this summer.
In order to stay safe, Warthen offered the guidance they’ve been giving the public since the start of the pandemic: Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay home if you’re sick.
“If you're experiencing any symptoms or simply feeling under the weather, please let the camp know,” she explained. “But then stay home. Take care of your health and take care of others by staying home.”
Warthen said free COVID test kits will be available to camps through an application process. They will also be working with other health districts across county and state lines to work through any possible outbreaks.
She said summer camps should plan to continue social distancing and mask wearing until more guidance is given.
“The most confusion I would say at the moment has been that face coverings and physical distancing are still mandatory while you're at summer camp, and this is despite if you are fully vaccinated or not at this time,” she said. “We are waiting on further guidance from the governor's office to see if this changes around the June 30 timeline.”
Warthen said if you are looking to attend a sports or overnight camp, it would be helpful to look at some of the additional requirements some camps may have before you show up.
Other resources are available on the SRHD website.