Summer camp attendees and staff who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear masks or practice physical distancing, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday.
As summer swiftly approaches, the CDC’s new guidance eases restrictions on day camps and overnight camps for children and teens who are fully vaccinated. In addition to the relaxed need for masks and social distancing, the new guidance says that any camper who comes in contact with someone sick with COVID-19, the person will only need to be tested if they begin showing symptoms.
For summer camps where not everyone is vaccinated, the guidance largely remains the same. The CDC recommends everyone wear a well-fitting face mask consistently when indoors and suggests splitting children into cohorts to reduce potential exposure. In addition, the CDC said a mask is not necessarily needed when outdoors, except when unvaccinated individuals are gathered in crowded settings.
The California Department of Public Health did not issue any new guidance for day camps based on the CDC’s announcement Friday, though the current system bases restrictions depending on a county’s tier assignment. For counties outside of the purple tier of restrictions, day camps can largely operate following the state’s framework for schools. Currently, this includes promoting masking indoors at all times and outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained for unvaccinated people.
For overnight camps, CDPH guidelines largely fall in line with the CDC’s new issued guidance depending on whether campers and staff are fully vaccinated or not.
The new guidance from the CDC comes as case rates remain low in Santa Barbara County. As of Friday, the county’s Public Health Department reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 and no new deaths.
Five new cases were reported in Santa Maria, and two new cases were reported in both Orcutt and Santa Barbara. Lompoc and the Santa Ynez Valley both reported one new case. All other areas reported no new cases on Friday.
The county’s active case total currently stands at 49 cases still infectious. As of Friday, eight people were hospitalized for COVID-19, including two who are recovering in the Intensive Care Unit.